I recently participated in a PRSA Webinar that discussed the 7 essential social media techniques for success in public relations, and I thought it would be beneficial for me to share what I learned:
- Listen – one important facet of social media that many people tend to overlook is listening. You get so caught up in what you are creating and promoting that you forget to read (listen) to what the consumers are saying. Social media has opened up an whole new world of customer feedback, and if you are really trying to connect with your consumers, you will listen to what they are saying and alter your product accordingly.
- Incorporate customer service into social media – this step is like the first step taken to a new level. It’s great to listen to what consumers are saying in cyberspace, but it’s even better to provide them with a forum to communicate. Create a complaint board on your Web site where customers can express their problems and you can quickly respond to tell them what you will do to correct it. It’ll definitely boost consumer confidence in your product.
- Embrace spokespeople – word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing and public relations. So, if you find that your company has a devout customer that isn’t exactly in your target audience, embrace them. They can bring a whole new demographic to your brand and increase awareness of your product.
- Create content and syndicate – use a blog to announce corporate news, and do what you can to get people to your blog. You can create a commercial that doesn’t give complete information about a promotion, and then tell them to visit your blog for details. Also, post your news to as many online industry publications as possible with links back to your blog. This is an effective way to bring more attention to your Web site.
- Write in real time – one great thing about posting news online is that it is instantly published. It is no longer necessary to be vague with dates since you are writing your story months before it is published. People are interested in major current events, so make sure you mention them on your news site; it will draw more visitors that may not have even found your Web site in the first place.
- Be part of circular media – this step emphasizes the new relationship you now have with the media. By creating your own content and publishing your own news, you are now a member of the media – a journalist. This makes it easier to empathize with reporters and other media when you interact with them. To sum it up, be considerate of the media now that you can understand their profession a little better.
- Reinvent measurement – this one is really important. When analyzing the numbers, you need to remember that it isn’t about the most, it’s about the best (marketing relevance). It really does you no good to have 5,000 visitors if none of them are interested in your product. Analyzing the results of a social media campaign is much more than the number of hits – it is also which pages of your Web site are most popular, how long visitors are staying on each page, how most visitors are finding your site, etc. One thing is for sure, mRELEVANCE can make this last step much easier by analyzing your tracking reports and making sure you are targeting the right audiences with the right messages.