7 benefits of social media for PR pros and journalists

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Today’s public relations professionals and journalists understand the impact social media has on the industry. They know that people’s interest in sharing their experiences and linking with family and friends will never wane, and that’s why so many of them now consider a story’s social media shareability as a way to effectively use social media in their overall PR strategy. 

If you’re still not sure why you need to use social media as part of your greater PR strategy, read on to discover the seven benefits of social media for PR pros and journalists.

1. Increase brand visibility

Social media’s main benefit is that it keeps your brand in the public spotlight. Different social platforms help journalists and public relations professionals improve the public’s awareness of their brand and overall business image by ensuring that they stay current and in touch with their target readers.

Social media is also a great way to spread the word about your company and strengthen its presence online. The more visible your brand, the easier it will be to promote.

In addition to social media, you should also ensure that your future customers get the best user experience when searching your brand online and visiting your website. Thus, alongside social media marketing efforts, businesses should also focus on search engine optimization and, in particular, make sure that their website is well optimized for onsite SEO and content, and lacks any technical issues that might negatively impact the experience of the potential customers.

In that way, you’ll attract more readers who, in turn, will share your content, helping you gather even more followers on social media. Increasing your readership will also increase the reach and effectiveness of your brand’s communications.

2. Share content to larger targeted audiences

Another benefit of using social media is that it allows PR pros and journalists to get faster, widespread coverage of their articles and other content.

Even in the days when newspapers and magazines reigned supreme, there was still radio, and then television. Today, PR pros and journalists have sophisticated podcast hosting tools, YouTube videos, and content from an ever-growing library of digital marketing channels.

With social networking, you get instant sharing of information to a global audience and the capabilities for highly targetted audiences based on their demography and geo-location.

This means the content you create can be quickly shared to your target audience and many others throughout the world just waiting to discover your brand.

3. Direct engagement encourages user-generated content

Social media will also help you directly engage with readers and fans of your journalism or PR brand.

Thanks to social media’s ease of use, you can share their thoughts on a wide range of topics., react to your comments on your posts and create conversations with the people who follow your brand.

With this direct engagement, you can better spread your brand culture and encourage the creation of user-generated content (UGC).

UGC is what all PR brands and journalists should aspire to create.

This represents a moment when your followers have fallen so in love with your brand culture that they have become brand ambassadors and evangelical marketers who want to voluntarily share your brand with their peers.

With UGC, you basically gain access to free marketing content that you can use to share across social media, in email newsletters and even on your website.

In fact, using UGC from social media platforms in blog articles and on landing pages shows all new users to your site that you have a following of people deeply invested in your brand. This, in turn, piques their interest and encourages them to become interested.

There are many web design tools available to assist with the cross-sharing of UGC content from social networks onto blogs and landing pages. I’ve even created a list of the top web design tools to help you create high-quality, cross-sharable content here.

You’ll get to learn what people are saying about your brand while also having the ability to respond quickly to anything that arises so you can shine a spotlight on positive comments and dispel negative ones quickly.

4. Reach Gen-Z and millennials

The majority of people know how to use at least one social media tool, and this easy integration means that journalists and PR pros can use these platforms to maximize their reader base and promote and tart their businesses.

Even better, specific platforms like TikTok are great for reaching Gen-Z’ers and millennials. If these two groups make up a significant portion of your database, then you’ll do well to have a presence on TikTok, as well as other platforms that are popular with this demographic, such as Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.

When creating video content for Gen-Z and millennials, you need to make sure that you make sure your brand stands out. After scrolling through their feeds all day, they need something engaging and worthy of their views.

Additionally, create and leverage specific campaign hashtags for your public relations objectives.

This will help you monitor conversations from readers centered around a particular campaign, as well as understand how each of your PR campaigns is performing among its intended audience.

Hashtags are also a great way for engaging in user conversations online (provided they are easily recognizable and contribute to your overall brand message), and they can help you ensure that your brand content is easily searchable.

5. Connect with other PR professionals and journalists

The more people who know about your business and what it does, the more likely it is that you will succeed in attracting loyal customers.

Identifying and engaging with media is an important task for the majority of PR pros using social media.

So, in addition to connecting with your target audience, you also need to connect with other PR professionals and journalists who can help you spread your message, and LinkedIn is one of the best places for making these connections.

By interacting with media outlets, journalists, influencers and others in your industry, you can build media connections that extend the professional relationship way beyond the initial press release pitch.

This will help you increase the chances of getting media coverage with all the right outlets so you can advance your public relations campaigns.

6. Create a group around your brand

Facebook is a great social media platform for creating groups around a brand. The platform accounts for nearly one in four overall web pages viewed in the US, and that should be reason enough to want to get a Facebook group for your brand.

Having a group not only provides you with a platform where you can have a direct line to your readers, but also a place to build long-lasting relationships with customers while increasing your organic reach.

The best part about creating a group for your brand on Facebook is that you’ll be able to post tons of content with links to relevant info, as well as supporting documentation that gives your copy authority.

This, in turn, helps Google and other search engines take notice, and when you and others in the group link to established domains in your industry, your own website’s rankings will start to increase.

7. Use Quora to facilitate brand messaging

Social networking websites like Quora allow you to ask questions or provide answers to a number of issues as a way to build brand awareness and position yourself as an authority in your space.

You can use the platform as a way to facilitate your brand message through content distribution.

Sharing original and branded content with an audience of targeted readers is a tried-and-true tactic for success on social media. By using communication channels like these, you’ll be able to develop relationships with your audience, which you can then leverage in PR activity to ensure your posts are interesting and relevant, and therefore more likely to be read and shared.

You can build on this initial relationship by maintaining engagement with readers as a way to drive more traffic to your website. The links and SEO benefits you get will improve its standing on search engines, helping you attract even more new readers.

The bottom line

Social media provides you with an easy way to keep a finger on the pulse of public opinion and increase your reader base by learning about their preferences and using the information to successfully tailor your PR activities.

But even better, if you can use it strategically enough to encourage user-generated content, you can transform your followers into brand ambassadors and evangelical marketers who long for you to cross-share their content in your blog articles or talk about it in a podcast.

Having access to such content and a base of fans who are eager to create more and spread your PR or journalism brand to their followers and friends additionally can save you a lot of money.

So jump onto Facebook, Quora, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, and start growing your brand and increasing your bottom line today.

 

Ron Stefanski is a website entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business.

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