PR and social media fall in the same category as Fred and Ginger, Ant and Dec, Edina and Patsy. When they’re done well, they work in harmony and can produce a whole host of results. And like all great partnerships, one of them can help leverage the other. We’re constantly talking about the two working in tandem and the most common question that we continue to get asked is: “Should I, as a brand, be active on social media and which platform is right for me?”
The answer to those questions comes down to what you want to gain from social media and how it can enhance your PR efforts. Of course, you might think that having profiles on every social media platform out there might help but, in fact, it’s the opposite. The most important thing to remember is being active and remaining consistent with your posting. To do that, we usually suggest doing one well instead of trying to juggle multiple profiles and doing a poor job.
To help give you a little insight into which platforms might be the most beneficial for your brand, we’ve listed the big four and what they could do to help:
Although this is one of the OGs in the digital sphere, it’s usually the first one that people forget. It could just be the one that fits your brand perfectly. A recent stat actually shows that 90 million small businesses are using Facebook and, because of its free tools such as Pages, Groups and Messenger, it might well be your saving grace. It’s perfect for distributing your own content, developing your brand voice and sharing any secured PR coverage.
In the world of social media, Twitter is a vintage platform and, just like Facebook, is often overlooked. For PR, it’s a valuable tool. When you’re looking for a reporter to pitch your story to, Twitter should be your first port of call. It’ll give you a good indication of the topics that certain journalists prefer and how best to contact them. It’s also usually the most common platform that journalists request responses for features or stories that they’re working on #journorequest.
This is usually the one that B2B brands turn to straight away. If it’s not for the user-friendly interface, the ability to take part in group conversations or its professional space for sharing content, it’s the ease of connecting with like-minded business individuals that makes it so attractive. It’s a platform that allows for sharing your own website content, as well as publishing from the site itself, and really maximising the reach into your own network.
With the ever-increasing popularity of this photo-sharing app, it’s always one that brands think they have to get on board with. We agree to a certain extent, but if your content isn’t visual then it’s almost entirely pointless. If you think Instagram is your thing, however, you can create your own visual content, whether it’s quotes, stats or coverage, as well as great photos. Remember, if it’s not enough to make people double-tap or click the “link in bio”, then is it really worth it?
These social media platforms and others like YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok have varying benefits and bring different elements to your business strategy. What they can all do, however, is help with sharing coverage, making valuable connections and utilising your network to your advantage. Sharing a link or creating a short burst of information for your followers might be the kickstart that sends your coverage viral – or at least, starts a conversation. This is the level of engagement we strive for with our PR campaigns.
So, to answer the two questions from the beginning of this post; yes to social media, be active, but make sure you pick the right platform. Start with one, ensure that it fits perfectly into your PR strategy and do it well. When you’re comfortable with handling that, introduce more. But remember that they too need to work within your overall strategy.
More importantly, make sure that the content is yours to keep. If the platform were to go down tomorrow – RIP Vine – you wouldn’t want to lose everything!