Megyn Kelly of NBC News might have asked Prime Minister Modi if he used Twitter. But not many would ask you that today. Today, the question is direct—what’s your Facebook, LinkedIn id or Twitter handle? Social media connects you with your friends, colleagues and even aliens. A mammoth 2.95 billion people are expected to be on social media platforms by 2020. Social media is here to stay. As connectivity improves and the use of smartphones goes up, a larger part of the world population will take to social media platforms to share, discuss and critique. It’s unstoppable.
What started as an individual’s personal space to share with family and friends, has now evolved to envelop businesses, celebrities, government agencies, non-government organisations and a lot more. Hardly an individual or business exists today that is not touched by social media.
Creating content for social media is crucial for success in digital PR. In the past, a PR professional engaged with the newsroom of a media house. Now you create your own digital content through your PR newsrooms. Your clients will use this digital content to reach out to a wider audience for better visibility.
The increasing influence of social media requires PR professionals to use social media platforms to their advantage. Here are 5 things a PR professional can do to fine-tune their social media reach:
Have a finger in every pie
Social Media is all about building relationships by word of mouth. A PR professional must build relationships with the audience and with the media fraternity. Social media platforms make finding contacts effortless, making connecting with the individual a breeze. A simple follow a Twitter account, regularly sharing updates from a specific account can make connecting with the individual that much more easier as he or she will appreciate your move in sharing their content. You can even drop a private message too with a request of making a mention about your content. LinkedIn—a platform for professionals and corporate–is also a right place for building relations. A request to join a group of professionals on a specific subject can give you access to a group that regularly discusses on industry topics.
The widespread following that social media platforms command make them apt for sharing or spreading information. A study conducted by ING on the impact of social media on the activities of PR and journalists found 50 per cent of journalists look at social media as a main source of information. PR professionals looking to attract specific individuals can tag them on Facebook or use the individuals’ or enterprises Twitter handle to get immediate attention.
Be a thought leader
There is an influx of content on social media. But not all information gets consumed. PR professionals must share content that stands out. Sharing thought-provoking industry-related articles on trending topics on networks like LinkedIn can attract the right audience and speaks well for the business. Getting quotes and views from industry experts is another way of creating interest in your content. It also gets shared by the experts in their social media feeds.
The right format
Sharing the content in the right format such as video and slideshows is a must know for every PR professional. In 2015, Facebook boasted of an impressive 8 billion daily video views. Writing short concise articles for followers on Twitter and Facebook can help reach out to a larger audience. Sharing in-depth reports or white papers on platforms like LinkedIn and SlideShare can help attract people from the industry as well as businesses.
Social media must become an organic part of a PR professional’s plan to reach out to a larger audience. Digital PR should have a visible online presence. PR is no more about dissing out press releases to media outlets. It is a constantly evolving world and keeping up with technology is not going to be easy. A good PR adapts to new technology and trends. It is important that every PR professional today embrace the Digital PR in full thrust. He or she must become a part of the conversation itself.