The Public Relations industry is one that has evolved the most rapidly over the course of the last decade, with technology advancements like search engines and trends such as social media having a significant impact upon the way that PR is practiced across a vast array of sectors. Social media in particular has developed into a highly regarded and important tool for PR activity.
Punch Communications, a leading PR, Search and Social Media Agency, has indicated a number of reasons why social media is such a vital component of modern PR campaigns:
1. Engagement – In an age where knowledge is free and consumers are much more likely to be acquainted with the products that are relevant to them, brands are no longer able to push messages towards them along the lines of “we are the best” and expect consumers to accept it. Engagement is a key element when it comes to influencing brand perception online, which in turn is the starting base of positive conversation.
2. Conversation – Social media has the potential to be like a fan to the flames of a relevant and interesting story, and as such can have a significant impact on the reach of an article or story. Highlighting news and articles to relevant consumers is a great way of expanding brand reach, whilst also creating online chatter around a subject. Brands should always look to get involved in conversation too, as a means of offering input and improving awareness.
3. Targeting – Reaching out to specific individuals via social networks is a great way of influencing industry leaders and initiating interaction with them. From this, positive relationships can be grown. In general, responding to specific consumers will serve to assure users that there is a human behind the brand, not an automated robot, and in the long term can help in the development of a group of brand advocates.
4. Addressing Issues – One of the best uses of social media is to address any issues that consumers may have with a brand, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. It goes without saying that positive feedback should be met in a positive way, and any users expressing negative sentiments should be listened too and reassured that their problems are being tended too. Social media’s ability to spread conversation is a double edged sword, but often all it takes to switch negative contributions to positive ones is a bit of attention.
5. Crisis – Crisis communications exercises are difficult at the best of times, but social media can play a bit role in measuring how much a crisis has affected users online. At the same time, social networks are a great medium for keeping people updated as to what is going on in a crisis, ensuring a measured process of the dissemination of information.
6. Search Engine Optimisation – The promotion of content through social networks is a great way of generating backlinks to a brand website, be it a blog, news article, video etc. With Google having recently implemented social networking conversation into search results, and the value of links from social networks being high, brands can benefit from significantly increased website traffic from social networks.
Punch Communications is a leading Digital PR agency, with a team of dedicated practioners well versed in both traditional and developing subsets of public relations. Having also established itself as a successful SEO Agency, Punch is currently looking to expand in size, and would encourage any senior account handlers with digital experience to get in touch.
For more information, please visit punchcomms.com, or call 01858 411 600.
This article has been contributed by a PR agency or Press Officer.