Why Social Media Should be Integrated into Your PR Plan.
Traditions are beliefs passed down from generation to generation, they’re nostalgic and warming… Unfortunately, some traditions expire.
PR is typically a young industry full of the ‘creative types’ who work on bean bags, have edgy moustaches and #PizzaFridays, the great believers of the digital world with their Apple products and impressive Instagram’s. However, there are still PR professionals who are hesitant to enter this alternate universe.
As we slowly trudge through 2017 and round up the crazy year we call 2016, let’s remind ourselves of the key social media moment (not including Kim Kardashians derriere)
- The US Election: Donald Trump may be a controversial choice but his PR campaign is arguably one of the greatest in years. A huge chunk of this success was down to his active and engaged social media. Throughout and since the election campaign he has been on the ball fighting his case. Sadly, for him, Clinton had the 3rd most popular Tweet of 2016 with 1.2 million likes.
If you’re wondering who the top 2 went to, don’t hold your breath, Harry Styles and a Spanish gamer *eye roll.
#BlackLivesMatter, #PrayForOrlando, #PrayForNice and #Brexit were also top political social media movements for 2016. Twitter and Facebook have become a source for breaking news, which isn’t surprising considering its speed and popularity – 6,000 Tweets per second and 1.8 billion people logging into Facebook per day.
Other moments included Pokemon Go, the Olympics and the very upsetting deaths of too many greats, including David Bowie and Muhammad Ali.
So, we’ve recognised the importance of social media as an entertainment, news and marketing platform, now how does this help PR?
- Social media is instant and its circulations is far greater than printed publications, therefore you can cut out the middle man of journalists if your content is good enough. If it isn’t an outstanding news story or a well-known company than social media can support alongside traditional PR. Posting links to press releases, articles or blogging about the story can leverage growth.
- Keep up to date with your target demographic, trends and competitors is made easier through following their accounts.
- Show off your agency or client as an industry expert on LinkedIn.
- Develop direct relationships with the media and industry leaders by following them, making conversation and sharing posts.
- Engage with current and potential clients.
- Increase your SEO rankings.
Examples of great PR campaigns through social media in 2016 include:
- Disney’s #ShareYourEars campaign – with every photo posted including Mikey Mouse ears and the hashtag, Disney donates $5 to Make A Wish Foundation. They had capped this to $1million, but after it became such a hit movement they doubled it to $2million.
- Mullen Lowe Groups #LoveAtFirstTaste campaign for Knorr played on the relationship between food and love. Starting with under 3,000 followers, Knorr used a video, promoted trend and online quiz, matching singles with their favourite flavours and tastes. Increasing brand awareness, followers and sales.
- Shell used #makethefuture to highlight ideas and innovations to answer tomorrow’s energy challenges. There were multiple parts to the campaign including; 6 international music artists representing 6 ‘new ways to harness and generate power’, to the song ‘Best Day of My Life’. The music video demonstrated the eco ways we could change energy. #MaketheFuture Live’ was also part of the campaign, a four-day festival and eco-marathon.
Although these brands are well known, it is still important to jump on the social media wagon and invest some time, money and effort into it. We expect social media to become even bigger this year. That’s why; whatever your industry, age, interest or skill; social media needs to be embraced into your PR.