Long before there was TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and even Twitter, The Facebook (original moniker), MySpace and AOL chat were being used by Xennials (those of us on the cusp between Gen-X and Millennials). Though it may not have always been referred to as “social media” these web-based services were first designed to be just that – platforms by which individuals could connect, socially. But, by opening to businesses and more, social media has certainly evolved. As such, we’re finding, globally, that PR Pros use social media to a much greater level.
Does Social Media Benefit B2C Interactions?
On a broad scale, social media’s biggest advantage to a company is increased brand awareness and identity. Brands with an active social presence often have the jump on their competitors; and are generally more well-favored than those that don’t. The more a brand posts, and the more people with whom the content resonates, the higher the relevancy on a platform – thus driving the post to an even wider breadth of people.
This is important because, more eyes on a topic usually mean a greater chance of sales. It also means that your news is reaching audiences at a much faster speed. Though you do still want to distribute your news to media outlets in order to reach NEW audiences, posting announcements on social platforms ensures that your current fan-base is the first “on the scene” of the news. By following a brand’s page, audiences are effectively ensuring they hear about new gear, technology or events before the rest of the world. Think of it as having a bunch of virtual roadies!
That said, you always want to make sure your messaging is consistent. Putting a brand’s PR rep at the wheel of its social and digital management is the perfect way to ensure the media, customers and dealers/distributors are all receiving the same information, albeit across a variety of mediums.
Each Platform Has its Own Niche.
The old faithful, Facebook, for instance, has cornered the market on “Groups” and “Events.” Though initially developed as a way for individuals to invite people to gatherings and for like-minded people to have chat rooms to discuss a topic, public relations professionals found a way to capitalize on these features. We now see “groups” for brands being used in a similar fashion to an online forum, though, perhaps with faster response time. The “events” function now provides a professional benefit – alerting customers, dealers and more to regional sales presentations or trade shows, among other things.
Additionally, platforms like Snapchat and Instagram use short video clips to give customers a quick glimpse into a brand. Another great benefit of Instagram is that it’s an incredibly visual platform. This is especially good news for brands in our markets – live performance, broadcasting, TV/film, music, etc – that rely on visual aides on a regular basis. By showcasing its products in tangible applications, a brand can effectively help customers visualize their own use of the gear.
Speaking of videos, most social platforms now offer a “live” feed application, which can be used for long-format press conferences, virtual tutorials, chats with artists, and more. With budget always a top consideration for brands and production houses alike, these live videos offer a cost-effective way to connect on a personal level, without the need for overhead travel costs.
What About Professional Connections?
For more B2B-type interactions, the end-all be-all is, of course, LinkedIn. The creators of this platform certainly had a vision for what LinkedIn should be, and they’ve developed it into the largest (virtual) networking event on the planet. Whether looking for employees to add to a team or dealers/distributors with whom to collaborate, LinkedIn is packed with a wealth of professional resources.
LinkedIn is also a great way for public relations reps to showcase a brand’s knowledge within an industry, or on a specific topic. White papers, case studies and even video tutorials are just some of the ways brand’s can share their familiarity of a subject matter. A lot of these types of resources can be shared on other digital platforms as well – a company’s website or Facebook page might be beneficial.
Strategically Implement Social into PR Efforts
Whether a brand offers one product/solution, or one-thousand, effective communications is always the key to success. Though a brand may have an entirely different team dedicated to its website development and SEO, the social media efforts put forth by the PR rep will provide search query benefits as well.
Consistent messaging, vibrant visuals, continued communications and leveraging live applications are just some of the ways that PR and social are one-in-the-same. What’s more, with a strategic plan in place, it’s guaranteed that PR Pros use social media to their advantage.
If you are looking for a comprehensive PR plan, complete with social media management, please contact our team today.