Planning and executing an effective public relations campaign is no easy task. It takes more than a few Tweets, Facebook posts, and calls to the local newspaper to build brand awareness, increase sales, and drive more traffic to one’s business. Strategy, appropriate and relevant content generation, and engagement—among other things, must be taken into account when developing the social media aspects of a PR campaign. Leveraging social media to enhance and support your PR efforts is vital today in the world of media relations, and is essential to any business that wants to foster serious growth. Here are just a few of the benefits associated with utilizing social media in your PR efforts:
1. See what your target demographic is thinking/doing
Twitter and Facebook are great tools to use when conducting research on your target demographic, as these social media platforms are some of the most effective ways to gain genuine insights on your target audience’s interests, likes, and dislikes. Often, you’ll be able to uncover a trend in user personalities that can help you shape your marketing efforts by tailoring them to meet your audience's needs more accurately. Even doing something as simple as a Twitter search can uncover some really beneficial information about an audience.
If you’re looking to do a more advanced search, using a tool like Moz’s Followerwonk to help you uncover some important analytics related to your audience on Twitter. You can search for certain keywords in bios, or search for relevant accounts and users within the audience that already follows your account. Using this tool correctly essentially provides a deeper dive into Twitter profiles so that you can optimize your social strategy for meaningful growth.
2. Developing relationships with influencers & the media
Everyone is on social media these days, including influencers and key decision makers across every imaginable vertical. Social media is an incredibly useful tool for establishing and fostering relationships with these thought leaders in your industry, or media professionals covering material relevant to your brand. Pay attention to what influencers post, and don’t be afraid to retweet and share content that you find valuable. It's important to strike up casual conversations with reporters on Twitter to let them know that you really liked their article and are working on something that you think they may like in order to open the door for countless opportunities in the future.
3. Using your content as an outreach tool
Think about how a video goes viral. It’s not because it was pitched to a journalist - it’s because the content itself was so amazing, people couldn’t help but share it. Social media allows you to reach anyone, anywhere in the world, and if you have the right content it can be the catalyst that gets your content firmly in front of your target audience. There are many different types of content that any company can use, and particularly effective is sharing industry data or research to get your brand noticed. Remember, you can have the best content in your industry, but if it isn’t being read, it’s losing its value. Address this problem by using social media correctly.
Additionally, reporters are busy. They are inundated with email upon email each day clouding up their mailbox. Sometimes this can make it difficult for them to cut through the clutter. Simply tweeting at them to let them know you may have an opportunity for them puts your name on their radar, and keeps the communication much more brief and concise—something that reporters will appreciate.
4. Managing your reputation
It’s much easier to engage with customers, respond to a sudden crisis, and communicate effectively with your audience on social media than on any other online channel. Most audiences are active on social media platforms, and by consistently engaging with fans on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll drastically increase the likelihood of generating brand loyalty with existing and new customers alike.
This instantaneous social media connection that you have at your fingertips is the best way to alert your audience of something they need to know. Whether it is an emergency or not — users will appreciate that you’re making an effort to keep them in the know, and set the record straight with any current event related to your business or product.
5. Showing consistency
Your website, store, social channels, and overall, every single one of your marketing tactics, should help build a consistent online presence for your brand. Building consistency across each of your marketing channels helps to build brand recognition, reinforce your overall messaging, and create brand credibility. By leveraging a consistent brand presence and incorporating your brand's narrative voice into all of your social media posts, you can ensure that your brand is reinforcing consistent messaging.
Social media and public relations go hand in hand, and can easily enhance any marketing tactics that your brand is practicing. To understand your audience on a deeper level and engage with them in a way that fosters brand loyalty and recognition, PR efforts coupled with social media might just be the missing piece you’re looking for.
There are tons of other ways to leverage social media in your PR campaign. What’s one of your favorites and why?