Before digitalization, the Public Relations (PR) industry only engaged with its target audience or consumers through traditional means. Businesses mainly use PR to announce a new product, deal with false rumors, or react to any change in the industry. However, that has now changed significantly after the evolution of social media.
PR professionals can now engage with the public, manage the brand’s reputation, and identify issues that can become significant problems in the long run. Social media has eliminated the walls between the brand and the public.
It allows the brands to communicate their stories quickly, react to any news quickly, and has changed the course of PR. So, how has social media changed PR? And what are the benefits of social media in PR? We’ll discuss all those things in this article.
The primary goal of PR and social media is to communicate your brand’s message to the general public. But with social media, you can deliver your message in real-time, which promotes your message, allowing PR to have a much more significant impact.
The content you publish through news, emails, and PR-related means can have better reach and spread quickly with the help of social media. It also enables you to deliver your message to a much larger audience. Today, billions of people are using social media and accessing information.
So, if you want your PR message delivered quickly and efficiently, you must take advantage of social media. Also, PR is traditionally aimed at investors or business partners to inform them about potential changes.
But social media allows PR professionals to deliver the message to various stakeholders. In a nutshell, PR has become more “accessible” and “friendly” to all business stakeholders due to social media.
Benefits Of Social Media in PR
Now that you know how social media has changed the PR industry let’s go over some of the benefits of social media in PR:
Building a trusting relationship with your customers is vital. Social media in PR allows your brand to deliver all the valuable content to your target audience. It will amplify your message and help you build trust with your consumer base. Also, it allows your brand to increase its authority and credibility.
Besides your social media base, you can also attract investors, business partners, or other relevant groups to help you grow your business. Moreover, PR in social media allows you to find influencers relevant to your industry. They have a large fan following and can help you with your PR efforts.
Helps You Reach a Wider Audience
Word-of-mouth marketing is an old trick in the book that you can leverage through social media. You can connect with your target audience when you post anything on your brand’s social media platforms. But it would help if you strategically use hashtags, paid ads, and other things.
By sharing relevant content, your audience will like to share it on their accounts, allowing your brand to increase its reach and follower count incrementally. Posting PR updates, such as making new announcements, telling about events, etc., on social media allows you to show diverse content.
It also helps you grab the attention of journalists and media houses wanting to cover your brand’s story. So, PR in social media helps you achieve the core objectives of public relations. If you need help presenting your story angles, you can take assistance from a PR consulting company.
Requires a Lower Investment
If you compare the cost of ad campaigns in traditional media and billboards with PR efforts on social media, there is a significant difference. It requires a lower investment for your PR efforts on social media instead on traditional media channels.
Therefore, a much more affordable investment can yield far better results. Paid advertising on social media channels for your PR strategies and tactics to get a better ROI.
Mitigates the Impact of Any Negative News
One of the critical elements of PR is dealing with the crisis. It entails dealing with the news that can adversely impact the brand’s image and reputation. In this digital age, a single tweet or news about your brand can spread like wildfire.
So, relying on traditional PR methods, such as press releases, won’t do the job for you. That is where social media comes into play. It allows you to tell your investors, customers, and other key stakeholders the brand’s point of view about a particular topic.
Most importantly, it will allow you to reach a broader audience quickly. Your response on social media will also attract the attention of journalists and media houses who want to know your views about a topic.
Gives You Measurable Outcomes
Lastly, you should know about the outcome of any business initiative or effort. With traditional PR methods and tactics, tracking overall performance and effectiveness can take time and effort. However, that differs from social media since each platform has specific metrics.
These metrics allow you to get a better idea about the engagement and performance of your posts. Getting measurable outcomes will allow you to determine which strategies work best for you. The relevant PR social media strategies can help you convert leads into customers.
Whether engaging with a PR post or sharing content, every interaction with the customer gets them closer to buying decisions.
Therefore, applying the right strategies can nudge the customers in the right direction.
How Can Public Relations Professionals Use Social Media For Their Advantage?
Social media offers your PR professionals various opportunities, such as identifying brand threats, influencing journalists’ stories, etc. They can leverage the different platforms to their advantage through the following ways:
Word travels quickly through social media platforms such as Twitter. Therefore, PR professionals can use that platform to tell the public about company updates, new product launches, changes in management positions, etc.
They can add a captivating snippet to attract customers to reading their posts. Using social media platforms to make announcements allows professionals to reach a greater audience than traditional forums.
Connect with Influencers and Industry Leaders
Social media influencers today can have a significant impact on the brand’s reputation. Since these media influencers have a huge fan following, brands can use it to promote their products to customers. Brands can share PR packages with influencers to attract their fan following.
Also, having strong relationships with influencers can help you protect your brand reputation. When PR relationships interact with the influencers, they’re adding another line they can use either for their brand’s promotion or save its image in times of crisis.
React to Negative Press
If there is an adverse claim or review about your brand, people will head to social media to learn more about it. Therefore, PR professionals can craft a message to show the company’s perspective and use social media accounts to deliver it quickly.
It will not only allow them to send a message to their stakeholders quickly but also reduce the negative effect of the news.
Moreover, it can also help you grab the journalists’ attention, which leads us to our next point.
Persuade Journalist’s Stories
While people see PR professionals addressing a crisis on social media, most work behind the scenes to influence the brand’s image. Journalists will turn to social media to get an insight into the public’s perspective when any trending news is related to a particular brand.
Therefore, they are more likely influenced by what the general public says about the topic. PR professionals can use this opportunity to join online forums and discussions to sway the journalist’s opinions.
They can use different tactics to influence journalists to present a certain angle. While the results won’t be precisely the same as what PR professionals want, they can still use social media to influence the public and journalists’ opinions.
Learn Potential Threats
Lastly, the most critical thing for PR professionals is to know the potential threats that can escalate in the future. PR professionals can understand about public’s opinion about a particular topic before it becomes trending. They can proactively identify online threats and prevents a significant brand reputation crisis.
Social Media in Public Relations - The Bottom Line
Social media in PR can help businesses protect and promote the brand’s reputation and image. When PR and marketing teams work together on social media, the brand can enjoy various benefits, such as higher credibility, trusting relationships with customers, better engagement, and much more. You can also contact a reputable firm like Los Angeles PR for assistance.