How PR Pros Can Leverage Social Media

By Elena Fuhrmann, Account Coordinator at LCI 
EF Blog PostFor PR practitioners, learning to navigate social media is imperative in a media world that looks less traditional and more digital day by day. The power of social media is no secret in PR, but knowing how to develop your personal and professional social profiles may not be immediately clear. Used effectively and strategically, social media is a valuable DRH tool.
PR pros can leverage social media in a variety of ways:
Know your angle. Creating a purpose or a persona for your social profiles should be one of your first steps in establishing a social media presence. Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish through social media?” and “Who do I want to reach?” Some businesses want to develop new client leads and drive sales. Others want to build online relationships. Creating social media goals can help determine what kind of content you should post. Whatever your goal may be, develop relationships by interacting with other users to establish your audience. Post appropriate content with your goals and audience in mind.
Engage. Users are inundated with content on multiple platforms. How can you make your posts stand out? Engage your audience. A proven way to increase engagement is to ask relevant questions in your posts, so users feel compelled to answer. In turn, interact with your followers. Thank users for re-tweeting you, respond to comments, spark discussions. Engagement is a two-way street.
Interact with the media. Interacting with news outlets and journalists on social media is a great way to begin media relationships. Most media professionals have social profiles. When you post an article, tag the journalist who wrote it. They may or may not interact with your post, but they will likely notice you if they are active on social media. If you decide to pitch the journalist in the future, use social media to catalyze a conversation (e.g. “Hi Sarah, I read your recent LinkedIn post and thought you might be interested in this opportunity…”). However, liking a few posts will not necessarily lead to a successful pitch. Use social media to facilitate your introduction to a contact and your pitch to win them over.
Leverage images and videos.  PR pros know that pictures gain visibility for press releases and pitches. Visual content is also popular across social media platforms. Post images, infographics and videos to engage your audience and attract users to your profiles. A picture is worth 140 characters.
Consider these tips a general guide to developing a social media presence. Because the field continually grows and changes, there are no set formulas for strong profiles. Start with the basics and grow your profiles strategically, according to your social media goals and your audience’s interests. PR pros, brands and news publications alike can benefit from strong social profiles in the current media landscape.
What are your go-to social media tips? Let me know in the comments section or send an email to [email protected].

5 thoughts on “How PR Pros Can Leverage Social Media

  1. Elena – great thoughts. Too often business professionals assume social media is all about the tactics, but without goals and a strategy, a social media presence can never be successful. That’s where an experienced PR pro can help. Cheers, David

  2. I particularly like your “engage” point, Elena. Many businesses use social media as a self-serving PR tool– only tweeting out their own news — and not contributing to the online dialogue. After all it’s called “social” media folks. Thanks for the post!

  3. Great post, Elena! It’s true — the lack of a social media formula allows users to be more creative when trying to reach their audience. I’m sure we’ll see many changes in the industry within the next few years.
    -Zach

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