Adding value to social media posts is more than a matter of incorporating the latest multimedia tactics. Though pictures, videos, and links attract attention, flashy special effects can just as easily distract or annoy Internet visitors. Comment forums promote interaction, a key benefit of social media, but neglected forums can devolve into sinkholes of spam and verbal abuse.
In contrast, the perception of value is a strategic outcome: the result of a communications program that provides usefulness (“value” in the instrumental sense) while aligning an organization’s mission and objectives with those of its audiences (“value” in the ethical sense).
A truly valuable post provides the right content to the appropriate audience in a timely and engaging manner. Such content may take various forms, depending on the product or service being marketed through social media.
For example, law offices market expertise by blogging on legal topics. Film companies market entertainment through movie trailers on YouTube. Nonprofits market social uplift through targeted crowdfunding appeals on Facebook. Colleges market affiliation through alumni networking on password-protected forums.
Pictures, videos, links, comment areas, and the like are worth adding when they are useful to selected audiences, drawing them into closer alignment with the organization. Enhanced reputation and supportive networks justify the return on a social media investment. Now that’s value. (LA)