The Upside of Social Media

Member feature: by Sarieta Schultz of Sarieta Schultz Communication

Connecting with audiences by telling your stories in your voice is a massive advantage of using social media platforms. Through storytelling, one can inspire, inform, educate and influence – tall necessary communication objectives that increase an organisation’s support base.  


Here are 7 reasons why social media is important:


1.Increased access to audiences. 

According to the latest Ornico South African Social Media Landscape Report, by January 2021, 42% of all South Africans will be using social media. It means one can reach audiences on specific issues with targeted messaging. Audiences are not restricted to a geographical area and can be reached beyond physical borders. It is an exciting prospect indeed. 


2. Making a difference.

To make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, organisations need to focus on education, showcasing successes, creating awareness, mobilising communities, and running online fundraising campaigns.  

It is, however, not only a communication platform for supporters but is equally essential for beneficiary communication.


3. It is cost-effective.

Budget is always top of the list for the development sector. Apart from some paid online advertisements and boosting posts (sponsored adverts), social media platforms remain an affordable and cost-effective activity that will not break the marketing budget.


4. Reducing dependence on traditional media channels.  

As an organisation, you control your message, creating a new type of relationship between the company or business and the media.  

As the fourth estate, the media still set the agenda for public debate, but as print readership statistics keep falling, online versions indeed make up for the decline in print numbers.  

Audiences receive their information from your organisation directly and through the media houses. It, therefore, would be beneficial if the messages of the organisation and media dovetail.


5. Keeping track of communication efforts.  

In the social media world, measurements like Engagement Rate, Social Listening, and Social Monitoring are essential to determine the success of your communication efforts.


6. Real-time engagement.

The platforms allow you to engage with your audience in real-time and increase your Engagement Rate (ER). The ER measures the success rate of your conversations with audiences. It leads to the opportunity to showcase your work, listen to your audience, create awareness, or increase your donor base.


7. Social listening enables an organisation to “read the room”. What is being said about an organisation, and what industry trends will guide future planning?  Social monitoring focuses on your organisation as a brand by keeping an eye on the mentions of your organisation. It also measures the success of specific campaigns. 


The last word

It comes down to telling stories and connecting with your audience. This is the upside of social media, and the effective management of the platforms allows you to use #socialmediaforgood and increase your organisation’s support base.

For more information about Sarieta and how Sarieta Schultz Communications can assist your business, please do visit our members page.