By Alex Rubio
Social media marketing has a significant influence on modern-day public relations. In the good old days, PR professionals would spread the news via traditional outlets such as newspapers, television or radio. With the rise of social media marketing, the conversation and methods changed. Now, PR professionals have instant access to larger, influential audiences and better opportunities to connect.
Social media is an essential tool to research, follow trends, and build relationships. When it comes to advertising, social media marketing can be an easy, fast and professional way to maintain a brands image in the eyes of the consumer. But wait, isn’t that the job of public relations? Well, it is.
Although social media and PR are two different marketing approaches, both have the same goal: build brand awareness, manage reputation and share a story.
With almost 90% of PR professionals and marketers believing that the future of communications is digital storytelling, are you using social media as your “go to” public relations tool? Here are 3 essential tactics to integrate digital marketing into your PR strategy:
Build a Strategy for Each Social Media Channel
Each social media platform has its own audience, choose which one is suitable for your online marketing efforts, and craft an enticing campaign.
While you can use as many platforms as you want to promote your business, its best practices to create different content for each social media site because your audience is most likely different on each platform.
Here’s a brief description of each platform and how you can use it to boost your PR strategy:
- Facebook: With over 1.74 billion active users on this social media platform, Facebook is a powerful tool for promoting organizations, building brand identity and connecting with media outlets. This social media platform is perfect if you want to build strong, more personal relationships. Use groups, mentions and call to actions (CTA’s) to monitor what’s being said about your brand, engage with your audience, and build campaigns.
- Instagram: This internet community is perfect to craft a visual story. A curated grid, cohesive theme, hashtags, and quality content will help you advertise your business, build a community and share your side of the story.
- LinkedIn: This is where professionals connect with each other for networking purposes. Here you’ll be able to meet influential people of various sectors, nurture relationships, and promote brand advocacy.
- Twitter: Its 280 character limit makes it the perfect platform to publicize and break news, highlight events, products, and promotions. Hashtags and retweets can help you promote your brand and easily track the conversation around your brand.
Focus Your Message on Your Audience
Most social media users go online to connect with each other, not to be bombarded with sales posts. How can you interact with your audience without being too self-promotional? Align your goals and online marketing efforts to your customers’ needs, share valuable content that starts conversations and promotes relationships. Encourage contests, giveaways, collaborations, promotions and different online marketing strategies to keep your audience interested in your brand so when you share your business’ news they’re ready to pay attention.
Use Social Media to Build a Relationship With the Press
As PR professionals, we must build and establish rapport with journalists and media outlets so we can get our news out and they can share compelling stories. Social media has a fantastic reach, why not use it to your advantage? Media outlets are always active on social media platforms, this could mean a great opportunity to connect with them. Social media channels are the perfect tool to engage, interact, and see what topics are journalists talking about.
After a relationship is established, you may get press mentions which will significantly attract more visitors to your social media profiles. Be proud of this accomplishment, it’s not easy! Share it on your social media handles and don’t forget to mention the author and news outlet. This will help boost your brand awareness and establish your business as an authority in its field.
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By Alex Rubio
As our Account Director, Alex is bridging the gap between social media and digital marketing. She has more than 10 years of experience in public relations, social media and sports & entertainment sponsorship with major brands including AT&T, General Motors, USAA, Whataburger and the City of San Antonio. Alex graduated cum laude from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations with a minor in Spanish.