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What is Social Media?
Customized Social Media Program
Online Media Outreach
Blog Relations
Social Networking Site Initiatives
Forums/Message Boards Seeding
Online Influencer Outreach
Other Social Media Tools
Social Media Training
Social Media Reporting
Social Media Guidelines
Glossary of Terms
What Is Social Media and How Can My Campaign Benefit?

It's not a passing fad. Social media is an ongoing online conversation. Blogs, social networking sites, bookmarking, commenting, embedding, sharing links -- this kind of interactivity and connectedness is unprecedented. As the next big social media sites come and go, social media continues to be about people and relationships -- two core principles of marketing and communications that will never change.

As a channel, social media reaches a very large audience, offers a lot of information about an audience and connects a network primed for viral, instant word-of-mouth. Every time you comment, update your status or upload a picture, you're letting the world know who you are and interacting with others. You're telling advertisers what you want in fine detail and you're spending many hours doing so. Social media programs allow marketers not only to get the word out but, more important, to listen to and interact with consumers.

The possibilities of social media are exciting for everyone, but even more so for the Ad Council and our messages. Many social media users seek to wield their online powers for social good. They are ready to learn about Ad Council campaign messages and they want to know how they can help spread the word.

Doing good never looked so easy. By assigning small online tasks to a large group of committed advocates, significant movement can happen. For example, if you spend five minutes of your time sharing campaign messages with your Facebook friends, which then spread virally to 0.5% of Facebook users, your campaign would have 1 million targeted impressions. Social media is giving the Ad Council's campaigns an online life of their own by providing a continued complement to your advertising. Moreover, the end of a PSA's development marks the beginning of the public's continued engagement and education.

Benefits of Social Media to Your Campaign
  • Encourages ongoing conversation about your campaign and social issue
  • Enables your campaign's assets to be spread virally 
  • Allows for precision targeting 
  • Provides the opportunity for deeper engagement and interactivity with your campaign and social issue 
  • Connects your key audiences directly with the information and resources they need to take action via your website 
  • Provides transparency, which makes your issues and campaigns more approachable 
  • Helps you identify key influencers and opportunities for future marketing strategies 
  • Provides key insights into how your target audiences are receiving your messages 
  • Results in significant ROI as a result of user participation and low costs
Social Media Services

The Ad Council recognizes the power and importance of social media. Since 1942, the Ad Council has been leveraging the power of public service advertising to create social change. Since 2007, we have been integrating social media strategies into our PSA campaigns.

We currently work with over 20 social media agencies that offer significantly reduced non-profit rates for our non-profit and federal government agency sponsors. The duration of the customized campaign programs varies from 1 month to 1 year, based on your key objectives and the budget available. As with public service advertising, we have found that consistent and sustainable outreach is the best strategy.

To see the Ad Council's guide to social media best practices, please contact a Corporate Communications staff member for a copy of Sharing is Caring: An Ad Council Guide to Social Media Best Practices.

Research on social media usage are constantly evolving. For in-depth studies and audience demographics please visit www.pewinternet.org. Below is their latest study.

The Democratization of Online Social Networks

View more presentations from Pew Internet & American Life Project, Pew Research Center.

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