While the digital revolution dictates that modern brands should have a presence on social media platforms, social engagement must be supported by a solid public relations campaign.
Public relations has a critical role to play in the effectiveness of social media engagement, ensuring that communication peaks the interest of the target audience and ultimately results in positive lead generation for business.
Essentially, PR is about building reputation and in doing so, delivering quality lead generation to help to grow a business. Reputations are built by fostering trust with a brand’s target market. One such way to build this trust is by engaging with the market using trusted information sources such as online news portals. News stories that are generated by PR efforts in this manner are transmitted across the web and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Today’s consumer is more savvy than ever before, demanding to be informed about the products and services they use. The primary function of PR is to share information in a way that responds to the needs of the consumer, ensuring that brands and services are seen to play a positive role in their lives.
It’s no use having a website if no one ever sees it. Another essential function of PR within the digital environment is its ability to drive traffic to a website using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the provision of quality content.
By using reputable sources of information to communicate about a brand or service, PR ensures that the right messages are reaching your target market. In this way, PR is a useful tool to distinguish a company from its competitors, help it stand out from the clutter and ultimately, position your brand as a market leader.
The rise of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and the like have ensured that the consumer now has a voice, and two-way communication between brands and their markets is essential. PR is a great enabler of two-way communication – ensuring that positive feedback is shared on public forums.
PR practitioners are the custodians of a brand’s reputation. As such they are constantly monitoring all feedback that appears online; ensuring that positive feedback is distributed across social media platforms and negative feedback is addressed promptly and professionally.
For insights on PR, Communications and Social Media topics, visit our Best Practice blog.
Lucinda Boddy is MD at Livewired Public Relations