By combining your public relations efforts with social media, you have the unique opportunity of spreading your message much further than you could by focusing on one method and not the other.
What makes it unique is the direct contact you have with the audience – no intermediaries, no press, nobody to dictate the rules but you.
Using social media to amplify your marketing message is only one aspect of this great set of marketing tools.
Social media platforms also provide experienced PR firms with a unique opportunity that wasn’t readily available before.
What’s the opportunity that we’re talking about? It’s the ability to listen to your customers in real time.
By simply listening to what your social media followers have to tell you, PR specialists can learn about their audience. They can find out what moves them, entices them, and what keeps them awake at night.
This information is invaluable to PR teams all across the world.
And when you use it correctly, you’ll know the exact stories to place because your audience will tell you.
As far as content is concerned, public relations experts are in a unique position of being on the forefront of the narrative being shared online. They are creating stories and sharing content that the world will respond to in one way or another.
So, it’s imperative for PR firms to tell the right stories. And they have to hit all the right notes in order to achieve a lasting impact.
What are the right types of stories to tell?
Again, this all comes down to your social media audience. They dictate the direction of your content whether you like it or not.
If there’s a specific news story in the public eye that your audience is responding to, you should certainly begin telling stories about that topic.
For example, if your client is Plumfund, who is well-known for their hearty crowdfunding campaigns and one of the campaigns manages to help a family go on a travel around the world. Or a small community gets a new park they’ve been fighting for for years.
This news will probably go itself into the ether, but you need to jump on that positive bandwagon and push the story further.
And if you place a story that no one responds to, it’s time to readjust your strategy and begin listening to your social media contacts and really hear what they have to say.
The easiest way to improve your chances of receiving general media coverage is to begin interacting with the media community at large.
Ultimately, you should start using social media – especially Twitter – to interact with reporters, bloggers, and journalists.
Since these people are the biggest influencers, it makes sense to interact with them and help them as often as possible. By doing so, you increase your PR firm’s chances of being on a major influencer’s radar when the time comes to return the favor.
Using social media to track influencers is also another powerful way to improve your general coverage.
Social media sites make it easier than ever to follow important influencers in your industry.
By looking at their content, and seeing what stories they are developing, you can use this information to your advantage to pitch helpful and relevant story ideas that could generate additional coverage for you or your clients.
If you’re going to make it in the PR game, you have to start using social media monitoring at a professional level.
Monitoring conversations taking place on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it possible to engage with your customers and respond when appropriate.
However, the greatest opportunity presented by social media monitoring is the ability to step in during a crisis situation.
If your company or client is under attack and being portrayed in a negative light, you can respond by telling your side of the story with transparency and honesty.
This will keep the public informed of your position and help put out any fires before they grow too far out of control.
Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.