Though public relations and social media are two unique forms of marketing, there are methods that can fuse these two efforts together to generate notable results to enhance your organization's brand.
It is important to continuously find ways to make the most out of your online presence. By merging social media and PR strategy together, you can do just that.
The methods behind PR and social media are undoubtedly different on their own, but share the goals of relationship and reputation management are essentially the same. These two marketing efforts can easily be intertwined to get proper return on investment and essential audience engagement.
So, how come PR and social media can sometimes seem to be so out of sync?
Well, for one, social media is evolving quickly. What used to be just a place for person-to-person communication, is now an essential marketing and outreach tool that can help inform and ultimately sell the audiences you're trying to reach.
In fact, social media can also target a much larger audience than PR on its own. You want to resonate with consumers in a way that feels authentic and meaningful.
While PR can present your brand or company more formally and traditionally, social media is a form of public outreach that can be done in conversational and even humorous tones.
This is where social media ties in so nicely. Each has its upside, but both are about positive outreach.
Social media is one of modern public relations' most powerful tools.
Traditional PR revolves around finding and targeting traditional influencers like "the press," which obviously includes digital content creators.
Social PR also uses niche targets: influencers. Social media is an essential communication conduit for engaging industry thought leaders. Tweets and messages are a direct connection far more effective than an emailed press release.
PR technology makes it easier than ever to identify and reach the social influencers who can spread your message to a specific audience, not to mention the infinitely broader world wide web community of potential sharers.
Brands cannot live on social media alone.
While increasing awareness and sales is an awesome (and necessary) goal, it can be a bit broad when attempting to achieve it through social media alone. To see valuable results, take those same objectives and turn it into something quantifiable.
How many people are talking about your business on social media? How much is your message being shared? Are you seeing significant web traffic increases? This information will serve as valuable insight, and help you continue to build on your efforts.
Leverage the benefits of PR and social to amplify results.
Social media goes far beyond you, your employees and your friends. Social media and PR can complement one another while each is used in specific ways.
In public relations, the hope is to gain positive press and notoriety around your brand. Many of these PR wins are significant in terms of brand-building and awareness of products, services and capabilities.
This is especially true when a high quality publication highlights your release. However, the results depend on a third party, the media outlets.
On the other hand, social media can be used in a more continuous and proactive way. Social platforms can promote your business and get the word out there without any waiting for the media to bite at your pitches or sending out lengthy emails.
With PR and social media combined, you are approaching your outreach in two ways.
Practicing the most basic social media tactics not only allows you to share your story, but it also allows the opportunity to pre-promote it. The cool thing about social media is that anyone involved in a given event, campaign or whatever it is you’re trying to push, has the ability to share it.
Social media and public relations efforts are one in the same.
Both PR and social media focus their efforts on brand awareness, credibility and image enhancement. Social media can help to amplify PR efforts, while in turn, PR can help generate social media coverage.
The important thing is to remember is that each is a form of outreach. When doing social media, sometimes put on your PR hat. When doing PR, think about how you can also use social media to amplify your message.
Too often, PR and social media can seem to be disconnected. But, if you know how to merge them properly, you can achieve some impressive results.