In Part 1, M2.0 Communications explained why Public Relations and Social Media should be integrated. We continue our 3-part series with 5 advices on integration that results in success.
Consumers have changed. They are spending more time with online media than other traditional forms. Our smartphones are always an arm's length away and have become our go-to devices for news, entertainment, and social networking.
Marketing to them needs to change too. Many companies are still stuck in the belief that social media and public relations are separate marketing strategies. They're losing out on important opportunities to build their brands, and create advocacy and customer loyalty through PR-social integration.
Here are five ways to ensure you maximize your PR and social media campaigns through an integrated approach:
1. Make sure your PR agency has social media capabilities and vice versa
Many companies suffer unnecessarily under the misconception that social media and public relations are two different functions. They are not. Social media is a natural extension of PR.PR is about communicating, offering news and interesting content to your target audience. Social media uses a similar messaging strategy but translates it to direct consumer engagement with real-time response.
Splitting social media from PR and approaching it as two different strategies is dangerous. Companies make the mistake of delegating the tasks to two different teams or agencies. Unfortunately, the strategy is flawed as the two may pursue widely different strategies that damage the overall campaign. Social media and PR must work together to be effective.
2. Get the most out of your blogger and influencer partnerships
Bloggers and social influencers pull with consumers are increasing daily. Brands need to work with agencies that are experienced in blogger relations to maximize their reach and ROI.
One of the most powerful tools we implement for our clients is integration of social media campaigns with blogger outreach. Bloggers review our clients' products on their own social media platforms, which are subsequently amplified on our clients' social media.
3. The story needs to be short and powerful
Your message will stay with your fans if it is short and powerful. Consumers are constantly scanning posts and discounting the ones that don't get to the point quickly. A catchy headline or a powerful image will grab the most attention.
Use discretion when choosing content.Don’t overwhelm your fans via over posting and over messaging. Make your brand synonymous with high-quality content that followers will look forward to reading. Readers are already turned off by trivial, uninteresting information in traditional media; the social media audience is the same. They deserve top-quality content.
4. Strategies should complement, not compete, with each other
One unified message in all channels is ideal. Your PR campaign should march in step with your strategic social media plan. By reinforcing each other, they can generate the loudest and most meaningful buzz for your brand.
When developing plans for the coming year, a brand's social and PR strategy should be developed in an integrated way after an overarching marketing strategy in line with business goals. Social media has become an extension of PR and is no longer a separate platform that can be handled in isolation.
5. Be patient
PR and social media are not quick fixes but long-term campaigns within the framework of your marketing strategy. It takes four to six months for a campaign to reach maturity and achieve results. Despite the advantages of technology, customer engagement requires time. It needs to build momentum. A campaign can't be as effective in two months as it can in six.
It's critical to work with agencies that have a great proven track record in building brands over time: they understand the value of long-term campaigns that lead to enhanced brand perception.
The integration of social media and public relations can be an amazing tool to propel your brand forward. By integrating PR with social media, you're forging different paths of brand interaction and engaging customers where they are. You develop the capability to reiterate your message across various platforms. When you start PR-social media integration, you'll be blown away by its effectiveness.
What happens when PR and social media combine? Read examples of PR-social media magic in Part 3.