There is no denying it the social media revolution is well and truly upon us. It has changed the way we interact with friends, family, clients and strangers. With the PR industry no exception, now more than ever practitioners must ensure they are on the band-wagon to ensure they build and maintain relationships.
Before concluding on this topic of social media in the PR industry, let’s recap my two previous blog post.
• Blog 1– explored the comparisons between traditional PR communication and how the introduction of web 2.0 changed the interaction between PR practitioners, publics and their stakeholders.
• Blog 2– focused on the evolution of the PR practitioner and their role within a social media dominated industry. Paying particular attention to the current Oscar Pistorius trial and the role his PR team are having in communicating key events from the trial via twitter.
It is fairly apparent that social media has influenced the role of PR practitioners and altered the way they interact with the public and stakeholders. This has happened through transformation of their communication into a two way stream; making practitioners more responsible and accountable for their actions. However, why use social media? What are some of the benefits? Just how many people actually use it?
Social Media can provide better customer service, as feedback and responses can be instant. It can also help PR practitioners build their clients brand or image and create a point of differs from their competitors. Another benefit of social media is that it allows the PR practitioner to obtain real client insight as feedback can be immediate.
There is no arguing with the stats, the social media community is vast. With such large numbers of online users PR practitioners would be stupid not to utilise the multiple social media platforms. As of March 2014 the figures for online use in Australia were as follows:
• Facebook- 13,200,000
• Youtube- 12,600,000
• WordPress- 6,300,000
• Twitter- 2,500,000
• Instagram- 1,600,000
So it’s all good and well to outline how social media has changed the way PR practitioners interact with their publics and stakeholders and why they should engaged in this revolution. However, if social media isn’t used successfully then the effects can be detrimental.
Effective Management is vital to online success, with many tools available to help with online monitoring. Although here are some simple steps one can take to ensure their online content is helping not hindering.
• Be immediately responsive
• Make sure their talking about the specific client/brand
• Don’t be defensive if there negativity
• Go where the conservations are
Finally, make sure that the social media platform utilised is the right one for the client. There is no point uploading fileted, vintage photos to Instagram if the client thinks it’s apart of the metric scale. Relevance is key.
Let me know your thoughts on this or any of my other blog posts with a comment below.