The Age of Social Media: Brands should amplify their CSR or regret later

Brands cannot run away from social media. At this age, social media platforms are the only avenues that brands can utilize to amplify their products and services.

Research by GeoPoll in 2017 showed that 75 percent of Kenyans consume news and information from online and social media platforms, 10 percent of them confirm with the mainstream media in the ‘evening’ whether what they saw on social media is true.

The influence of the mainstream media on amplifying the products and services of brands is slowly fading away and socially media is taking over. Brands have no choice but board the social media train in leveraging their services especially those that touch on the society; the corporate social responsibility.

“Social media is the perfect venue to talk about your organization’s good deeds. But there’s a caveat… it should be creative,” says LG East Africa Managing Director, Janghoon Chung, one of the electronic giants that has mastered the art of CSR and leveraging them via social media platforms.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a backbone of every organization that realizes the importance of those around them, the society. Most organization do not have CSR because they don’t see the reason why but those that do have never regretted.

The majority of companies that have CSR don’t know how to let people know about their deeds. If you do well for others, especially a brand, it is good to let people know. In the past, it was easy to land in the mainstream for a simple good deed, currently, it is like trying to get milk out of a bull.

Should brands shun away from providing CSR services because they are not generating the traction that is required? “Not at all… (Why? There is social media)… This valuable online medium (social media) presents the opportunity to communicate frequently with your audience throughout the year. Social sites like Twitter and Facebook create a much-needed dialogue that encourages real-time responses and feedback so a company can know if it is meeting targets right then and there,” says Mr, Chung.

Social media performs magic for any given brand that chooses to utilize them but it has to be done in a right manner. The information has to be packaged in a manner that appeals to both the existing and new customers. For brand, before running to donate to a community with much energy in trying to prove their genuine products and services, it is good to first sit down and plan on how the activity will be amplified via social media.

Social media platforms are like guns. What you load in is what is given out during ‘firing.” With social media, all you have to do is “load it up, point to the direction you need and fire.” Loading it up with the right information that appeals to the target community is the best thing a brand can ever do. The old computer cliché of “garbage in, garbage out” perfectly applies for social media.

As LG Electronics simply puts it, “these online platforms allow one to express their activities via text, pictures, and multimedia and so on, for more attention-grabbing announcements and CSR activities can for a part of the strategy.”

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