Why PR is better than marketing: the social media edition.
I am not writing this post to accent any feelings about marking professionals, I am simply trying to exert that you don’t go to an electronic store for clothing.
Social media can be an excellent tool in building a reputation within psychographic communities. But there are some rules, just like everything. This week at my internship we’ve touched upon clients’ wants to be on Facebook and Twitter, because they think they should be. But should these highly technical companies be Facebook and Twitter, or other social media sites?
Not every social media outlet is applicable for your business. Don’t try to go to a social media platform and hope to gain followers; go to social media platforms where potential customers already are. With some research you should be able to figure out which social media outlets, if any, a company should be participating in. So if the research shows that the target audiences you wish to reach are not active in specific online communities, give it up don’t start a social media site you won’t maintain. Perhaps in the future a shift will occur and you’ll be able to jump on the bandwagon. But you have to make sure you hop on, on the right foot.
If social media turns out to be for you, congrats, but you can never turn back. Know from the get-go that creating a Facebook fan page, a Twitter page and what ever else does not equal obtaining instantaneous followers. There are so many tactics one can execute at this stage (and you’d have to hire me to get the full effect ;)), but let’s touch on the basics.
Brand your pages, you want your potential customers to know who you are no matter what page they are viewing. Provide relevant and interesting content; this often requires linking to longer articles (that your company can provide or industry relevant news). Engage individuals, comment back, ask questions… you get the idea. Listen to what people are saying. This particular piece can go a long way. If you are not listening, you are able to identify trends, potential problems, etc. as well.
Do not initiate a social media outlet if you are not up to doing it and doing it well. Social media is not only strategic, but also time-consuming and time sensitive. If you are interested in reading further, this post from the Social Media Examiner is a good reference. Hopefully you’ve learned from this blog that PR’s tie to relationship building and communication trumps the markers aspect… on the social media front. Say it don’t spray it.