Video: The latest Social Media facts

The whole concept and significance of Social Media can be quite confusing and complex for anyone wanting to understand Social Media. That is why facts presented in an interesting and interactive way are usually the most effective tool for providing the necessary context.

This is the best video I have seen in a long time with some intriguing facts that will make you realize how big Social Media is these days.

Thank you Chris Jarvis for pointing me to this great video!

Poll results: Latest Sustainability / CSR trends in 2011

Several weeks ago I started the online poll asking the question what in your view the biggest trend in CSR this year (2011) is so far was. This is the link to the poll post and results.

Today’s post is taking a closer look at the top 5 and what this ranking of CSR / Sustainability topics and trends can possibly tell us. Here are the top 5 trends identified by 82 different voters from across the globe:

 

Top Trend: Social Media (20 votes)

I guess this comes a no surprise that Social Media is the top answer when you consider that the distribution of the poll mainly used Social Media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. But this is nevertheless a clear sign that Social Media continues to be the trend in 2011 in terms of CSR and Sustainability best practice.

 

Supply Chain is keeping everyone on their toes (14 votes)

This was a surprise for me to be honest. I did expect the topic to be a top 5 topic but not really at number 2. Possible reasons for this top placement in my view are that Supply Chain topics never really go away for a business no matter how much work they do or how well they are performing. The relationship with your suppliers (especially in the manufacturing) is usually changing each month at least and each organisation needs to stay on top of these developments. That is why best practice trends are always something organisations involved in making CSR / Sustainability work are looking for.

 

Stakeholder Engagement is changing (13 votes)

This is something I expected. This “Evergreen” is always very popular when we talk about CSR / Sustainability trends. The issue I have is that the term stakeholder engagement can mean so many different things in terms of CSR / Sustainability. The emergence of Social Media has proven to be a deciding factor for successful stakeholder engagement in my view. Stakeholder engagement means a lot more then just engaging stakeholders using Social Media but the increasing importance of Social Media will be an interesting differentiation for the continuous overall adoption of stakeholder engagement best practice across businesses globally.

 

GRI gets the recognition it deserves (10 votes)

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) being named one of the top 5 trends in 2011 was another positive surprise. The GRI has always been a important player in the CSR / Sustainability field but it seems that it focus on integrated reporting and the way it uses Social Media these days is something people in the field recognise and appreciate during 2011.

 

CSR /Sustainability Reporting and ISO 26000 round up the top 5 (6 votes each)

The fifth spot on with 6 votes each was a tie between CSR / Sustainability Reporting and the ISO 26000. Both of them are closely related and for me the most interesting aspect of this tie was that they are both about making sense of the way you report your CSR / Sustainability strategy and best practice as a business.

 

Conclusion:

Social Media, Supply Chain and the different aspects of CSR / Sustainability reporting are prevalent when you take this snapshot poll about the latest trends in 2011. Next to the communication aspect of CSR / Sustainability practices and activities, the guidance of institutions such as the GRI are very important to the people which voted.
This leads me to conclude that organisations and other institutions are slowly opening up in terms of communication but guidance on an array of CSR / Sustainability standardisation aspects (reporting, ISO 26000 and GRI) are also something CSR / Sustainability professionals are looking for in 2011.

 

Visibli – Better Social Media analytics

I have been looking for a good way to measure the usefulness of my tweets, blog posts and resources on my sites for quite a while and I think I may have found the best solution yet after testing Visibli for a few days this week.

Visibli is an interesting service that quote ” helps companies and content creators expand their digital audience, and promote their products through shared links.”

The most useful elements in my view are:

  1. The fully customizable so called “Engagement Bar“.
  2. The easy integration into WordPress blogs and your Tweetdeck desktop application.
  3. The detailed analytics. Not to simple and not complicated.
  4. The possibility to sign in using Twitter, Facebook and with a normal registration.

Here are some more details on the main elements of Visibli in the press kit: http://visibli.com/presskit

All in all this look to be the best free of charge social media analytics tool on the market at the moment. I would encourage you to test it as well if you use Twitter and/or Facebook in a business context and like to know what is being clicked on, by whom and which stories are most popular.

Disclaimer: Visibli is not a customer of mine. I just found the service really useful. 🙂

The future of CSR at Timberland after the VF deal?

Some of you might have read the news item yesterday and today that Timberland has been bought by VF (company selling branded lifestyle apparel including jeanswear, outdoor products, etc.).

When I read the news I immediately wondered about what this would mean for the CSR / Sustainability activities of Timberland now and in the future.

Will Jeff Swartz and his team have the freedom to do what they have done so effectively over the past years in terms of CSR and Sustainability best practice.

This is what Jeff Schwartz had to say in the last tweet I saw:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/Timberland_Jeff/status/80375533879308288″]

 

My view

Time will tell of course but I must say I certainly hope that Jeff is right and that the scale of the organisational effort is what is important to make an impact and not necessarily the ownership here in Timberlands case. But I hope we will hear more details about this from Timberland and VF during the next few weeks. Timberland after all has been great in communicating CSR / Sustainability efforts and best practice.

Here are some another interesting news stories on this announcement as it evolves further:

Your view

What is your view on this breaking news? Are you worried as well or do you see this as a good development?

How to keep your CSR / Sustainability budget

If you are a CSR / Sustainability professional you will most likely face the challenge of making most of the budget you have available for the year. Especially in bad economic times, budgets are likely to be cut and keeping your budget for your CSR / Sustainability projects and practices is not always as straight forward as it might seem.

Here are some tips I would like to give you from when I was in charge of the CSR / Sustainability budget working as the CSR Manager for a multinational.

  • Continuously make your case for keeping/increasing your budgets. Everyone within an organization is fighting to maintain or increase their own budgets. You should do the same.
  • If you are publishing a CSR / Sustainability Report, allocate at least 25% for it. My rule was always to use that 25% of the budget no matter how high it was in total. Some practitioners have different views and in the end is your own personal and organizational choice of course.
  • Spend more time than money on outreach and stakeholder engagement. Do not fall into this trap where people (or consultants) tell you that you need to spend large amounts on communication in order to get your message across. Make use of cost effective tools such as social media and some classic communication channels including press releases and hand-outs of interesting information material. But I would advise against big marketing campaigns and event launches as they usually do not have a long term marketing effect and cripple your budget for the rest of the year.
  • Do not attend all the conferences and workshops you can get to. Select a maximum of 5 events and conferences each year for your and/or your colleagues to attend. Traveling, conference fees, etc can easily eat up your budget for other crucial tasks or CSR / Sustainability projects.
  • Set aside some small part of your budget to support CSR / Sustainability related initiatives or projects of colleagues or groups of colleagues. This might sound obvious but you will be surprised how many colleagues will want to promote CSR / Sustainability even more within their department when they know that you found some budget for it.

These are some insights I wanted to share with everyone today. I hope you will find them useful. Feedback is highly appreciated. As always.

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmgimages/4882450962/