This Stock Isn't Antisocial

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Online social networking is all the rage these days, presenting a huge opportunity for companies to insert their brands into consumers' increasingly divided attention spans. Timberland (NYSE: TBL  ) , the premiere pick for my Rising Stars portfolio, recently released a new initiative that unites social media with social responsibility.

The shoemaker's new Facebook application allows fans to plant a virtual forest. The more fans start growing these virtual forests on Facebook, the more trees Timberland will plant in Haiti as part of the Yele Vert reforestation program. The company's goal is to plant 1 million real-life trees in Haiti.

Between that effort and its initiative in China's Horqin Desert, Timberland plans to plant 5 million trees in the next five years.

Many companies use Facebook to increase their brand recognition in a "friendly" way. Huge corporations like Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) are trying to interact with consumers through such media. Last June, Famecount data dubbed Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) , Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) , and Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI  ) early leaders in social media marketing.

On the other hand, social networking's wild, consumer-driven social component can backfire big-time for companies that make a mess of things, as BP (NYSE: BP  ) learned the hard way following the Gulf oil spill.

Timberland's social networking idea takes support for its brand a step further than many companies would, which could provide a huge, beneficial halo for its products and reputation. Innovative ideas like the company's social-media-driven reforestation program are not just good for Timberland's brand, but also for the world at large. That's a far more sustainable strategy than most companies' sales-y approaches.

Timberland's socially networked, socially responsible philosophy is just one more reason it made the cut in my portfolio. Check out the original buy recommendation here.

Starbucks, Timberland, and Whole Foods are Motley Fool Stock Advisor choices. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. The Fool owns shares of and has written covered calls on Procter & Gamble. The Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola and Timberland. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax owns shares of Starbucks and Whole Foods Market. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1384422, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2016 12:09:48 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 14 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
BP $36.25 Up +0.20 +0.55%
BP CAPS Rating: ****
KO $42.13 Up +0.20 +0.48%
Coca-Cola CAPS Rating: ****
PG $84.33 Down -0.60 -0.71%
Procter and Gamble CAPS Rating: ****
SBUX $53.63 Up +0.04 +0.07%
Starbucks CAPS Rating: ****
TBL.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
The Timberland Co. CAPS Rating: ***
WFM $28.08 Down -0.21 -0.74%
Whole Foods Market CAPS Rating: ****