Eons ago, public relations was largely focused on building relationships with journalists and the media. Today that focus continues, but it has become only a part of what PR agencies do to help their clients build their brands. A large focus of PR today is to strengthen brands by building influencer status on social media. Here are tried and true tricks of the PR trade, and tips for how to use them on social platforms.
Use a unique voice. That unique voice works best when it intertwines with the brand and its fans and followers. For example, Jon Stewart has built his career on his somewhat snarky attitude. If his social media accounts had a stuffy intellectual attitude without any humor, he’d lose followers left and right. His followers love him and sometimes engage in jokes with him because of who he is. Similarly, what would a Kardashian account be without fashion and skin? A few other kinds of posts here and there are fine with her followers, but if all of a sudden Kim K stopped posting beauty tips and sultry pics, her followers would begin to scratch their heads and look elsewhere for that kind of content. So, deciding on the unique voice of the brand and its visible leaders is vital to building a “celebrity status” brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and any other emerging social media platforms. Your voice and your story are what set you apart from others, bring fans to you, and allow you to be interesting and relevant. No one can do “you” as well as you.
Know what works best. Once you’ve determined your brand’s voice, you need to understand what works best on different platforms. You don’t need to be a daily presence on every platform, but on certain platforms you might want to post multiple times on most days. A PR specialist can help you decide this. PR professionals also know the best types of posts for each platform and can help you decide which will fit best with your brand. Remember that you don’t need to be all things to all people to win the race. A prime example: our President. Trump knows which platform serves him best. He loves Tweeting – it’s quick and easy, and many think his approach to reaching the public through Twitter is a big part of his winning the election.
Engage with followers. Doing PR through social media takes some time. It’s not just about creating the perfect post for a certain platform and your brand. You need to take it at least another step forward and engage with people. Sometimes that is as simple as retweeting; responding with a thank you; or asking a question. Any fan is going to be over-the-moon excited if one of their favorite influencers or brands gives them a shout out. A follower would be excited to see herself tagged by you and would tell all her friends that you thought she was important enough for a response. Engagement will help you amplify your voice.
Make appealing content. It’s not always about words; in fact, Twitter is very limited on how many words you can use in a post. Instagram requires almost no words at all. For many posts, you will want a high-definition, high-quality picture that tells a story worth at least a thousand words.
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States.