PR firms are often asked to help develop a social media presence for their clients. Unfortunately, many of them don’t really understand the differences between social media and other forms of promotion or advertising.
Crafting a Social Media presence within an PR strategy…
Simply transferring advertising and marketing materials to a social media context is a PR strategy that is doomed for failure from the beginning. Don’t make this mistake!
Social media demands something more.
PR firms can help their clients establish a positive social media presence by treating social media as the unique avenue of customer communication that it is.
When establishing an online social media presence for a client, here are some helpful points to remember:
- Respond – In general, we live in a high tech, low touch world. At many companies, even phone calls are not answered personally, but go into an electronic queue. Social media is the opposite of high touch. It gives your client’s client an opportunity to interact (and that can be enough of a distinctive to set them apart).
- Be positive – It’s amazing how many businesses get involved in social media and develop a negative, or whiny, persona. Who would want to do business with someone like that? Encourage your client to make positive comments. In a best case scenario a company should remain positive and not overly defensive even when handling complaints or criticisms.
- Be honest – Nobody loves a phony! Besides, most people can spot a phony. Even if a company gets away with being phony in social media environment for a while the phoniness will eventually be discovered. The PR created by that discovery won’t be good for your client. Tell client to be who they are.
- Reflect the corporate vision – It’s likely that your client’s company already has a corporate vision. Their participation in social media should reflect and complement that vision. For example, if a company is committed to improving the environment, then their social media participation should be a reflection of that commitment.
- Encourage participation – Most of all, social media is perceived as being a “fun” way to communicate. Remember, many people get on Facebook and Twitter to relax. Contests and other unique fun social media promotions can bolster a company’s image and improve brand familiarity. Encourage your client to “think outside the box.”
Social media can be a great PR tool, but only if it’s properly understood and applied.
Is your company using their social media presence to its full potential? Share your thoughts and experiences.