Social media can be used for so much more than just communicating and connecting with friends and family. Businesses and brands are using it to communicate with their target audience and increases sales. Organizations are also using social media to increase awareness and raise money for their cause. The question everyone asks is, “what is the return on investment when it comes to social media?”
I have been using social media to increase awareness about melanoma for the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation for almost two years now. Personally, I feel that social media is such a great platform to use to inform people because you can use text, links, videos, and images to inform and educate. Furthermore, you can actually interact with followers and develop relationships, which is impossible to do with traditional marketing methods. Social media allows organizations that are promoting a cause and trying to raise money for a cause to really reach a large audience and influence them by providing a variety of content that can increase awareness and build support.
I think the article “Measuring-and Capturing-the Value of Social Media” published in the CIO Journal brings up a very important point about measuring the returns on social media efforts. It is difficult to exactly measure the ROI when using social media, but the potential is great since social media can be used to build brand loyalty, increase awareness, and leverage word of mouth advertising that can occur on social media. It’s impossible to measure the exact value of those things with a specific number, but it’s also impossible to not recognize their value. Moreover, if companies focus on developing R.E.A.L (Reciprocal, Empathetic, Authentic, and Long- Lasting) relationships, they can be assured that their efforts will result in an increase in profits. The focus in marketing has changed with social media. Now it’s not about making a sale, but about forming lasting relationships by sharing valuable content with your target audience that will lead to sales.
The best way to increase ROI is by listening to your audience, interacting with them, and giving them the content that they want to keep them engaged. Content marketing is one way to accomplish this task, but native advertising is also being used by companies to try an increase sales. Every company or brand has to monitor the tactics they use to engage with their audience by using analytical tools and adjust their strategies according to how their audience reacts to their strategies.
When using social media for a brand or business, it is important to know what goals you are trying to achieve and to use analytical tools to get important information such as what platforms are driving traffic to your website and what kind of content is engaging your audience.
Participating in Social Media Giving Day is a great way for brands and businesses to gain some recognition and appreciation from their followers. However, I think that it’s important for brands to consistently give back to the community by donating to a specific cause that they support on a regular basis because that is more meaningful than just participating in a one-day event.
I do think that social media has helped people stay more connected and helped maintain relationships that would be difficult to do without Facebook and Twitter. Our lives are very busy and after high school and college, many people move away. Social media has made it easy to stay in touch and know what is going on in other people’s lives, even if you don’t see them as often. I think it helps you stay close to those you used to see more often and develop new relationships. There are good and bad sides to social media, but in general, I think social media gives people another channel to communicate with others and has a positive effect on human relationships.
Do you think participating in Social Media Giving Day is beneficial for brands and companies, or do you feel that their customers will see it as a tool that brands use to increase exposure for their own benefit?
Which do you think is a better tool to use to engage and maintain an audience, content marketing or native advertising?