Aligning your PR and social media strategies helps to make your PR activity stronger and more impactful because social media allows a business to amplify it’s message in real-time. This means that content published via news releases and other PR related means can live longer, spread faster and reach further.
As the functionality of social media channels improves and new platforms are launched there are ever greater opportunities to professionally showcase your business, engage and interact with target audiences, and efficiently amplify your business message. Using social media in alignment with PR helps engender an intuitive awareness of your brand, leading many to consider a PR strategy incomplete without a social media strategy incorporated within it.
So, why should your business align its PR and social media?
Establish a community
From the moment a business first publishes its online profile, the brand immediately becomes the centre of its own digital community. As this digital community grows, so does the potential impact of your posts in the real world when it comes to winning new customers and building advocates.
Each new post encourages engagement with the content published, garnering clicks and likes that help to build relationships with this burgeoning community as well as growing follower numbers for your social media pages.
Regularly posting to your social media channels is key to ensuring that your brand stays relevant and continues to grow its audience. It is also important to make sure the posts meet the needs and interests of your online community and are consistent.
Using social media as a PR tool is a highly effective and low-cost way to build a community and frequently engage with them in real-time. Posting great content will help to grow your community further as followers will be more likely to share your content with others.
Humanise the brand
So if it is important to post great content regularly to establish a community, what then makes content great for your social channels? Invariably it is content that shows the human side of your business, allowing your online community to further identify with your brand.
Sharing photos of team members, office life, or projects outside of the normal day to day business function gives your community deeper insights into the business, helps to build trust, and brings them closer to the brand.
Businesses who create an online presence that is interactive and fun while providing relevant, insightful content feel relatable and therefore approachable, encouraging engagement with the brand via social channels and ultimately, sales channels.
Utilising social media to humanise your business, allows prospective and existing customers to get to know the people behind your business, making the brand greater, more about personality and values, not just product and service, thus building trust and connection.
Amplify the business message
A good PR strategy should stimulate awareness of your brand and carry messaging that builds brand reputation and trust. This includes social media channels.
With an online community established and open to hearing what your brand has to say, it is important that the content you post carries consistent messaging aligned with the overall PR strategy so that the audience doesn’t encounter differing messaging across different media.
However, what social media channels do allow is for a brand to present this messaging in a potentially more engaging, interactive way.
Practical examples include the freedom to create more visual multimedia content, either directly via the brand or using influencers. A brand can join groups and engage in wider discussion, while disseminating information quickly and easily.
Monitor and Finesse
It is important to stay informed about the performance of your social media activity by keeping up to date with the engagement of your pages. Has your business message come across effectively? Is your online community growing and interacting with your brand? Are you building a trusting two-way relationship by offering open, engaging, and insightful content? Looking at competitors’ content and their social media performance will allow you to identify areas of weakness and strength and adapt accordingly.
Aligning your social media strategy with the wider PR strategy will help to grow your online presence and engage new and existing customers, building a community of like-minded advocates who are open to engaging with the community and your brand. A larger community means a greater awareness of your messaging and values, enhancing reputation and increasing sales.