The age of the internet has permanently changed the landscape of public relations. Social media and PR are no longer separate entities, but rather building blocks that work together to produce stellar results. Specifically, social media can help you craft a PR campaign that will grow your brand awareness and help you stay competitive in the industry. Here are three ways to incorporate social media into your PR plan, along with how to get the most bang for your buck out of these online platforms.
#1 Social Media Allows you to Easily Track Results
With every like, comment, and follow digitally monitored, there are seemingly endless ways to track brand awareness and growth on your company social media account. It’s just a matter of interpreting those statistics to build a killer action plan.
When you use a hashtag on Twitter, your content becomes linked to all of the other tweets that include the same tag, which allows your followers to easily keep up with any company activity. Hashtags may be the most simple trackable metric used to measure success of product launches, campaigns, as well as overall online brand awareness. It is important to keep hashtags short and catchy to maximize engagement and lessen the likelihood of misspellings or other user errors.
Hashtags are not the only way to track your online presence, though. Nearly all major social media platforms– including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram– offer in-app synthesized performance metrics. While it can be worthwhile to measure independently, don’t be hesitant to use these trackers to your advantage. Start by looking at your reach and impressions, arguably the most key features for brand growth. These will give you the answers on how many non-followers are viewing your content and the number of times people view your posts.
There are also unaffiliated metric trackers available online if you’re looking for more specific data on your company’s online performance. Sprout Social, Funnel, and HootSuite are all commonly used and user-friendly performance tracking platforms.
The more active you are on social media, the more accurate and helpful the tracking data will be. Use it to your company’s advantage and grow those numbers!
#2 Social Media Can Help You Target the Right People
It is important to have a target audience in mind for an PR-related endeavor, as it gives you a chance to build rapport with the people who are genuinely interested in your company (and ultimately, your buyers!) You can also tailor your content in ways that are meaningful to your target audience, instead of trying to appeal to everyone. Whether you are trying to find the perfect focus group for a product launch or a news outlet to cover your next big break, social media can give you the names you need.
Media Lists and LinkedIn
Media lists are a classic aspect of PR, as it is important to have a network of editors and influencers readily available for your next big campaign or launch. Don’t think twice about digging into your media list contacts on other socials, either. In this industry, a lot of media contacts– journalists, influencers, bloggers– promote their content on their own platforms. Checking out their accounts will give you better insight into what type of content they specialize in, what they may have covered recently, and thus how valuable their contact information is on your media list.
Most companies are familiar with LinkedIn to scope out hiring prospects or competition, but it can also be a resource for building and revising media contact lists. Before sending out your next batch of press releases, look up your contacts on LinkedIn to be sure they are still relevant. Maybe they’ve since moved on in their career or maybe their ‘following’ list is full of potential additions to your contacts! Regardless, it is crucial for your media list to be up-to-date in order to yield the best response rate.
#3 Social Media Can Help You Understand What Your Audience Wants
What better way to learn your audience than to interact with them directly? Get to know your audience beyond their status as a customer, as they can provide stellar insight for your company.
Potential for Expansion
The great thing about social media is that you can not only correspond directly with your target demographic, but you can see what else they are interested in. In analyzing your audience’s interests, you can see what else they value in their lives. This can allow for insight into new products, influencer collaborations, and campaigns.
Grasping what matters to your audience is parallel to your company’s success. Align your PR plan to incorporate what is important to your demographic and start there. Social media is largely centered around brand awareness, so understanding your audiences’ wants and needs will give you the information needed to build the most effective PR plan.
Build Customer Connections
Another way to build trust with your online audience is to take those individual connections seriously, as they may turn into loyal customers. Fielding questions, comments, and concerns via social platforms will not only show your audience that you care, but it will improve your product or service. Be sure social media requests and direct messages are being promptly addressed to build on that company-client relationship. Your audience is your best tool for improvement as they are the ones partaking in your company’s service or product.
Keep It Creative
When writing content for socials, maintaining brand voice and tone for your target audience is key. However, don’t let that necessary consistency turn into dull, repetitive copy. Part of the power that social media holds for PR is its ability to reach new clients. Having an edge to your social content can make all the difference in your PR plan.
Consider bringing on a TikTok pro to bridge the gap between your product or service and hot internet trends. Offering incentives– like early access or deal codes– for following your company on socials can also be an interactive way to boost your follower count. You never know what post or comment might skyrocket your company into internet virality. Take advantage of the vast, fast-paced social media world by thinking outside of the box for your next campaign.
Keep communication channels open with your audience and media contacts to build those crucial connections. Respond to audience feedback regularly to create a sense of community and company accountability. Check in with journalists and outlets on your media lists to ensure they are a reliable, relevant source for your company.
Witness Your Success
You’ll only know how successful your PR plan is shaping up to be once you have crunched the numbers. No matter the method, be sure to stay diligent about tracking performance metrics. Then, you’ll have the necessary information to make tweaks in your approach. Maybe you’ll find that a particular campaign hashtag doesn’t garner much traction or that a certain social segment skyrockets your profile views every week. Either way, keeping up with your progress will show you just how far you’ve come.