Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Social Media is an investment. Do or don’t, there is no try.

Friday, January 27th, 2012

A recent post on PR Daily brought new attention to the differences between the way PR pros and marketing pros write. This triggered a string of thoughts leading to a new question: “Why can’t marketers just replace PR pros when it comes to social media?”  Some can, don’t get us wrong. But in general, social media is a place where a community manager, or a public relations professional [generally – again we are sure there are exceptions] thrive and a traditional marketing mind sometimes flounders. So logout your sales and marketing pros from your social media accounts and let the communications pros take the keyboard.  You don’t hire an interior decorator as your IT specialist, so hire the right professional for your social media efforts.  Here are a few reasons why PR pros dominate the social media field.


PR pros are trained to communicate to multiple audiences.
As if this isn’t enough, PR pros are trained in the skilled art of writing for different audiences. The intricacies of targeted communications is something that PR pros learn about through formal training and practice in their everyday lives.

Not every post will be marketing your brand.
This is a personal pet peeve of ours. Only talking about your brand and how great it is all the time!!! Is just so great for everyone to read!! You get the idea; need I go on? This is not the kind of communication people want to interact with. Social media is built for two way communication, so don’t just push, pull.

Negative feedback comes with the territory.
PR pros have been trained in crisis communications and have a plan in place for negative comments. A PR pro has worked closely with various members of the team to develop company value-oriented messages to address whatever negative sentiment comes up. These underlying messages will be conveyed consistently in all company communications, including complicated and less-complicated situations.

You shouldn’t delete bad comments.
Pet peeve number two. This is a mistake that comes with the territory. If a conversation isn’t taking the direction you are gently guiding it (if you aren’t guiding it, you should be) take it offline. Don’t just start to ignore the user. Knowing when to take the conversation offline is a decision that must be made quickly and decisively.

Social media doesn’t sleep.
This may mean that you are not just looking for a communication guru. Depending on the demand, you might need to see a specialist. If your social media accounts are going to be highly active, especially on a global, cross-time zone scale, you will need a person that you can dedicate solely to that job – because it will be a fulltime job. No one likes to be spread too thin, like too little butter over too much bread.


PR and marketing aren’t worlds apart; at the end of the day both positions want brand recognition that will result in positive revenue for a company. Both positions require creativity, specific knowledge and unique skill sets. Marking pros tend to use punchier, flashy language and the strategy driving the communication tends to be sales driven. PR pros are striving to paint an image of a company by using strategic language and tactics to influence how a company is perceived. While both professions share similar end goals, the means of getting there is not the same. Public relations and marketing are just not the same job and the professionals in the industries are not meant to be interchangeable.


It’s Time for This Week’s Social Media/PR Run Down with: Timely Campaigns

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

This holiday season do it right… and by “it” we mean your PR efforts. One effective way to take your campaign an extra mile is to tie it to something larger than just your company’s announcement. Trust me, we all understand that your company’s announcements are the most important and interesting things anyone could ever hear about, but there are some other events that also happen to grab people’s attention this time of year. With the start of the winter season, the holiday shopping and the actual holidays themselves, some companies are focusing campaigns around these, errr, larger events. Let’s take a look at how certain brands have used social media to further newsworthy efforts.


Walgreens launched a mobile couponing aspect for its mobile app that was made available on  Black Friday this year. Holding the availability of the coupons until Black Friday peaked interest among consumers. Promoting the new savings via Facebook and Twitter, Walgreens made sure to spread the shopping cheer. Kudos to the company for not weaseling the news onto its photography centric company blog; however, Walgreens could have taken the twitter post further with a little help from a well-placed hashtag, like the popular #BlackFriday.

Columbia Sportswear.

Ringing in the ski season right, Columbia Sportswear launched a campaign to increase customer engagement with a good old-fashioned competition. The contest was held via Twitter and outdoor enthusiasts tweeted at Columbia Sportswear (@Columbia1938) while wearing gloves in hopes of winning a pair of gloves. The company posted the competition across multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter and its blog) encouraging the creative race.

Throughout the day, Columbia challenged the resourcefullness of the competitors with its own orginal tweets. Check out this one:

Enjoy some of the tweets elicited by this humorous campagian:

From these companies we can see that the short-term goals of increasing customer engagement and creating an overall positive customer experience will help the long-term goal of brand loyalty and increased sales. Waiting to add to the conversation when people’s interests are likely to be heightened about a topic helps to get more people talking about your brand.

What’s an awesome timely campaign that you’ve seen?

Thanks for stopping by for a little more social media and PR strategy.

Social Media Wednesday: Asthetics

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Last time we covered some general “don’ts” of social media, today we’ll talk about some “dos.” The Internet is a colossal source of information, which is awesome, but if you’re publishing content to the Web you’re essentially yelling into a hurricane – fighting to not only get eyes on your page, but to keep them there. Content is important, but how you present that content is key as well. Let’s be honest, books DO get judged by their covers.

Keep it short, sweet and to the point

This is easy to do on Twitter, where you are limited to 140 characters. However, Facebook and blogging are two examples of social media platforms where posting can get lengthy. Remember, sometimes less is more. If you have a lot to say, it is best to break it up into multiple posts.

Make content visually appealing

A little extra work can smooth out the rough edges of your content.

This is especially key in blogging. When a reader lands on your blog you want them to easily skim and understand its content . Not every person is going to read every post in its entirety. Get over this notion now; the sooner the better. Bullet points, short paragraphs and call-out boxes will help the visual flow of your site or blog as well as help people who are skimming your content to take away key points. Whatever method you choose, consistency is key.  Create an eye-catching  style guide your posts to help you maintain formatting and aesthetics. This will keep your posts from being too all over the place.

Include Photos/Videos/Anything

A picture is worth a thousand words. Including a visual element not only helps break up the content, it also draws attention and conveys a theme. Internal images used in general social media posts also aid in personalizing your company. Actively demonstrating that your company is comprised of real people, as odd as that may sound, helps people relate more to your content. This perception technique is where behind the scenes photos at an event, for example, add a personal element to your work. People are curious by nature, and using an image can be a great way to peak curiosity. Tweeting a photo readers would not have otherwise seen helps draw more attention to your post, or encourage readers to click a link to read more. Next time you are at an event or have one going on in your own office, snap a photo or take some video and tweet away.

Content and ideas alone will not keep people interested, aesthetics play an important part in capturing and maintaining that interest.

What are your favorite stylistic techniques for social media content?