Social media and public relations go hand -in-hand. The purpose of PR is to spread the word about your product and services by giving your company as much positive coverage as possible.
With the blossoming of social media, companies are not waiting around for PR agencies or professionals to write about their brand or story. Rather, marketers are now creatively merging social media and public relations to gain brand visibility and exposure. If you are curious about the ways in which you can use social media for PR, this post is for you.
Here are five social media tips to enhance your public relations:
1. Join industry-related Twitter conversations – With over 300 million active users, it has certainly emerged as one of the most dynamic social media platforms. By joining popular Twitter conversations, you can expand your brand’s reach and visibility. Tweet chats offer a great platform for businesses to instantly engage with the audience and share expertise on the topic at the same time.
Be sure to actively participate to share your expert commentary and connect with the audience. Share content around these events to influence the opinions of people, this will help you get maximum mileage out of the Twitter conversations. Retweet good content, reply to queries and questions, follow interested people, and share your brand content so that people value your contribution.
Remember, to include the tweet chat hashtag # to all your messages in a specific conversation. Once you master the art of participating in Twitter conversations, you can always host Twitter conversations as well and this can boost your brand image to a great extent.
2. Create social media campaigns based on customer case studies – PR professionals create customer case studies on trending events or issues to present a certain angle of the story or influence opinions. While these customer stories make for a good read, currently the attention spans of most audiences is short and they don’t prefer reading lengthy articles. In light of this, you need to present information in an concise way. These customer stories can be more powerful when presented the right way. Besides, having a killer social media page design that compliments your brand also gives you an extra advantage.
For instance- In order to share customer stories, Microsoft created an engaging video that highlighted how their products are making a difference in the lives of their customers. The company knew that instead of sharing blog posts or articles, showing it in a video format with great visuals will trigger an emotional response and will generally have more appeal. This video garnered an overwhelming response from people. Thus, you need to share your data in a more captivating way that will help you build a better connection with your audience. Take customer case studies or trending topics and rework them in the form of a video or an infographic so that people can share them easily on other social media platforms.
3. Ask top executives to share blog posts on Linkedin – Linkedin is a leading social platform for professional networking, but only a select few top executives actively use it. When used effectively, it can become your biggest marketing weapon. To engage with the right audience, you need to join discussions, join niche groups, and share quality content with your connections. You can also use Linkedin to share your new products, company events, news, or any other updates.
People like to connect with people rather than brands, so when you give a face to your brand, you establish a better personal connection with your customers. You can take advantage of Linkedin’s publishing platform to share authoritative content regularly. Publish blog posts that show your expertise or thought leadership, this way more and more people will follow you to hear what you have to say.
For example – Bill Gates has maintained his profile on Linkedin and shares a blog post once in few months and has amassed a staggering over 2 million followers. Similarly, Jayson DeMers, the CEO, Audience Bloom uses Linkedin to actively share content from his Forbes.com blog and has acquired over 3,000 followers.
4. Use of influencer marketing to build PR – Another way to enhance your PR efforts is to take advantage of influencer marketing. You can always approach social influencers of your niche or micro influencers to promote your products or services. If yours is a product based company then it is easier, you can send them free product samples in exchange for a review. This can give your products instant visibility and promotion. In the case that you have a bigger budget, you can also approach celebrities to endorse your products. However, initially pairing up with an influencer can give you a good start.
For example –The famous brand Banana Republic tied up with social influencer named Patrick Janelle to promote their men’s apparel collection. He posted his pictures wearing the brand’s clothes on his social media profiles and the brand received some great responses from their customers all over the world.
5. Relationship building with journalists – To get coverage about your new product launch, events or any upcoming services, connecting with journalists is a good idea. However, cold pitching journalists by sending them an email or press release link is little to no use. It is always good to build some rapport with journalists and then pitch about coverage.
Social media can play a crucial role here, as PR professionals spend most of their time on these channels. Twitter is a good place to connect with journalists, get to know their interests, their written articles, this will help you build better relationship. You can interact with them on a conversational level and once you establish a personal rapport with them, you can always pitch your story ideas.
Wrap up- PR activity is no longer about reaching out to journalists by sending them cold emails or press releases and expecting a response. You need to use social media creatively to build up PR – from guest blogging on renowned sites to connecting with influencers – you can generate brand engagement much more easily. Follow the above social media tips to get a good start in your PR efforts.