Technology and social media are constantly changing. One day the hot communication channel is Facebook, the next day, it’s Instagram. The ability to navigate the ever-changing world of social media and adapt to new trends has become a necessary skill for any PR professional. In this month’s Public Relations Tactics, Beverly Payton outlines a few key takeways from Deirdre Breakenridge’s book “Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional,” which gives advice on how PR pros can master social media:
- Create a social media policy: The first step in creating a social media policy, is understanding your existing market: what are people saying about your company, and how are they saying it? This knowledge will allow you to produce a thorough and targeted social media policy to be upheld by your business or clients.
- Become an internal collaborator: Breakenridge describes what she calls an “internal collaboration generator” as one who “[introduces] new ways to communicate within the organization.” Improving internal communications gives your company or your client the capability of streamlined collaboration that will produce strong results.
- Get organized: Breakenridge also discusses the important role of the “communications organizer” who combines reusing existing content with the creation of new content for social media campaigns. In relation to creating a social media policy, having an organized and thought-out approach to social media posts will ensure success.
- Meet community influencers: Another essential piece to the social media puzzle is the “relationship analyzer,” one who surveys your company’s or your client’s social media analytics and decides which influencers would be most beneficial to the brand. Breakenridge argues the most effective influencers are in the “magic middle,” someone who “gets everyone to do something.”
- Be prepared for a social media crisis: With the information readily available, being prepared for a social media crisis at any moment is vital for any business. Knowing how to prevent a crisis stems from monitoring any negative content regarding your business or your client. Assessing the possible extent of damages for any negative content will help you stop a crisis in its tracks.
- Master the metrics: Mastering the metrics involves understanding the importance of social media to PR professionals, and then using analytical tools to better reach your target audience through social media.
Throughout her book, Breakenridge calls for PR professionals to be “technology testers,” pushing the boundaries and being fearless in trying new methods. As social media continues to change and grow, PR professionals must be ready to take on any new challenge.