According to Social Media Magazine here are five ways to get the most out of social media as part of your public relations strategy. The full article is here.
- Link to articles. Almost every media outlet has online versions of articles and news segments. When an article runs about your business, let others know by posting a link on your social media networks. This not only heightens brand awareness, it also shows the publication or channel that the public is interested in what the reporter said about your business. Bookmarking sites like Reddit, Delicious, StumpleUpon and Digg are also great ways to flag an article for others to find through keyword searches.
- Drive traffic to website. Do not forget to always include your website in every email, blog comment and forum post. On LinkedIn, for example, after answering a question or posting on a forum, include your URL. If your post was interesting or informative, chances are high that the viewer will click on your link for more. In public relations, the online objective is to do more than just raise awareness; it is to direct interested parties to the business? door or web page. Then it is up to the business to make the sale or pursue the relationship.
- Be an industry expert. Rather than focus on selling, present yourself as an educator. If you are in the IT industry, answer general questions and prove yourself to be a credible resource. When others view you as an industry expert, they will be more likely to turn to you for their IT needs and refer others to your business. This particularly applies to LinkedIn or any professional network.
- Respond to feedback. The general public freely gives opinions all over the World Wide Web. A big aspect of managing social media is maintaining a pulse on what your customers and prospects are saying about you or the brand you represent. Gossip is no longer exchanged behind your back, it is public and is as simple to find as a Google or Twitter search. Once you discover comments, whether positive or negative, respond. If people sing your praises, thank them and use the feedback as a testimonial or an opportunity to retweet on Twitter or include as a status update on Facebook, FriendFeed or LinkedIn. If you come across disgruntled customers, it is best to make it right and put your best customer service practices to work.
- Involve the audience. Some of the best viral marketing campaigns involve audience participation on Twitter, Facebook fan pages, YouTube and Myspace. One way to harness attention of your business through public relations is to host a contest. If you have a new product, invite your customers to think of a name for it. Include directions on your website, then direct participants to submit YouTube video entries and vote via Twitter or other sites. Not only would this make your company be incredibly searchable, but you generate a big hype around the new product that may warrant news coverage for your company as well.