Here's a scenario: Another new social media platform is out and everyone is jumping onboard. You're tempted to as well. But, should you?
Will that move be part of your public relations key success factor?
When it comes to leveraging on social media for public relations success, it is essential to always go back to the basics of the five Ws – Who, What, Where, When, Why.
In a world that is making so much noise with the abundance of information floating around, your potential audiences no longer want plain blunt information about you anymore. They want to know your story in order to decide if they will establish a relationship with you.
#1 Decide Where to Tell Your Story
Today's media markets are characterized by high instability and audiences that are fickle, restless and fragmented. This is exceptionally so on social media platforms because almost everyone wants to be heard. However, it is not a bad thing at all.
Nonetheless, how do you determine if a social platform is for you or not?
There are many tools available to facilitate you in conducting a social media audit. Once you have conducted your social media audit, decide which platform works best for you and find your target audience in there.
This addresses the following questions:
• Where are you going to tell your story?
• Who is your target audience?
• Why will they listen to you?
While it is tempting to jump on every single platform in order to maximize outreach, it is also essential to understand if it is worth the investment of your time. Apart from that, focusing on only a few platforms ensures better social media ROI as well as audience relationship management.
#2 Design Your Approach Based On Data
Consistency is the key to positioning yourself comfortably and well among your target audience on different platforms.
In order for your target audience to remember you, avoid falling out of sight from a busy timeline that is constantly loaded with information. Knowing what and when to share is the key to keeping them interested in what you have to say – all of which can be found in consolidated data.
This addresses the following question:
• Who among the audience are influencers?
• When is the best time to disseminate information in order to maximize my outreach; especially to the influencers?
• What kind of content creates engagement?
Despite the number of studies conducted on the behaviour of social media users, it is essential to remember that every target audience has their own set of characteristics and behaviours. It is all about doing the right thing at the right time and using social media data in order to get closer to your audience.
#3 Create a Two-Way Communication
When it comes to leveraging on social media for public relations success, Starbucks deserves a standing ovation for its transparency on social media and the way they engage with their audience.
Using social media is the easiest and most effective way to invite your audience on a journey with you. Like any other relationship, maintaining a relationship with your audience requires an effective two-way communication.
Creating a two-way communication with your audience not only builds an association with your brand but also addresses some of the following questions:
- What is the audience’s level of engagement with my brand?
- What will encourage them to tell their story?
- What will encourage them to tell my story?
- What can I do to enhance their experience?
- Why is this relationship important to me and to my audience?
As the name ‘social media’ has it, social is a key aspect of bringing that human touch in order to keep a relationship alive even if it is a media platform. Not only does it help you to understand your audience, it also helps you to understand yourself and your brand better.
Establishing a successful relationship with your audience on social media is no less different than entering a new market. Try not to aim to make noise in an already noisy world. Instead, aim to tell a story and get your audience to tell you theirs.
Also, do not be afraid to be creative with using social media!