Social media is now a significant part of any PR strategy and one that will only continue to become more important as time goes on. As such, it is important to have detailed social media strategies in place, to ensure that you maximise the results of all your social campaigns.
It may sound incredibly simple, but being relevant is one of the most important social media strategies, and has been proved time and time again to be a successful one. Ensure that all of the content you post is relevant to your audience and relevant to the time at which you are posting it.
A great way to ensure your social media posts are relevant is to research awareness days and include these in your content-planning calendar. Being relevant also means being visible. Your strategy should focus on keeping all of your social media channels active – as the saying goes: “out of sight, out of mind”. Being relevant also requires agility; when an industry-related news story breaks, you need to be quick with your response.
The only thing worse than not keeping your social content relevant is trying to jump on a trend too late. American restaurant chain Red Lobster did just this when it took too long to respond to a mention in a Beyonce song, and the internet was quick to notice.
You need to earn your audience’s attention on social media – no brand deserves it as a given. PRs need to recognise that social media is part of “personal space” for many consumers and that you need to provide value driven content to be there. Instead of chasing metrics, focus on how your content adds value for your audience; the attention will soon follow once you start doing that.
Consider what your audience’s needs are, and tailor your social strategy to address this. Following on from being relevant, be aware of what is happening in your industry and ask yourself how you can build upon this to add value to your social media posts.
Strategy is all about the long haul. Keep all your posts consistent in frequency and style. Although you may be tempted to change your strategy if you don’t see results straight away, consistency will pay off in the long run. It is also important that your social strategy addresses the need for consistency in posting frequency, in brand voice, and in messaging.
Mind your tone of voice
Whilst social media is all about being informal and connecting with your audience, you need to ensure that your social media activity reflects your company image.
As straightforward as it sounds, this is a key component of a successful social strategy to ensure your content comes across as genuine, rather than just pushing sales on different channels.
Take note of social strategy used to market the Deadpool movie. Although the content came across as crass, and at times completely inappropriate, the campaign was consistent from start to finish, in line with Deadpool’s tone of voice, and reinforced the brand persona.
‘Newsjacking’ may have been 2015’s buzzword, but it is still an effective social media strategy for PR professionals to consider. The term is self-explanatory and refers to the strategy of “hijacking” current news and trending topics to promote your brand’s message. Although newsjacking can be a highly effective strategy, it is important that you get it right.
Meaningful newsjacking is the only sort you should be interested in. This involves staying ahead of the curve, using good judgment, and choosing your angle. Specsavers excelled at this when it news jacked the Oscar announcement mix-up.
Staying ahead of the curve will ensure that your content gains maximum exposure. It’s crucial that you assess whether or not the ‘conversation’ is worth joining. The backlash from newsjacking gone wrong can often be what makes the headlines, rather than your original brand message – something Pepsi learned the hard way, with its Kendall Jenner campaign.
Engage in conversations
As the name implies, social media is all about being social. Creating content as a brand on social media is not enough. You have to engage in real conversations with your audience. Look at any recent roundup of the best social PR campaigns. One of the most common themes will be audience engagement. Plan for this in your social strategy.
The likes of Tesco and Aldi have nailed social media interactions. They’re often in the news for their quick-witted and informal styles. Don’t be afraid of questioning your audience either. Asking them for suggestions or opinions on topics is a sure-fire way to boost engagements.
Engaging competitors is also an effective social strategy if doing so is in line with your brand persona. Similarly to newsjacking, you can jump into other brand conversations to promote your own message. Or, in the case of fast-food chain Wendy’s, even take over the conversation completely.
The reason this works so well is because it humanises your brand. Your audience begins to see it as a person, rather than just a company.
Utilising video content
Video is becoming the new standard content format. Everywhere you look, industry leaders are stressing the importance of using visual content in social media campaigns. And, judging by the statistics, that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
In order to effectively utilise video as part of your social strategy, you need to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest trends, and how new developments like Facebook Live affect your brand’s online use of video.
As creating video content can be time-consuming. Plan in advance and schedule time to work as part of your overall social media strategy.
Now you’ve read our rundown of some social strategies for PR, are there any examples of effective social media campaigns you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!