Public relations and social media
In the highly digital age that we live in today, it’s only natural that we see social media platforms prevailing and becoming the go-to place for almost everyone. Regardless of age, sex, origin, and beliefs, people around the world use social media to connect with friends, read news, share ideas, and explore an infinite pool of information.
Today, around 3.6 billion people use social media around the world and that number is growing. By 2025, expectations are that there will be 4.41 billion social media users globally.
From a PR perspective, imagine the vast potential of opportunities that are presented by platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and others. Social media has disrupted the standard PR arena and has introduced newer, more dynamic, and faster ways to get your message across to the right target audience. We’re here to explore how social media and PR work together and how you can make the most of it as a PR professional.
Ways to Use Social Media in PR
Public relations has dramatically changed since the evolution of social media. Before, PR experts would share messages with the public once a major change has occurred, to maintain brand reputations, and notify users about certain offerings. Today, social media calls for real-time updates and diminishes the barrier between the public and a brand.
Let’s see how you can leverage social media as PR pros to help build brand awareness.
- Real-Time Crises Management
One of the roles of a professional PR team is to handle potential online crises that may significantly harm a brand and its reputation.
When users are unhappy about a product or service, they’ll want to complain and share the negative experience with peers. Social media offers this opportunity for free. And research shows that nearly 40% of consumers who use social media platforms to complain or ask brands for answers or explanations expect to receive an answer in less than 30 minutes.
This fact alone is enough to show why real-time social media management is essential for PR professionals looking to maintain a positive brand image of a client. Users can now interact with brands directly via social media and being there when they need to will help sustain a positive online reputation.
- Sharing Press Releases
The beauty of the nature of social media is that it’s created for sharing. So why not take advantage of this amazing feature to boost your PR campaign?
You can easily integrate social media into your PR activities by offering users the chance to share your press releases or other content via social sharing capabilities. You can add a social media share button to stimulate social media users to distribute your message for free in seconds.
Using social media links and posts in your press releases will help you encourage sharing, engagement, and create conversations with your target audience.
- Reaching Out To Sources and Journalists
Among the most important tasks of PR teams is to get the right message across to the right people via the right media outlets. Media relationships are fundamental for PR success.
Journalists are easily discoverable and approachable on social media channels. You can leverage this to create and sustain stable professional relationships that are not limited to the press release pitch.
Reach out to professional journalists that may be helpful in sharing your PR campaign across different media outlets and add value to the conversation by sharing relevant content, sharing ideas, and having a two-way dialogue.
- Drive Brand Awareness
The public relations industry is predominantly focused on driving brand awareness for companies in different niches and industries. Social media platforms offer another opportunity to do this.
More than 70% of consumers that have a positive social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. This recommendation could happen instantly by sharing your brand’s content on their profile pages, which automatically makes it visible to hundreds, if not thousands of new potential customers. Although not all of them may be the ideal customer from your target audience, chances are that like-minded individuals will see your brand name, boosting brand awareness.
- Develop Influencer Relationships
Let’s start with a few fun facts. In 2021, influencer marketing is expected to be worth nearly $14 billion. Nearly 60% of brands have set aside a budget for content marketing and 75% of them plan to have a budget specifically dedicated to influencer marketing. So without a doubt, influencer marketing is here and it’s a big thing for brands around the world.
Influencers are a valuable asset for brand awareness and brand reputation as they do one very unique thing. They speak about a brand with a voice that the brand itself could never create. Influencers are a huge part of digital marketing today as they come with a substantial digital following.
They can protect your brand, promote it, and provide useful information and messages to your audience in the most trustworthy and reliable way.
- Monitor Brand Sentiment
Another way PR professionals can use social media platforms to support their PR campaigns is by monitoring brand sentiment. Brand sentiment helps us understand how the brand is perceived by the target audience. It’s established by using and monitoring brand mentions, comments, reviews, and shares online.
Social media gives PR experts an amazing opportunity to quickly and easily monitor how a brand is performing as there are a number of useful tools that provide access to this analysis. Hashtags are a great strategic tool for PR objectives.
Through hashtags, you can engage users in an online conversation, provide easy search and access to certain information, see how the campaign is performing, and observe user conversations.
Improve your PR campaigns with social media
The evolution of social media has dramatically shaped and formed the digital marketing landscape into something completely new and modern. As PR experts, you can use social media platforms to your advantage to strengthen your relationships with users and potential customers, journalists, to stabilize brand reputations instantly, and so much more. If you’re interested to see how you can easily track social media mentions, understand engagement, and get to know your audience, learn more about our social media listening tools.