All businesses and professionals have a stake in how they’re perceived by the public, by their business partners, and by consumers. Overlooking or minimizing the impact of good public relations is tantamount to dying a slow death. Good PR is absolutely essential for your business’s survival. But where can you find cost-effective public relations if you’re a new startup or a business with limited resources? Enter social media.
Today’s internet is a Rolodex filled with hundreds of social media outlets. There are social media outlets for just about every segment of society and business. For example, if you’re an architect, you might try Archello™, a social connection for architecture. Or maybe you’re the founder of a tech company and are looking to engage other tech companies in partnership; you might try CrunchBase™, a tech company database. http://www.socialmediawebsites.com/ offers a useful directory of social media sites worth looking at for networking and PR campaigns.
Here are 3 ways you can use social media outlets to garner positive PR:
The first and most common way to use social media for effective public relations is to create a company profile on social media platforms with heavy traffic, such as Twitter™, Facebook™, MySpace™, and Linkedin®. Building your company’s profile on sites such as these focuses your target market by allowing your potential customers to link-up as “friends,” or under the banner “likes this.” In turn, you keep these “friends” abreast of the latest company developments and product deals.
The second way to utilize social media for public relations efforts is by creating authenticity. This can be achieved through media such as YouTube, in which potential customers and business partners see streaming video of the “face” of your company. People respond to visual stimuli, but even more to emotion. Being able to convey your genuine appreciation for your clientele or colleagues by allowing them to see you present your case to them is a very powerful approach.
The third way to optimize social media for your PR campaign is by using networking sites to bring attention to worthy causes championed by you and your company. Nothing says, “we care” like getting behind a worthy cause. Maybe your company sponsors a Special Olympian, or maybe you fight against domestic violence. Let people know through social astroturfing, like posting on message boards and blogging. Get the word out with the focus being the cause, and you will find that word spreads about its champion—you.