Social media has had a significant impact on the PR world. It has eliminated the barrier between a firm and the public to address questions, comments and concerns. Not only has it been influential in maintaining a brand’s reputation, but also in dealing with crisis management in a swift way. These digital channels have brought new ways to build stronger and lasting relationships with clients. Here are three ways social media can be used effectively in public relations.
AWARENESS: Through social media, companies have been able to enhance their brand’s awareness and stay in the spotlight. People are constantly sharing and reading information on social media platforms. This cost-effective method has led many companies to find new clients through social media tools like hashtags that correlate to a brand’s vision. Aspects of social media such as shares and retweets have also had a positive impact on SEOs (search engine optimization) and have helped gain the attention of influencers and people in general.
INTERACTION: Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all allow companies to have a direct relationship with their clients. The first thing anyone does when they have an issue or question is to address it on social media. We’ve all been there. Through this, consumers can get their questions answered and find out more information in a quick and efficient way. This one on one type of interaction can majorly influence a brand’s credibility for the better. In addition, incentives offered by liking, sharing and commenting has created an interactive and loyal relationship between a brand and its target audience.
CONTENT: The most important and effective part of social media in PR is the variety of content that can be created and distributed. Social media has allowed PR to reach a large audience through links, stories, threads and more. PR professionals get to see what followers like and dislike so they can create content based on feedback. Learning about preferences that attract people by posting all types of content, and then customizing it is great PR activity. With aesthetic posts and quick links, PR pros can also announce updates in more appealing ways, keeping their audience engaged and informed.
Still not convinced about social media’s use in the P.R world? Read on to find out more from PR Pro Valerie Christopherson, founder and CEO of Global Results Communications (GRC) on their take on P.R and social media!
What types of Social Media does your firm use? Which social media platform(s) has the
company found most effective?
Being a global firm with global clients, we focus heavily on B2B (business to business) tapping into social media platforms across the board when appropriate. When it comes to tech clients, it depends on the product, solution or service, and which platform their target audience or market is likely to use for engagement. It is important to be active everywhere there is potential for interaction and conversation, so we will always include the most familiar platforms with the largest user base including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
How do you use each platform for PR? (Is there a target audience or content that differs from each platform…) Each platform definitely has a user profile, so to speak. Instagram users typically love an inside look at the culture of a business or the culture surrounding a brand—kind of like a “Day in the Life” snapshot. Twitter, on the other hand, is the perfect platform for us to share client coverage in real-time. We can push out constant content to stay relevant on our followers Twitter feed throughout the day. LinkedIn really tries to keep things business-focused, so our client posts are more informative and newsworthy.
As PR professionals, we understand that all messages don’t necessarily resonate in the same way
with different groups of people. By finding what works for our clients’ audiences and appealing
to them, we improve the impact of their marketing efforts.
What are some benefits of using Social Media for PR?
Social media has changed the way we communicate today. These platforms allow us to reach
audiences from all parts of the world. If people and brands spend time honing in on their
expertise and consistently manage their social channels—or hire a team to do it for them—they
have the potential to greatly increase visibility. Good content gets shared, so by consistently
posting quality content, more people will see it and share it.
Also, the fact that we can connect with anyone at any given time is a huge advantage. Social
media gives PR professionals and students the opportunity to connect before, during and after
networking events, a conference or a meeting. It’s a great way to get to know someone prior to
that first meeting and be better equipped to have a conversation in person.
How do you believe social media has impacted the PR world?
Social media has impacted nearly every industry, but it has had a tremendous impact on public
perception. Drastically changing the way people get their news, social media has forced PR pros and reporters to adapt along with it. And this is no easy task—but it is essential for all professional communicators to get on board.
Social media is such a highly effective tool for communicating breaking news, but it also
shortens the lifespan of a news story. This means that journalists are constantly searching for
the next big thing, and we as PR professionals must keep up. Its influence is simply too large to