If I flashback to my childhood I can recall my mum on multiple occasions deliberating to me “If you don’t stop eating potatoes you will turn into one!”. This got me thinking long and hard; what are the ramifications for public relations professionals if they don’t stop misusing or being sporadic with their social media content management? The reality is that misuse of social media in the long term can have negative impacts on your business, including damaging your brand image and relationships with key publics.
As Public Relations (PR) professionals it is our job to be excellent communicators. We are given core responsibilities from clients, that is to manage their social media content. Before managing their content, we need a depth of understanding that social media brand image is much more influential, and global than any advertorial brand message will ever be.
Case example – Celeb Boutique:
On July 20, 2012 the international Public Relations company that managed the social media content at Celeb Boutique identified that #Aurora was trending on Twitter, and decided to respond by encouraging purchase of their “Kim Kardashian” ‘Aurora’ inspired dress. To their surprise, the #Aurora trend was not about their dress, but the horrific 2012 Aurora Colorado cinema shooting.
Not long after, a storm of backlash appeared all over Twitter – with the post deleted within one short hour. Now, the question is how does the content team that manages a brand with over 90,000 Twitter followers and 190,000 Instagram followers simply get it wrong? The answer is simple – a lack of quality research put into the content they deliver.
This innocent mistake ensured Celeb Boutique received negative backlash across their Twitter page, and the mistake was featured in the news for a good couple of months afterwards. No comments were made by Celeb Boutique or their PR representatives to what impact this mistake had on their image and ultimately, sales. It can be assumed however that due to the negative conversation created surrounding their brand, that it wouldn’t have been positive.
How to manage social media content successfully:
I recently discussed the ramifications of the social media revolution and it’s impact on the Public Relations profession here. However it is one thing for me to dictate the importance of social media on the PR profession, and another to help facilitate the effective implementation. This post endeavours to help PR professionals by exhibiting key factors that can build better social media content management.
Creating positive social media brand image and rewarding relationships isn’t just about creating an account; just because your on social media doesn’t mean you are making waves. Social media is a competitive landscape, you have to fight through competitive market clutter for the attention of your publics. Below you will find a series of tips which have been collated to advocate against misuse of social media; each one influences effective social media strategy and can competitively change the game for PR professionals and their clients.
1. Know who your audience is – segmentation
2. Choose your platforms wisely – visual versus content
4. Create a community of “insiders” – Fans that will become influencers for your clients products and brand
5. Do not just deliver one-way communication – Ask questions and engage in conversation and discussion
7. Social media is 24/7 – Social media never sleeps and neither do the voices behind it, be mindful of this
Clients social media pages need to break through the competitive clutter, be enjoyable and offer the targeted publics something engaging. Social media is an advantageous, daunting tool which if effectively stimulated via two-way communication can bring prosperous returns for your clients image, relationships and sales.
How relevant do you find the seven tips above? Leave me a comment below - By Shelby Redmond