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Public Relations as a function has been around for almost a hundred years.  However, over the years, the PR landscape has constantly evolved and undergone a series of changes. The latest is the addition of social media as a tool to complement traditional PR efforts.

Like PR, social media has also constantly evolved. It has gone from being a tool merely to share photos and personal updates, to being a critical component of just about any function, including marketing and PR. As a business owner (or as an employee of the business), there are many ways in which social media can complement your marketing and PR efforts and in turn give your business a boost.

Here are some points to consider if you would like to explore the benefits of social media as part of your marketing outreach for your business:

1.  Social media to inform and educate your audience

In its most basic form, social media can be used to inform and educate your target audience. An easy and very economical way to distribute news and any information related to your business and products is via social media. Using social media to build your audience starts with being active in all the places your audience already uses. Channels to consider setting up on are generally Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Instagram and Snapchat are also other platforms to consider, especially for lifestyle brands. Once set up, you can build your social media presence by promoting it to the people you already know. Some ways of doing this are by adding links that direct people to your website and leveraging your email list. You can also add links to your social pages in your email signature or your newsletter.

2.  Social media is a cost-effective tool

While social networks use algorithms to filter content that users view, it is possible to take advantage of the low-cost advertising features offered by the social networks to promote your content and special offers more. Often, social media advertising is cheaper than traditional advertising, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to reach more people, deliver the key messages, and grow your business.

3.  Social media can help you stay competitive

Using social media to share original content is a great way for your brand to stay top-of-mind. You can tell your story consistently and across various platforms. It offers you the opportunity to stay in direct contact with your customers. You can also track their feedback and any complaints within seconds.

4.  Establish thought leadership for senior management

Social media can be used very effectively to position business leaders as expert industry voices and trusted advisors. The key here is to be consistent in your outreach, read the pulse of your audience correctly and stay abreast of hot topics and provide a valuable point of view on them. This will go a long way in building an audience that gradually comes to rely on you for advice and respects your judgment, which in turn builds regard for your brand and allows it to stay top-of-mind.

5.  Industry Monitoring

Last but not least, using social media regularly is one of the best ways to monitor industry developments real-time, and adapt your business to it. Differentiating a brand’s products and services from those of competitors is a primary concern for marketers in any industry. The ability to monitor trends in real time is an incredibly valuable tool for anticipating changes in the market and remaining at the forefront of competition.

If you are looking for a communications partner to assist with your social media and PR efforts, get in touch with us today at [email protected]

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