Effective use of social media is the not-so-secret weapon in the digital PR arsenal. Everyone knows social media is popular, but the real secret to success is how to leverage social media to amplify and clarify digital PR.
One of the most important benefits of social media to consider is the direct connection. Brands and personalities have an instant one-to-one connection with their prospects, and, better still, it’s a connection the prospects not only tolerate, they encourage and, in many cases choose to seek it out and intentionally engage. Just ask Wendy’s. That brand’s “hot, fresh” Twitter account has fans across the world connected and engaged.
Social media is set up to offer brands excellent metrics for determining the kind of content their customers and prospects are looking for. Generally, the answer to that question is specific to the platform, so brands should be careful not to try a one-kind-fits-all strategy. Those often work great on one platform but bomb badly on others, leaving the brand manager confused as to whether or not the campaign is working. Instead, branch out, vary the message and the delivery system and customize it to the nature of the platform.
Social media, thanks to its diagnostic tools and niche-specific advertising campaigns, allows brands to effectively split test their narratives and messaging, investing in what works and tweaking or ditching what’s less effective. Savvy social media marketers will also pay close attention to what the competition is doing and how it’s working or not working for them. Borrow from their victories and learn from their mistakes.
Remember, though, whatever you do, the cardinal rule is engagement. It’s not enough to get page likes or subscriptions. Social media is only successful if people are using the platform to talk about the brand or discuss its products and services.
So, initiate the interaction while keeping in mind this should be a conversation. Offer information and then ask a question. Present an option and ask for a vote. Discuss general topics of interest related to not just the brand but the industry as a whole. Let the conversation wander a bit sometimes, just be sure to maintain control of the overarching narrative.
When brands find a message that’s working for them on one social media platform, they should tweak it to work on another. Each platform has a different style and users have different expectations. Meet them where they are by creating content they expect to see and interact with on that platform.
And, finally, don’t just jump on, throw up a page, and hope for the best. Have a definitive plan for each specific social media platform and digital PR campaign. Then use proper analytics and careful message control to execute a successful social media digital PR campaign.