Social media has evolved into a prime storytelling tool. With the growing digital landscape, brands are now implementing social media into their PR strategy as a means to connect with larger audiences. Now more than ever, customers are using social media to understand and interact with their favorite brands, to generate the buzz that impacts the reach and influence of the brand. Follow these steps to create a social media strategy that aligns with traditional public relations techniques to connect with your ideal audience.
1. Curate Your Brand Voice and Know Your AudienceThe most important aspect of leveraging the impact of your brand awareness and reach through social media and PR is first having a clear message and voice. In order for larger audiences to have a deeper understanding of a brand, their message across all marketing platforms, especially social media, needs to be clear, concise, intriguing, and recognizable.
Before creating your content calendars and/or pitch topics, you must first ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the role of social media in public relations, and how can you use it to achieve your goals?
- How do you define target audience? Who are they?
- Where is your ideal target audience located and how will your content speak/resonate with them?
2. Discover the Right Hooks on What Gives Your Brand its IdentityTo avoid promotional burnout for both your brand and your audience, it is important to know the content categories that guide your strategy and outreach efforts. By aligning your content with your key content categories, your audience can have a deeper understanding of the content they can expect from you.
Here are examples of content categories that you can target:
- Inspirational: This category is great for publishing content that gets people thinking positively. Ex. Quotes, flat lays, beautiful images, influencer shout-outs, etc.
- Educational: Are you an expert in your field? This is for you to put your expertise to use. Create content such as tips and tricks, video trainings, FAQs, free resources, etc. This can be any type of information that your audience can learn from you.
- Conversational: This is for any type of content that sparks interaction. Ex. Giveaways/contests, polls, “Caption This” posts, fill-in-the-blanks, etc. Think about the content that naturally creates a buzz! The more authentic to your brand, the better.
- Connection: This is meant for more of the behind-the-scenes approach to your content. Ex. Product reviews, travel photos, lifestyle, events, team, clients, etc. This allows your audience to build a personal connection with you and your brand.
- Promotional: This is great for pushing any type of promotions or discounts. This is also great for self-promotion, such as webinars, podcasts, upcoming speaking opportunities, etc. Don’t be afraid to shine and highlight your accomplishments!
3. Put the Buzz Back in Social Media: Be ConversationalCommunity engagement is one of the most important aspects when building your brand awareness through public relations outreach. Social media is one of the largest outlets to distribute your message and connect with the audiences who will help create the buzz around you and your brand.
First, discover the influencers and/or outlets that are discussing the topics that align with your brand. How can you find these accounts?
Lastly, don’t be afraid to share the news! Do you have something exciting to share with them? Once you have established an online relationship and/or rapport, share away.
4. Energize and Optimize Your ContentUtilizing hashtags on social media is a great way to garnish attention around your content and find influencers for your brand by aligning with popular content that they’re already highlighting. Hashtags are often a great way to easily find new accounts to follow who share similar content as you do.
We recommend taking the time to discover what hashtags work best for you. Once you have an idea of the hashtags that correlate with your brand content guidelines, choose 5-10 of them that are brand optimized and have at least 15k or more tags.
5. Be Your Own Cream and Sugar – Video and Live StreamingIn the digital PR space, it’s important to showcase the faces behind any brand and/or business. Live streaming and video is a great way for brands to make a direct emotional connection with their target audience.
When strategizing video content, don’t overthink it! You can use tools that are already provided to you, such as Facebook and Instagram Live, YouTube stories, Zoom recordings, etc.
6. Be Consistent and Align Content With Your AudienceAlways show up and align with your audience. The power of engagement and following up can make a big impact in the reach and exposure of your content.
Community engagement is one way of how to create buzz on social media, so keep this on the top of your list! Spend about an hour each day commenting, liking, and engaging with your top connections.
The TakeawayWith these 6 steps, you can establish your growing social media presence while elevating your robust PR strategy.
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