Social Media effectiveness

From the ‘Social Media Effectiveness’ discussion where LtCaezar was hosted on #GenLiveCast.

This post is the whole discussion that I did on #GenLiveCast on 26th August, 2015. My area was ‘Social Media effectiveness’. Replies to questions are not included in the main post,  I tried to embed as many as possible in the blog post.  Feel free to comment on the content here, let us keep the discussion going.

 

“Today I would like to speak about social media effectiveness.I will share my thoughts on social media effectiveness and am sure all of Africa will be listening.

Social media has rapidly evolved from a tool for friends to link up. Social media is now an avenue that can, and has been successfully used to bring change. Various people, and organizations also use social media to achieve organizational goals.

Organizations do customer care, marketing, press releases and brand awareness being driven on social media. Society, on the other hand, uses social media to have fun and to influence change. Such societal change could be socio-economic or political.

In Africa, we have seen regimes changed with pressure and coordination done on social media. Governments are also often held accountable by their people through social media today. We thus must look at social media as an increasingly listened-to platform.

How effective is social media? I will give it a 8 score out of 10. The 80% score is mainly due to the many successful campaigns and good that is achieved on social media. In several cases, we have seen fundraising campaigns driven on social media to great success. Governments have also occasionally re-evaluated decisions after social media outcry.

Businesses have driven awareness and marketing on social media. Larger organizations are able to do customer care and interaction on social media. The political drift in Africa today is towards younger leaders, and Social media has contributed greatly to this drift. Thus, a crop of youthful leaders is rising, fully aware of the need for accountability, and cognizant of social media.

 

Looking on the flip side of the coin, we see also bad influences by social media. Cultural, religious and basic societal values have suffered some damage.

Discussion about some issues that are foreign to Africa has led to a faster erosion of values. The LGBT agenda has varied responses, it is my opinion that Africa should not embrace it. When the LGBT agenda is thus driven on social media, I consider it as negative influence on African youth.

There are some not-so-good influences in fashion, political ideology, and religion that are spread on social media. Something else would be the issue of cyber-bullying A.K.A trolling. That is not a good idea at all!

In achieving change, we need to look at social media effectiveness in political and educational use. Social media is increasingly being used by activists of positive societal change. The increased use of social media has thus led to people being more aware of what is happening. We are also more aware of what we can do to underperforming leaders/politicians. The electorate of today is in a better position, from an informational point of view, than yesterday’s electorate.

Social Media effectiveness

Social media has proved to be useful in promoting good education. Forget campaigns to send people to school, and focus a little of promotion of quality education. I take the case of Storymoja, an organization focused on improving literacy levels in school children. The use of social media by Storymoja has led to increased awareness of the challenges that children face. It has also helped in driving dialogue about what needs to be done to address the situation.

In the last segment, or factor we can use to analyse the effectiveness of social media,, we look at the user. It is imperative that we analyse social media from the angle of the user, and the goals achieved.

Many users of various social media platforms find it difficult to express themselves fully. Users of Social media also find themselves unsure of what to post as content on SM. Such scenarios often lead to unnecessary arguments on social media. I will reiterate that arguments and uncivil exchanges of words on social media can easily dent your image.

When social media sets out to achieve a target, it is often achieved. Is social media effective? Not entirely, thus my earlier award of 80%. One needs to do more than presence on Social Media Social media alone cannot thrive, it often interacts symbiotically with offline methods to establish itself.

Most social media use also requires other online properties such as blogs and websites. It is thus no wonder that many bloggers find themselves in social media for traffic. Organizations too are often using their social media presence to drive traffic to their websites.It is more of a 50-50 situation, a give-and-take relationship between social media and other platforms.

The main factors that largely determine the general effectiveness of social media use are four;

  1. Analysis. Be sure to analyse your current situation, the resources available, and progress as you make it. A good analysis takes into account the manpower, and equipment available. Analysis of future progress is effectively tracked by both message reach, and growth.
  2. Goals. Set social media goals. Once you know your target, you can now go shooting. Objectives laid out for the social media end of any enterprise should be clearly defined, do not work in vagueness.
  3. Strategy. If you go onto social media without a strategy, you are doomed. In strategizing, do not forget to include the methods and process of achieving your goals.
  4. Content. Have enough, and sensible content in line with your brand/image for your content-hungry social media audience.

Lastly, as I near my discussion’s end, it is good that you have clean-up systems for your social media. Some of these ‘clean-up ‘ measures are a website, offices, and offline branding. Effective social media is one that integrates itself into the greater plan of an organization and delivers.

My final word is that we should all aspire to make social media even more effective, and use it to do more good to society.”

Authored by @LtCaezar of #TheNiteTalk. Winner of Hashtag of the Year at the 2014/15 cycle of the Social Media Awards Africa (SMAA).

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