Playing the social media game… continued

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So in my earlier post, I wrote the main few reasons why social media has complicated, or made more interesting, PR professional’s jobs. The shift from one-way to two-way communication has caused practitioners to be much closer to their publics and stakeholders than they used to be. Now, practitioners have to learn how to take advantage of this opportunity that social media (SM) has provided. So in this post, I’ll be focusing on some tips on how to play the game right as a PR professional.

1. Keep track of what the public is saying about the brand and products.
The internet doesn’t sleep and so checking your websites and pages regularly (meaning at least twice a day) is crucial. You don’t want people (your consumers and stakeholders) to be upset about something and having to find out when it’s too late. Which leads me to the next point.

2. SM helps you understand your public’s wants and you now have the chance to ask them directly.
Social media grants you an opportunity to ask publics and stakeholders all over the world what they think and what they want. Don’t be afraid of the answer, be afraid of what you don’t know. It will help you to

3. Handle crisises more efficiently
If there is a crisis at hand, not only will you know of it immediately, you can now rectify it as quickly. SM acts as a medium for you to tell the public what went down and what your next step is going to be immediately, instead of having to wait for it to be broadcasted on television or print. SM helps you to find out issues quickly, get your word out quickly, which means your crisis gets managed quickly too.

4. Engage, create interest, gain trust, spread awareness
Post videos; there’s longevity, it’s more revealing and more entertaining
Post pictures of real people; show there’s an actual person behind the FB and instagram posts
Post regular updates; you will become irrelevant very quickly otherwise
Post questions, ask for opinions and be open to opinions; when there’s not much activity going on, ask a question to create some conversation, the same way you would in real life
– Post your CSR efforts, encourage public to join in with you;  people love to share and be part of a nice story. Similar to the traditional way of informing public, but this time, getting them involved with your company as well. This is where hashtags, tags, shares, likes and comments come in to increase brand awareness and improve brand image

Gayathri K, communications student from Monash University
Image Source: http://mashable.com/2010/07/05/5-social-media-trends/

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