In today’s digital world, your business needs a social media presence in order to really exist. And while every good PR professional knows that, what they don’t know is that social media offers much more than simple existence in cyberspace.

Used correctly, social media can not only support your PR strategy, but it can also become a part of it. More PR pros should start embracing the opportunities that social offers — especially if they want to see more success in their strategies.

PR pros can use social media to:

1. Identify trends and opportunities

Most people associate PR pros on social media with crisis comms, but the social sphere also offers a great opportunity for some research and behind-the-scenes work.

What better way to see what’s trending in your client’s industry than going straight to social and seeing what people are talking about? Where they share their thoughts and concerns can be a great place to identify new opportunities and ways to reach them.

Knowing what’s trending on social media can also be useful when pitching your content to journalists. Being able to tie your content to something relevant and newsworthy will make it far more probable that your content will be shared.
Want some more ideas on how to use social media to build up your strategies? Read our BLOG: Social media monitoring for better content and business strategies.

2. Make announcements

Nothing spreads quicker than information on Twitter – not even wildfire. So why not use this to your advantage? PR professionals who are in the know use Twitter and other social platforms to announce awards, product launches and company updates.

Using short snippets of information with high-quality images and videos (plus a link to more information for good measure), PR pros are able to reach a far wider audience via social media than simply going through traditional channels only.

3. Keep an eye on competitors

Ever heard of social listening before? Well, you should have! It’s the process of finding insights within social media conversations. Social listening tools give PR professionals the power to understand public perception — before it becomes a #trending topic.

Social media users express their opinions on social networks and reveal what their preferences are as consumers. They also use these platforms to share news that can help make businesses aware of developments in their industry, or news about their competitors.

By knowing what people are talking about — and understanding it — PR professionals are able to identify and track their clients’ competitors. And who wouldn’t want that?
To find out more about how social listening tools can be used, check out this article.

4. Find influencers

Influencer marketing is undoubtedly one of the biggest trends of the year. Influencers, be it nano, micro, or macro, offer brands a voice they could never use on their own. Social media influencers offer brands a dedicated digital following that they can tap into to promote offerings and build reputations.

When PR pros create relationships between brands and influencers, they are actually adding a new level of both promotion and defense to their strategy.

Want to know more about influencers and how to incorporate them into your strategy? Read our article about Getting to grips with influencer marketing.

5. React to negative publicity

Social media is the first port of call when it comes to negative claims and brand reactions. Social platforms are usually the first places that people look for customer reviews and complaints along with brand responses.

Social media gives PR pros a direct line to a large, attentive audience. So when negative reviews appear, PR professionals can use their social media accounts to assess the situation and craft appropriate — and timely — responses.

What other ways do you think PR professionals can utilise social media as a PR tool? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Now that you know exactly how to use social media to your advantage, check you these Five things any good PR strategy needs to include.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy