Facebook. Instagram. LinkedIn. Twitter. These are all examples of top leading social media platforms that just about everyone and their mother use these days. It’s no surprise that social media has quickly become one of the fastest growing industries.
Whether you’ve worked in PR for decades or are new to it, it’s essential to understand how social media has reshaped the PR industry. It’s a widely used digital PR tactic that can do wonders for any brand or individual. Here’s a closer look at how social media is changing PR for good.
When a news story makes its way onto any social media platform, its reach is astronomical and fast. When Whitney Houston passed away in 2012, for example, Twitter broke the news to the public 27 minutes before the press.
An hour after the tweet about her death went live, 2.5 million tweets and retweets occurred. There are countless more examples of good and bad news that spread like wildfire on social media:
- Prince William and Princess Catherine’s birth of their first child was announced on Facebook before any traditional media outlet released a story
- Virginians were live tweeting about the 2011 earthquake before the media got any coverage
- Osama bin Laden’s death was also first shared on Twitter
In the past, PR focused on interviews and pitches. Today, however, managing a brand’s voice and protecting reputation is a huge component of it. Without a strong crisis communication strategy in place, individuals and companies can go from success to failure overnight.
In 2016, Southwest Airlines’ website and other key technologies were down for more than 12 hours. Customers were going crazy and complaining all over social media. What Southwest Airlines did right was respond to these complaints quickly and effectively on Facebook.
Where they made a mistake, however, was forgetting to address complaints on Instagram. As a result, the airline’s Instagram received hundreds of angry comments and lost followers in a few short hours. Southwest proved just how important comprehensive crisis communication is in today’s digital era.
The customer is king, especially on social media. Digital PR is much more customer-focused than traditional PR ever was. This is mainly because social media users use social media to post complaints or questions. Most Facebook business pages even have a “Reviews” page, encouraging customers to leave positive or negative feedback.
If they don’t get an immediate response, an individual or brand puts their reputation on the line. These days, positioning yourself as a responsive brand who values your customers is often more important than trying to score a spot in a popular publication.
Thanks to social media, influencers can play a vital role in your brand’s success. Essentially, an influencer is an individual who is credible in a specific industry, has access to a huge audience, and can persuade others to try a product or service on social media.
Since 71% of customers are more likely to make a purchase based on what they see or hear on social media, influencers are incredibly powerful. They can open the doors to a number of incredible opportunities for all types of brands.
Celebrities play a major role as influencers on Instagram. For example, soccer star, Cristiano Ronaldo is the third highest paid Instagram influencer. With over 140 million followers and his shared paid partnerships with Nike and other brands, Ronaldo is a reason why a consumer might choose to purchase Nike over Adidas.
Social Media is a Top PR Platform
In recent years, social media has earned the reputation as a top PR platform. If you use it to your advantage, your brand will succeed with flying colors. On the other hand, if you disregard its importance, it’ll be much more difficult to stay ahead of the competition and meet your goals.
At Digital PR, we understand that a strong social media presence matters more than ever in today’s digital marketplace. If you’re looking to better your social media, contact Digital PR today!