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How Brands Can Benefit From the Social Media Multiplier Effect

Christine Moorman and Katie Campbell Dettmann

Smart companies are finding uses for social media beyond advertising and consumer engagement. They’re using it to brand-build from the inside out

Ever since marketers started putting up Facebook fan pages and creating Twitter accounts for their brands, they have recognized the benefits of social media. Here are channels that help them directly engage with customers, build brand affinity and share content such as articles, photos and videos at low cost. Marketers continue to make social a priority and will boost their social media investments from 10.6% to 20.9% of budgets over the next five years, according to the most recent results of The CMO Survey.

But social media is moving beyond just marketing. According to the survey, more than a quarter of marketers say their companies will make social media investments for activities that typically fall under the human resource department’s purview—such as employee engagement and talent acquisition. We interviewed leaders from a range of organizations to get insights into the nature and effect of these investments. We discovered what we call the social media multiplier effect: Social media investments impact important employee and customer activities that spill over to benefit the organization in many important ways. Below are some examples of the social media multiplier effect, and brands that are getting it right.

Igniting Employee Engagement

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Christine Moorman is the T. Austin Finch Sr. Professor of Business Administration at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, founder and director of The CMO Survey and the editor-in-chief of Journal of Marketing.