As a small business owner, you want to get some…media coverage. Media relations is the keystone of public relations tactics, and according to a study released by New York based communications firm, StevensGouldPincus, social media has a vital role in boosting the power of media relations. Social media is no longer an after-thought or taking a supporting role in communications campaigns, but is becoming efficiently and effectively integrated into PR strategies. The question is not if businesses should use social media, but why.
3 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Social Media in Your PR Strategy:
1. Instant Communication
One of the most basic benefits of using social media as part of an overall communications strategy is that social media is like the instant coffee of communication. Public Relations is all about establishing a relationship with the company’s targeted and appropriate audience. Social media allows PR professionals to create and maintain that relationship in a more instantaneous way. Ongoing and relevant conversations keep your company’s brand fresh in your customer’s mind and spreads important information quickly and effectively.
Social media is one of the few communications tactics that is quantifiable and measureable. For example, you can measure your brand awareness by how many people Liked your Facebook page, follow your company on Twitter, or follow your Pinterest boards. Further, you can measure your engagement with these fans or followers by looking at how many people post on your page, mention you on Twitter, re-tweet or favorite your tweets, or like or re-pin your pins. In fact, Google has a tool called Analytics which allows users to gauge how much website traffic is being driven by social media, and which particular social media channel is driving traffic.
Social media is particularly effective in creating and maintaining relationships. Just like long lost relatives can connect via Facebook or Skype, or job searchers can connect with recruiters on LinkedIn, social media connects your business with your customers. By creating and maintaining these relationships, companies have the power to inspire their customers, create conversation about the company and its products or services. However, one of the best benefits of social media is when companies respond to a customer’s tweet or post, it makes the customer feel heard, which can create brand loyalty. If you create a relationship with your customers through social media, you are not only creating value for your company, but you are also creating brand loyalty, which has more staying power than traditional communications strategies.
Social media can be seen as a relatively new tactic in communications strategies, but it is clear that social media is here to stay, and is very important to business, from small business to mega-corporations. Social media can not only increase your brand awareness, but it can directly contribute to your profitability. A bonus benefit of using social media is that most sites are available at no cost. Typically, the social sites where your customers live are free. For small business, a low-cost social media communications strategy is very appealing because marketing andadvertising budgets are small, if existent. It doesn’t take much time to set up social media accounts; however, it does take time and strategy to maintain social media sites. For social media to be effective for businesses content must be created; this takes time, planning, and commitment.
With the right social media strategy, a small business can get not some… business.
For More Information:
Social Media Today: Social Media & Media Relations – More Aligned Than We Thought
Social Media Today: Why: The Most Important Question in Social Business