The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed our lives in just a few short months, but, amidst the anxiety and uncertainty, there has been a surge of social good. Businesses across the world have played a key role in supporting their communities and beyond by moving quickly to activate the social good in their organisations.
The Drum, in partnership with Facebook, is launching a ‘Business for Good’ series to celebrate some of the best social good work on the platform - including charitable giving, crisis response, health initiatives, campaigns, and mentorship - that help the communities we are part of and to create brand purpose.
Facebook head of global business strategy and engagement, Arielle Gross Samuels, says: “We believe that every business can advance social good - support a cause with fundraisers, engage customers using tools like Facebook Live and direct messaging, and take action through community and educational resources.
“There’s never been a better time to put social good at the core of business.”
Samuels also highlights the Facebook Social Good for Business Toolkit, which helps businesses in any corner of the world activate social good quickly and for free. The toolkit allows brands to engage with their communities through groups and messaging customers directly; support a cause with fundraisers, live donations, and gift cards; and take action with community help and education.
Here are some of the brands and businesses from Europe that are committing to social good and doing their bit to initiate change.
The Country Dog Hotel
While the UK has rallied around vulnerable groups and frontline workers, Rebecca Linnell, founder of The Country Dog Hotel, saw an opportunity to help with their pets.
Linnell and her team have pivoted from their usual business of caring for their canine guests to creating a foster programme to help keyworkers and those in hospital. Its nationwide Covid-19 initiative uses postcodes to match volunteers with people that need help caring for their pets.
Using their Facebook and Instagram communities, the Country Dog Hotel has mobilised more than 5,000 volunteers to act as foster carers. Supported by Linnell’s local MP, the scheme also gained extra traction from re-shares from celebrity supporters, some of whom have registered to foster too.
Digital tools, including WhatsApp video features, have been vital for helping the team to conduct virtual “home checks” to ensure pet safety. Partners, including pet subscription service, Butternut Box, have stepped up to provide emergency food supplies.
Legendary London house music label Defected Records is reaching out to fans through a series of live-streamed virtual festivals that are also raising money.
Broadcast on Facebook Live, these innovative festivals raise money for the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund and entertaining music fans during lockdown.
Launched on the first weekend of the UK lockdown in March, the debut event featured DJs including Dan Shake, Joey Negroni and The ShapeShifters. It was beamed live from an empty Ministry of Sound.
Defected Virtual Festivals have led the way in virtual events with state-of-the-art production and interactivity. The festivals also helped to boost brand awareness by 8.1 points with video ads rolling before and after the event.
While Covid-19 restrictions have forced Irish jewellery brand Chupi to temporarily close its Dublin store, founder Chupi Sweetman is determined the brand won’t lose its personal touch.
The business has shifted online, and, while it is currently unable to make custom designs, it has created digital tools to make that experience more human.
This includes consultations via WhatApp, which includes an online “engagement ring finder”, allowing customers to select a series of traits through an algorithm that will recommend the right ring, and a “Digital ring sizer”.
These tools are supported by a focused Facebook content strategy that aims to keep customers engaged. Posts focus on highlighting the brand is still operating and has delivery options, to offer advice and information on buying and choosing the right piece and inspiring messages of happiness and hope.
Meanwhile, Sweetman is also sending gifts to heroes in the local community that have gone above and beyond to help others during the crisis.
Responding to the need to keep frontline healthcare staff nourished and energised, Czech cereal brand Mix.It is donating thousands of boxes of muesli and cereal bars to hospitals.
Mobilising its community of customers and fans through social channels, including Facebook, the brand offered to donate a product to local hospitals for every one of its products sold. By late March, more than 7,200 muesli bars had been delivered.
A much-loved brand in the Czech Republic, Mix.It allows customers to mix their own muesli ingredients using a simple online tool. They can also customise the eco-friendly cardboard packaging.
Founded in 2010, Mix.It has expanded into Slovakia, Poland and Hungary and has planned to move into more countries this year. Its range also includes ready-made products such as healthy bars, nutritional drinks, nut spreads and jams.
La Fromagerie Chosson
When France implemented strict lockdown measures on March 17, cheesemonger Jérémie Chosson was quick to see the potential for specialist shops to collaborate as panic sent shoppers heading for the supermarkets.
Chosson, who owns Fromagerie Chosson in Poitiers, Western France, was allowed to keep trading, after being deemed essential. Many other local retailers, however, were forced to close, so Chosson offered to act as a relay point to allow them to keep selling.
Chosson regularly uses Facebook to update customers on products, changing opening hours and other products he has available from other local retailers.
While the first ten days of lockdown were tough for smaller, specialist shops, customers have returned thanks to Chosson’s delivery scheme.
Average basket sizes are now larger, too, which Chosson believes is down to people taking pleasure in good food while restaurants are closed.