Why Public Relations is Now Social Media PR
Public relations is not the same thing it was back in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Due to the rise in Social media, PR work is now a heck of a lot more involved. Social Media PR work includes:
- Social media content creation
- Content Marketing
- Social Media outreach
- Public Relations
- Finding Partnership Opportunities
- Collaboration with Influencers
It used to be that a PR company could put out a press release to their contacts and get back calls and faxes asking to cover their news. Now, it’s all about Social PR.
Public relations was just about that, building relationships with media and industry leaders to help your client brand him/herself. Things have changed. We have some pretty strong tools at our fingertips (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat). The audiences that can be reached are massive. Instead of reading an editorial about your client in a magazine, your audience can now be exposed to the same content in many places and forms.
Strategic partners can be found on social media. After all, everyone is just a tweet or DM away. If you are in PR, you should be taking advantage of Social Media to reach out to and nurture influencers in order to convert them into partners and brand ambassadors.
How can PR Companies Use Social Media
Find Strategic Partnerships: This is now called influencer marketing. Social media is a great place for you to find a person, brand, or business who can collaborate with you to get their audience interested in your client. Whereas in the past you would have secured a spot on Martha Stewart’s show for that brand new blender client, today you will reach out to food influencers on social media to promote your product and to become brand ambassadors. This could include food bloggers, recipe websites, and related products. The issue is that the traditional PR process for finding people to work on strategic partnerships has changed.
In the infancy of social media, follower count was all that mattered. However, we’ve all matured and now we’re focusing on the right thing, not follower count, but ROI. If you want to collaborate with an influencer to help your client with branding and sales, you need someone who must produce content that is of high quality. This content needs to fit your client’s brand. It also needs to speak to your client’s audience. The influencer needs to be able to convert his/her followers into an action for your client. They need to be fully committed to delivering content to serve themselves, their audience, and your client. The influencers you approach should basically already be a brand advocate for your client. They need to have that much affinity with your client’s brand. Do numbers still count? Yes. They do. Numbers mean a larger reach, but numbers only mean something if you can convert them.
First, you need to figure out what social network your influencers hang out. Bridal will probably be on Instagram and Pinterest, photography tends to like Instagram and Google+ (that’s one of the few industries that does well on Plus). Do your research and figure out where they are. Become active here and begin to research the people who are influential here. There are tools you can use to help you find influencers as well such as SmartID shown below. Use these tools, then visually vet your influencers.
Once you have a list of about 10 influencers, begin to engage them. This will vary across social networks, but you can begin by sharing their content (don’t forget an @mention), replying to the content they create, or just by saying hi. As you build a relationship with them on Social Media, you will know when you can directly approach them about that partnership. Check their profile to see if they have specified how they want to be approached (some influencers will make their email public for collaborations). Then reach out and clearly state that you want to discuss a collaboration.
Get Press Coverage For their Clients
Press and bloggers are always looking to social media to find content. Make their job easy. Make sure you stay active on social to give yourself a chance to show up in their feed. Make sure that your content, whatever it may be feels story worthy. Then make sure you engage your targets. This is reverse engineering. You may not already be on their radar, but if you engage them, they will at some point click over to your profile. If you are creating content that is of service to them, they will most likely follow you or bookmark you as a source.
Manage Client’s Reputation
There are some great tools (including Socialdraft alerts) that allow you to track whenever your client is mentioned online. This can both alert you when something is wrong, and alert you when something amazing is said about them so you can amplify it while it is relevant.