Why Social Media is Vital to Your PR Strategy
Blustery winds and the onomatopoeic sounds of leaves started November, which seems to be rushing by in a whirlwind of excellent and yet crushing marketing campaigns; gearing up for Christmas. This years’ #FollowTheFairies campaign has been nothing short of excellent in terms of representing the exact post I had scheduled for this week. It portrays the dichotomy of our lives in glittering glory.
One of the things I’ve learned in my varied life as a teacher, chef and now writer; is that people will always be talking about you.
Back in the 80s when we just told our friends what we thought about someone or something, it had an effect on things within a certain locale. But obviously through social media these thoughts and opinions can spread far and wide. Word of mouth is powerful, and now it’s never been easier to digitally let words out of your mouth or off your fingers and across the mosaic of wires we call the internet.
This cascade of chatter, like the November seas, has its rises and falls.
As the name Palaver Maven was intended to suggest; I’m an expert in creating chatter. And I love to do this across all channels. Since I initially tried to reject it in the early 2000s, the rise of Social Media has been exponential. In recent years, I embrace it as wholeheartedly as I did the rebrand of Opal Fruits. I mean it took me time, but it grew on me.
Social media, of course, gives people another platform to talk about you.
Or your brand.
And now they can do some real damage if they want to, or help to create a buzz. If someone mentions your brand on any social media, it’s going to get picked up by other users of that platform.
Conversations, allegations, accidents, or emotional experiences can spread as easily as water from behind a dam. And not only that, but they can reach further and wider than Brunel could have ever perceived.
Pretty much once they’re out there, these soundbytes, snippets of opinion; you have no control in the matter. If your company is not harnessing the extreme power of social media in today’s world, then you are missing valuable conversation with not only customers, but prospective ones. Of not only answering queries as they come up, but also celebrating the great stuff. Admitting the errors. Of making followers active.
These days, people trust social media more than other forms of marketing. It’s a friendly place. It’s an arena for real people to emote about what they like or dislike. What’s funny; their views on current affairs.
What about the magic and sparkle?
The reason this post links so well with the #FollowTheFairies campaign is that the small acts of ‘kindness’ exhibited by the fairies, were reported by local news; quite the way a traditional press release might be. However, that hashtag incited many people to create ongoing murmurations online and suddenly: we knew who the fairies were. In some ways we’re disappointed to know that the magic has gone. In the same way we did with the fairies, we want to believe.
By now, be it through local press or online presence, or often a combination of the two, people have helped to endorse the fairies and what they are doing. This is why social media use and strategy needs to be an integrative part of your business’ marketing plan.
An endorsement on social media is free advertising.
Because it takes no more than the click of a button: it’s easy to endorse a brand. Positively or negatively.
When working on a press campaign recently, a little bit of interaction with a celebrity chef increased my clients’ site activity; sales; and responses from ‘traditional’ press. Having seen the brand pinged about via twitter and other social sites, it was beginning to feel ubiquitous; rapidly increasing followers.
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