Although the boom in the popularity of social media has been exceptionally favourable to the likes of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, there are also many other social network sites and tools out there worth utilising. Social media is such a diverse, fast-paced platform; technology is changing as fast as studies can be conducted.
Public Relations is also changing as social media evolves. PR Professionals have had to adapt their role in order to cope with this innovative and ever-changing movement, which has had to involve contributing to social media channels.
Communicating with your target audience has never been easier thanks to the huge benefits of social media, offering high levels of engagement and, in turn, resulting in trust being built with the users. One example of this benefit is that users are able to use relevant hashtags and follow all of a company’s social media accounts, from the touch of a button via Twitter.
Social media can be used to monitor conversations that involve the brand or company, after all, PR is all about reputation. News spreads quickly over social media platforms, and this can result in a damaged image. Social media offers the user the chance to respond rapidly resulting in excellent PR and a positive reputation.
Social media has made it extremely easy for brands to communicate clear and concise messages with their target audience. It is no surprise then, that monitoring social media can be crucial when planning PR campaigns. Monitoring social media can be used for research, competitor analysis and is vital in the evaluation stage of a campaign.
It is important to keep in mind that social media can be used across a wide range of devices and not just laptops. People are accessing social media on the go with the use of their mobile phones. Think about ‘scrollabilty.’ Is your content suitable for mobiles and tablets? Could you use a social media network, such as FourSquare, to your advantage?
With all this in mind, try to keep your content relevant, but exciting and never resort to spamming your audience, you will drive them away. The last thing you want is for people to stop following you because they are irritated by your constant updates.
Social media has become an exciting and pragmatic field to explore, and a field of expertise in its own right. It is important for any company to keep up, but it is also crucial to keep your digital coverage relevant to the target audience you are trying to reach and the ideas you are trying to present. The key is for PR professionals to take on social media as a means of making their job easier, not to over-complicate it. PR professionals need to be up to date, but not irritating.
Social Media is now a vital part of public relations, and will continue to grow, trend, and engage as consumers do.