Why is Social Media So Good for PR?
Social media is not just about Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. These may be three of the most popular platforms, but there are many other social network sites and tools that can be used. Social media is so fast paced – it’s always changing. The number of new platforms is forever growing and technology is changing as fast as studies can be conducted…
Public Relations, too, is evolving as social media changes. PR Professionals now have a different job description and role which often involves contributing to social media channels.
It’s now easier to communicate with your target audience and social media can help encourage high levels of engagement, which results in trust being built with the audience. Audiences are able to use relevant hashtags and follow all of a company’s social media accounts from the touch of a button. It can take only one individual with a large following to mention a certain product and suddenly it will be the next big thing.
Social media and PR
Print press releases and media packs are still important but by making these available online, they are more accessible.
PR is all about reputation; social media should be monitored for conversations that involve the brand or company. Rumours can spread quickly, and this can cause huge amounts of damage, resulting in a crisis. Quick responses can be given via direct customer interaction on social networks, which is especially good in a crisis because it will lead to more positive results.
The way brands get their messages across, and how they want to be seen and heard across different channels, has changed because of the impact of social media. Therefore it is no surprise that social media monitoring can be crucial when planning PR campaigns. Monitoring can be used for research and competitor analysis and can be used in the evaluation stage of a campaign.
How to best use social media for PR
The best ways for PR to use social media is to adapt and acknowledge the kind of audience you are trying to reach. For example, a fashion company may benefit highly by showing exclusive pictures on Instagram, or a record label would want to retain focus on a social networking site such as Soundcloud. However this doesn’t limit your company to one specific social media platform. As previously mentioned, it is now possible to converge all your platforms to make content more accessible to consumers.
Also keep in mind that social media is available on more than a laptop device. People are accessing social media from any place, anywhere, so include this in your content. Think about ‘scrollabilty’: is your content too long or are files too bulky for a mobile device? Could you use a social media network such as FourSquare to your advantage?
With all this in mind, try to avoid from spamming your social media following. Always post content that is relevant, exciting, informative and new. The last thing you want is for people to stop following you because they are tired of the constant updates and posts.
Social media is becoming a field of expertise in its own right, and it is important for any and every company to keep up, but before you start signing up to every new network just for the benefit of digital coverage, ask yourself how relevant it is to your business.
The key is for PR Professionals to have social media as a part of the marketing and PR strategies. PR Professionals need to be up to date with the latest in the social media world.
Social Media is now an integral part of PR today and will remain to grow, trend and engage with consumers.
By content assistant – Louise Railton – @LouiseRRailton