The lure of social media is strong – Americans following brands on social networks jumped from 16% to 33% between 2010 and 2012 according to a study from Edison Research.
As savvy publicists, we are responsible for navigating our clients through the social media landscape, pointing them to channels that are most relevant to their audience and demonstrating our digital prowess in a noisy online world. Within this backdrop, PR pros have a great opportunity to showcase their expertise in the digital realm and set their clients up for social media success.
Not quite sure how to start? Follow these four tips to help you become the ultimate social media champion for your most valued clients.
Choose Wisely And Share Meaningful Content
Great counsel begins with understanding what your clients want to achieve followed by understanding what their target audience wants. Oftentimes, our value as social media experts comes from mediating the interactive relationships between the two and finding the right content to share on the appropriate social platforms.
For instance, Facebook fans desire entertainment and direct interaction with the brands they follow. Continuously pushing out marketing content or promotion-specific posts will only turn fans away. On the other hand, Twitter followers want fast, minute-by-minute updates and don’t mind seeing labeled sponsored posts from time to time. Identifying the best interaction source for your client is key to any campaign’s success.
Feeling pressured to use more than just one platform?
It’s okay use multiple networks but counsel your clients to use channels that will be beneficial not only to them but also to the people they want to reach.
Always Keep An Eye Out for New Digital Trends
Savvy counsel should always take note of the latest piece of news coming from the media trenches – from following industry tips to learning about new tech upgrades, network changes and more. We must understand how new trends ultimately affect our clients and our social media campaigns.
But proceed with caution: The ‘latest and greatest’ social media trend doesn’t translate well for everyone. As a consultant, don’t feel like you need to persuade your client to jump on a new tech bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it. Always keep client goals in mind when running a social media campaign and don’t get distracted too quickly by new developments without doing your research first.
Turn Knowledge Into Action
The social media knowledge we share is only as valuable as the actions our clients agree to take. As advisors, you must provide credible, supporting ROI data on all digital marketing strategies and tactics.
For example, if Twitter adds a new, integrated search option or Facebook adds a new editing feature, our counsel must help clients understand why these network updates are important. We must provide relevant facts on how the change can be leveraged and used to the brand’s advantage. Be sure to build a solid understanding of how social media can fine tune search results, reach new audience members and build upon follower numbers. Because social media is always changing, it is important keep in mind both pros and cons of all platform features to truly optimize ROI.
Be Transparent and Keep It Real
The best way to boast your social media expertise is to show your client both campaign successes and lessons learned.
Consistently monitor their social channels on a daily basis to watch and hear what audiences are saying. Highlight achievements on a regular basis. If your efforts turn an unhappy customer into a brand ambassador, make note of it. Clients appreciate being regularly updated with real-life and real-time examples of success. If a tactic doesn’t produce a predicted result, be transparent, let them know and adjust from there. It’s the only realistic way to improve and evolve social media engagement techniques.
All in all, social media is not a one-size-fits-all vehicle of communication. In order to successfully navigate our clients through online clutter, we must be the expert counsel they need and encourage them to truly ‘get social’.
What are your thoughts on the art of giving real social media counsel? Share below!