The same way our personal Facebook and Instagram pages are some sort of a digital reflection of who we are, companies are adopting the same idea too. Social media and PR have become increasingly integrated with one another and PR practitioners have readily jumped on the social media bandwagon.
Here are the reasons why:
The main difference between social media and traditional media is obviously the two-way communication social media provides. It cuts out the middle person (a journalist for example), bringing companies and PR practitioners closer to publics and stakeholders, and not just their consumers.
This one-on-one communication allows for immediate positive/negative feedback and creates engagement and conversation between consumers and companies AND consumers and consumers, which traditionally does not occur as easily and quickly. This also means knowing consumers better.
Because social media is so transparent, comments are visible to everyone (which can be a good or bad thing), it is important to stay careful of the posts on social media. No matter the news, it has the ability to spread like wildfire. That is also why it is absolutely crucial that practitioners not only have the know-how aspect of social media but also have a deeper understanding of why certain methods work better than others. For example, understanding the difference between ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ on Facebook, understanding terms like ‘regram’ and how to appropriately use hashtags help to make your social media accounts successful.
Gayathri K, Communication Student at Monash University