If your business is investing in PR, congratulations: You’re building a great foundation for your marketing and branding, and supporting your sales too.
However, your PR investment won’t see optimal ROI, if you’re not rounding out the PR messaging, with clever social media activity.
Social media is a great channel – low cost, great reach and measurability
I often see social media treated as the afterthought – marketing teams focus on traditional channels, inadvertently neglecting their social media.
With a considered approach and a consistent strategy, social media can amplify your PR efforts, to great effect, and at comparatively low cost.
After all, creating a profile for your business on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, is free. Sharing a post – say, a link to an online editorial piece featuring your business or to a podcast interview – costs you nothing.
If you purchase advertising on these platforms (or appoint a specialist to manage your social media), then you’ll need to allocate budget to this. But if you’re a small business, with a small budget, social media can easily be your “free but fire” channel.
Social media takes your business where TV, radio and print won’t (but only if you’re active on social media)
Humour me, while I use myself as the example: I am the purchasing decision-maker in an LSM 10 household, with a dual-income stream. I’m a desirable prospect for many brands and businesses.
Outside of my communications work, I don’t watch TV unless it’s streamed and ad-free. I don’t listen to radio either. I can’t remember when I last bought a magazine or a newspaper. I work from a home office, so I don’t see the big billboards that flank the highways and byways. And I have an app that blocks sales calls.
So how did my favourite brands find me, create an opportunity to impress me with their PR and their sales pitch, and convince me to spend my money with them?
Via social media.
I saw their products and services on Instagram or Facebook. And I clicked through to their sites. I liked the content – whether it was product shots, or media references to their business. I signed up for their newsletters (related: I read those that are well-written and interesting). Interestingly, a lot of these brands don’t invest in ATL marketing at all, and yet they’re successful businesses.
Are you reaching your prospects where they are?
My point is, you really should spend time developing a strategy for social media (SM), if you hope to meet prospects where they are. And this SM strategy must complement the PR and marketing plans.
Make sure that your PR communications (press releases, media articles, interviews and advertorials) are supported with regular and consistent social media posts, to encourage your audiences to click-through to this content, to read/watch/listen to it, and to share it to their own networks.
You’ll be helping to drive traffic to the media owner whose content you’ve shared, but you’re also building your public profile/brand, and further entrenching yourself as a credible player in the market. Plus, your social media profile looks busy and current.
The effect, from the prospect’s point of view, is widespread and consistent messaging about you. Your prospect sees your messaging in the media, and then also sees that messaging on your social media. If it’s done right, it doesn’t feel like sales – it feels more like they’ve stepped into a dialogue about you, with some show-and-tell thrown in.
Yes – building your social media presence takes time and careful, consistent care-taking. But over time, it can be a very powerful tool for building a receptive audience and for amplifying your brand messaging.