A growing number of public relations firms now provide social media management. Do they (or you) know how to use social media to best serve your customers?
A strong public relations firm, especially one planning to offer social media services to customers, must know how to properly use these platforms.
Make sure these six items are in place before you get started.
- Be receptive to the feedback of your target market.
- Make sure your brand is always consistent.
- Recognize the importance of quickness.
- Prepare for the worst on social media.
- Take extreme caution while using hashtags.
- Keep an eye on your return on investment from social media.
Heed what the crowd is saying
In order to understand how the public feels about a brand, a smart public relations firm must first listen to its customers.
A brand’s public relations strategy can’t be formulated before the situation is understood.
One of the greatest ways to achieve this is to search for mentions of your brand on various social media platforms and online discussion boards.
For larger organisations, it is essential to invest in services like Meltwater, which track internet mentions, but doing so may be costly. Every day in the United States alone, there are 2.1 million unfavourable social remarks about businesses.
To keep tabs on the conversations happening about your clients online, you’ll need at least one employee for your company’s larger brands.
Develop Consistency in Your Brand
Everything from its logo’s colour and typography to its tone of voice on social media is part of this. According to BopDesign, a company’s message and tone account for 45% of its overall brand perception.
You have an obligation as a public relations firm to defend this kind of brand stability. Your varied clientele all have their own unique flair. This is shown in the company’s social media presence and customer service.
Consider Coca-Cola, a brand whose name and logo are instantly recognisable everywhere. The CEO of Coca-Cola has budgeted $4.3 billion for brand promotion in 2016!
But don’t let the word “consistency” put you off because you fear it will limit your creativity on social media. The reality is that this opens the door to additional successful campaigns and almost definitely a larger social media following.
Recognize the importance of quickness
When pitching journalists and creating content, public relations firms realise that time is of the essence. Even quicker is the speed on social media, where 42% of users anticipate a response within 60 minutes, and this number rises to 72% if the user has lodged a complaint.
Rapid unhappiness can grow if action isn’t taken soon.
In order to prevent a social media breakdown, public relations firms should underline the significance of social media communication to their customers.
Since social media monitoring is distinct from social media management, PR firms should make it clear what is and is not included in their terms of service.
Someone else should be addressing customer inquiries via social media if you aren’t. Responding to feedback, whether positive or negative, is an integral part of social media, as is simply saying “hello” to followers.
Prepare for a social media crisis
The laws of social media catastrophes aren’t always followed, so it’s possible that yours will break while you’re still celebrating a successful workday with a martini in hand. According to Murphy!
In light of the Volkswagen controversy that unfolded last year, it is clear that public relations catastrophes may quickly spread throughout the internet via social media. The article concerning the flawed emissions testing came revealed on September 18th. At 8:49 in the morning, the first tweet was sent out, and by the end of the day, more than 53,000 tweets had been sent out.
The story really took off during the weekend, and over the next seven days, there were an average of almost 8,000 tweets per hour about it. This was an increase of 100,000 tweets per day compared to what the firm was previously seeing.
Now, as a public relations firm, what would you do if faced with that figure? Having a social media crisis strategy ready is crucial in the event of a public relations crisis.
Some components of your strategy may be:
- Greater vigilance over every kind of social media
- Contact info in case of emergencies and email addresses to use while the office is closed
- Who to contact if a key decision maker or spokesperson is unavailable
- What methods of transmission will be utilised
- A pool of available social media specialists to call on during times of need
Examine the Return on Investment from Social Media
One of the most crucial things for a public relations firm to keep in mind is its clients’ return on investment (ROI). If you send out invoices at the end of each month, you’ll need evidence that your efforts during that month contributed to the company’s bottom line.
Increases in website traffic (64%), social media engagement (61%), and social media followers (59%) are the top three metrics utilised by PR professionals to demonstrate the effectiveness of their social media efforts. Some of the metrics that might be included in such a report are: the number of new fans, the number of impressions made, the number of shares made, the click-through rate of the campaign, the cost (cost per click).
However, most CEOs don’t want to spend hours poring over pages of papers, and some of them still doubt the efficacy of social media as a marketing tool. That’s why it’s so important for your reports to be clear, short, and focused on helping the firm achieve its objectives.
Put a lot of thought into your use of hashtags
So many public relations firms blunder because they choose inappropriate campaign hashtags.
When you create a hashtag for your business, campaign, or brand, you provide your customers a way to talk to you in public. Positive exposure for your brand is always welcome, provided that you’ve nailed the execution.