Today’s PR professionals can no longer avoid the impact social media has on the industry. Here’s why:
- 58% of millennials purchasing decisions being influenced by ads on social media in the United States as of June 2021
- 76% of journalists say they think about their story’s social media sharing ability
Now more than ever, an effective social media PR strategy is so important, especially when running marketing for a small business.
Take advantage of these five ways to use social media to advance your public relations campaign.
1. Develop Relationships with the Media and Influencers
Public relations professionals and social media marketers understand the role of relationships in the media industry. By interacting with journalists, media outlets, and influencers on social media, you extend the professional relationship beyond the press release pitch. This increases the chances of gaining media coverage with the right outlets.
When developing these pertinent relationships, use social media to share relevant information, provide value, and extend the conversation. Do not bombard media contacts with pitches, requests, or press releases via social media as this is seen as spammy and a waste of their time. Ensure the nature of your public relationship is professional and good for both parties at all times.
2. Facilitate the Brand Message through Content Distribution
Distributing original and branded content to a targeted audience is a tried-and-true social media tactic. In addition, it allows public relations teams to strategically facilitate the brand message online. By having control of the type of content shared, and the copywriting within the post, PR pros ensure the proper brand message is sent each time.
If you are curating content to distribute on your brand’s social media accounts, make sure the content is aligned with brand values and the public relations campaign objectives. Otherwise, you will share irrelevant content with your audience.
If you are hesitant to take on managing your own content distribution channel, seeking a marketing agency for social media could be a good option. A marketing agency or social media agency will use the best analytics for social media and trusted industry data available to manage your social media posts, implement a posting schedule for your social media as often as you prefer, and improve your overall social media marketing and advertising strategy using the best social media management tools on the market.
3. Incorporate Social Sharing into Press Releases
A simple, yet effective way to integrate social media into a public relations campaign is by adding social sharing capabilities to press releases. This allows readers and media outlets to distribute your intended message online in seconds.
Embedding relevant social media links and posts into your press releases also promotes social sharing and engagement among readers.
4. Create and Leverage Campaign Hashtags
Hashtags, while initially used to follow conversations online, can be a strategic tool for public relations objectives. By creating and leveraging specific campaign hashtags on social media platforms, PR teams can accomplish the following:
- Monitor customer conversations centered around the particular campaign
- Understand how the campaign is performing among intended audiences
- Engage in user/customer conversations online
- Ensure campaign and brand content is easily searchable
When using hashtags, make sure they are appropriate, easily recognized, and contribute to the brand message.
5. Real-Time Crisis Management
Public relations professionals are responsible for extinguishing all online crises that may lead to a negative brand reputation. Social media platforms allow brands, and PR teams alike, to respond in real-time to situations and/or customer conversations. With the growing ability for customers to interact directly with brands online, PR teams must take advantage of the “instant” nature of social media to tackle crises and maintain a positive online reputation for the brand.
Pair Social Media and Public Relations for Ongoing Success
Social media is more crucial than ever in the public relations industry—elevate your brand equity with an effective social media strategy.
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