A multitude of people use social media on a daily basis for play rather than for work, but here at J.O., we use social media as a powerful mechanism that bolsters our clients and puts a human face on a brand. Social media isn't just for networking; it is a priceless tool that generates social interaction, insightful feedback and an inside look into people's thoughts and feelings about a product or service. Every post, tweet and Instagram picture published has far more meaning than one might think, and, because of that, we are constantly strategizing and analyzing our social media efforts. It's not just a hobby; it's a job—a pretty cool one at that.
When we say social media is critical to surviving in this day and age, we're not just being dramatic. As of July 2015, there were 7.3 billion people in the world, and of that 7.3 billion, 2.3 billion people were active on social media. In one day alone, 1 million people become active on social media via their cell phones. The amount of people one company can reach just by being on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is incredible, and the possibilities are endless.
How does a full-service marketing agency use social media to benefit its clients? We'll let you in on a secret; we combine it with our public relations skills.
Everyone has heard the term public relations, so why do people have such trouble defining the profession? When you explain to someone that you work in public relations, are you met with a blank stare, maybe accompanied with a seemingly interested, "What's that?" Now is your chance to shine.
When you refer to the holy grail of PR, the Public Relations Society of America, for a definition, you get this: "Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics." So… what does that really mean? What does it look like in practice?
It means that public relations incorporates many elements: research, strategic planning, publicity, internal relations, investor relations, etc. One of the most important components of PR is social media — think "strategic communication." It is a window to a business' culture, values and reputation, and without access to this window, viewers have little way of forming an opinion about the business besides what its website displays. For some businesses, this would result in few potential customers.
In practice, this means that public relations and social media, when combined, can benefit businesses as a whole in a way that's incredibly impactful in a time when information and technology are at our fingertips. Use these tools to not only stay at the forefront of technological advances, but also to keep up-to-date with your clients and their ever-changing needs.
Public Relations at its core is about nurturing the relationship between a business and their customers. What better way to reach your customers or clients than through online social media platforms that they always carry with them?
Next time someone asks you how to utilize social media with regard to businesses, you'll know what to say.