In August, Inc. magazine published an article titled “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media,” and I took serious offense to it. Firstly because, while I may look young, it was a reminder that I’m not the 23-year-old newbie being referred to anymore (ugh!) and secondly, as a supporter of the young workforce, I truly think the most recent set of college grads are the employees with the best handle on social media and all its capabilities. So then why shouldn’t we let the young 20- something with a Facebook page, an Instagram profile, a plethora of Pinterest boards, two Twitter accounts (one for work and one for personal use) and an active blog on, say, “tips and tricks for city living on a budget” (I’m sure there’s someone that fits this profile) run a client’s social media campaign? They’re clearly an expert on how to do it all, but as Inc. explains, a social media expert needs to be versed in much more than just social platforms. Read on …
Your brand’s social actions are just as important as its social content. Now don’t get me wrong, content is a driving force behind a successful social media campaign. But there is a lot to be said about a brand’s social interactions in addition to the information that it proactively publishes.
Does your company have a protocol for how to respond to negative user comments on your brand’s social media pages? How about positive posts? If your answer is yes, then you’re off to a good start. If your answer is no, then we have a little bit of work to do. The point of having a social media campaign is to have SOCIAL interaction with other users. So when users like your Facebook content or Retweet certain Twitter Tweets, there should be some additional form of followup. It could be as simple as a thank you; or perhaps a Retweet of their content. Conversely, if your brand receives negative comments or an influx of customer service queries, these comments should be addressed publicly in order for others to know that your brand is hearing their demands and is there to provide support. (continue reading…)
In November 2011, Google+ unveiled its brand pages feature to allow businesses to develop a presence on Google’s social media platform. This was an absolutely vital component for Google to implement in order to compete with other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Mashable weighed the pros and cons of the feature and polled small businesses to gather their feedback on the positive attributes and limitations of the Google+ business offering.
Wikipedia defines Public Relations as “the practice of managing the flow of information between an organization and its publics.” This sounds pretty simple. But for anyone who has ever worked in public relations, you know that “simple” is not how you would describe your job.
Some of the major stories throughout the past year – whether about politics, business, sports, entertainment or otherwise – share a similar theme: all have been impacted significantly by the power of social media.
What is Pinterest you ask? Just another social media craze? Craze – yes. Just another – not exactly. For anyone unfamiliar with Pinterest and how it works, it’s basically a virtual list of a user’s favorite things. TechCrunch calls it a “socially curated shopping catalog” and says, “…it is addictive.” And they’re right – it is.
Just yesterday, comScore reported that Pinterest had surpassed the 10 million visitors mark, attracting 11.7 million unique visitors, and has become a top 10 social media site. It received 40 times the number of visits during the week ending December 17 than it had received during any single week in the prior six months. That’s a 4,000 (FOUR THOUSAND!) percent increase, making it the fastest-growing social media site EVER.
Just a few short years ago, the effectiveness of a company’s web presence was dictated solely by the strength and prevalence of its website. But as companies across the globe have begun embracing social media, an interesting phenomenon has occurred over the past year. In some cases, company Facebook fan pages have received more unique visitors than the company’s corporate website counterpart. See the specific example from a Webtrends whitepaper titled, “The Effect of Social Networks and the Mobile Web on Website Traffic and the Inevitable Rise of Facebook Commerce”:
[Webtrends] analyzed the website traffic of Fortune 100 websites based on ‘unique visits.’ The study revealed that 68% of the top 100 companies were experiencing a negative growth in unique visits over the past year, with an average drop of 23%.
Today’s rapidly shifting marketing and media landscape means that client and agency professionals must be more integrated than ever before. We can no longer think of ourselves as marketing managers, account managers, media planners, art directors, copywriters or research managers. We are all buyers, sellers and enablers of media and must work together to achieve a successful campaign.
Here is what I have recently witnessed within the industry. The lines between public relations and social media are blurring. Account managers need to be well-versed in analyzing technical data, interpreting those results and translating those results into strategic recommendations. Media professionals need to understand the brand strategy and all of the media options available today including social, online and mobile campaigns as well as established channels like broadcast and print. Likewise, creative and production teams are learning new technology and software programs in order to keep pace as well as how to translate TV or print concepts to online and mobile. And everyone needs to have in-depth expertise within a client’s business.
Communications and media as we know them are evolving at a rapid pace. The manner in which we communicate and what is considered “media” is ever-changing. I remember public relations in the era of blast fax distribution and the pre-World Wide Web era. I realize that I’m dating myself by making these statements, but the fact remains: those of us in public relations are ever-challenged to keep abreast of “new” media and to discover ways in which to use it to our – and our employers’/clients’ – best advantage.
Take social media, for example. Consumers are increasingly relying upon social media for their information – going to a company’s Facebook page, for example, before visiting a company’s website. And consumers demonstrate their brand preferences (and loyalty) by following and liking their brands of choice on Twitter and Facebook. In fact, a recent Nielsen report states that 53% of active online adult social networkers follow a brand, that social networking and blogging now account for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet and that Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other U.S. website. Pretty compelling statistics…and pretty valid reasons why public relations professionals need to include social media as part of their overall communications tactics.
Naysayers may dismiss these statistics, but I recall a similar conversation about the World Wide Web nearly 20 years ago. Enough said.
But beyond B2C communications lies the evolution of “media.” Media is ever-increasingly an online vehicle as printed media – printed news media, most especially – fades away. Writers and editors rely on social media platforms to magnify their voice and reach in the hope that it will (1) increase their reach and (2) drive traffic back to their articles/website, thereby increasing their readership and the value of their advertising.
Even what we consider “media” sometimes comes into question: are bloggers considered media, for example? In my opinion, creating online content does not a member of the media make; however, those with the forum and the voice may not be afraid to use it. So we as public relations professionals must manage these relationships just as we must consider social media platforms as media relations tools – platforms for engaging with the media and platforms for communicating with our various publics.
Does your company need assistance navigating the evolving world of social media? Do you have the tools necessary to harness the power of social media in order to communicate your messaging in a cohesive and an articulate manner? Domus does! Put our expertise in public relations and social media to work for you. Visit www.domusinc.com today and be an active part of the conversation that’s taking place in the world of social media.
For more on this topic, see “Public Relations in a Social World” posted on COMPREHENSION – PRSA’s blog: http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=3557.
Amy Whilldin is an Account Director at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-772-2805.
One of the best ways to measure a company’s Twitter presence is to take an inventory of its followers. With that being said, companies and individuals put an extraordinary emphasis on obtaining as many followers as possible, and with good reason. It may seem like a popularity contest, but more followers means that more people are seeing the messaging of that company or individual and ultimately raising the visibility of that brand or person.
It’s so important that some people will do anything they can to increase their followers. But there is a right and wrong way to attract followers. Politicians have taken to Twitter to spread their campaign messages (some have ulterior motives, but we won’t name names in this blog). In the early stages of the GOP nomination process, Newt Gingrich boasted that he had 1,325,842 followers, whereas Mitt Romney and Michele Bachman have not even cracked the 100,000 mark. However, it was later learned that more than 80 percent of Gingrich’s followers were dummy accounts and were obtained by an agency that is paid to bolster Twitter followers for a fee http://gawker.com/5826645. As you can see, this is the wrong way to attract Twitter followers.
There are numerous ways to legitimately increase followers. Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg.com, discusses 10 ways to increase followers in the following TechCrunch article: http://techcrunch.com/2009/01/25/kevin-rose-10-ways-to-increase-your-twitter-followers/. Here is one excerpt that specifically caught my eye:
Domus has developed and implemented numerous Twitter contests for its clients. A recent Dacor contest included various product giveaways and successfully increased the company’s followers from under 700 to 3,366.
The most important aspect of attracting followers is that a company’s Tweets should fulfill some need. Dacor’s Twitter feed is populated by useful information regarding the company’s products, money-saving deals, recipes and the occasional contest/giveaway. Contact Domus to learn more about our Twitter strategies and how we can help your company.
Greg Smore is a Senior Account Manager at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at email@example.com or 215-772-2805.