How Social Media Impacts PR Success

FriendsatBBQSocialI was talking with a girlfriend of mine, and fellow business owner, last week and she began asking me several questions about social media.  She seemed completely and utterly overwhelmed about our conversation.  Then I told her: “This is part of our future and here to stay.  Even if you have an assistant manage social media for your business, you really should have a good understanding of it and how it can work to promote your business!”

She is not unlike many small business owners out there who are busy running their business and really don’t have time to take on anything new.

Here’s the deal:  You have to make time!

The Internet is changing the way we connect, network, work, sell, start businesses a how we market them, and it really is here to stay.

In the PR world, we are seeing the positive impact that “smart” social media participation can have on small businesses and nonprofits.  It really is rather exciting.  However, many in my industry are lagging behind as they fear it will put an end to the traditional way that they approach public relations.  The truth is that it’s a new and exciting element that we use to boost credibility and increase awareness for our clients, and you can do the same for your business.  In fact you should be doing the same for your business.

Why you need to jump on the bandwagon now:
Everyday the Internet brings new offerings and ways for us to interact and achieve professional success.  That means it’s evolving up everyday and every day that you don’t jump on the social media bandwagon is one more day that you’re behind.  Like anything, you have to start at the very beginning and work through the more complicated.  I have a feeling that things are going to start increasing in this category pretty quick, so spend a day now learning all you can so that you are not left behind!

Social media and PR:
As a PR professional I am very excited about the impact social media can have not just for my clients but on my business, and other endeavors.  So far, we’ve been able to utilize it to introduce clients to media outlets, relative organizations, help them build business partnerships and drive followers to the physical store or online store.  Moreover, it’s a great tool for positioning experts by offering daily tips and advice, something we do for our own business on a regular basis.  So, if you don’t think it can make a difference and give a boost to your PR strategy, I dare tell you that you’re very wrong.

Success relies on content:
If you’re new to social media then you must know one thing: Success with social media is reliant on strong, interesting content.

So what does this mean?  It means that if you’re going to Twit something, blog, or post a video it better be interesting; something people will find interesting and may even forward on to their followers and users.  This is where social media becomes viral.

Our success in using social media as part of our PR strategy comes from positioning our clients as experts, providing strong content that isn’t 100% self-serving but instead has a goal of helping people; informing them and making a positive impact in their lives.  Then there is the interaction with people who comment, follow and more on the various SM outlets.

At the end of the day we’re positioning clients as credible, reliable experts and building relationships that increase sales, interest and awareness, get them  in front of bloggers and relative media in a fresh way (not just a pitch email), and brought them business opportunities and partnerships they wouldn’t have achieved before.

So, you ask why you need to know social media…..well, this is just one side of how social media can impact your business, marketing strategy and bottom line.  You better get on the bandwagon to find out just how much it might really be able to do.

If you do use social media, tell me what positive outcomes have developed!!

Jennifer Fortney
Small Business PR Experts
Cascade Communications
Follow me on Twitter @SmallBizPRXpert and @MyStorySource

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