How to Use Social Media to Boost PR - And Vice Versa
Just a few years ago, public relations and social media were seen as separate entities. You could specialize in public relations, which focused on traditional media outreach, or new media, which encompassed all things digital. In today’s shifting PR world, this is simply not the case any longer. PR needs social, just as social benefits from the third-party validation gained in traditional media hits.
It’s no longer possible to have a successful PR presence without a robust social media strategy to accompany it. If you attempt it, you are leaving the bigger part of your ROI at the door.
Here are three reasons it is vital to incorporate social media into your PR goals – and vice versa.
1) Traditional Media Hits Grow Social Followings
One of the most challenging, and often frustrating, aspects of maintaining a strong social media presence is building an engaged following. Changing algorithms have all but eliminated organic reach from the major social platforms, and organizations are increasingly relying on ad dollars to reach their targeted audiences.
However, appearances in traditional media outlets remain one of the free options for growing a following. For example, several years ago, our client Autumn Miles appeared on The 700 Club, one of the most-watched Christian television programs in America. One hour after her interview aired, her social following doubled. This growth continued as she made future appearances in traditional media, complimenting her existing social marketing strategy. Today, she has over 100,000 followers who are actively engaged with her content.
2) Strong Social Media Followings Entice Traditional Media Hits
Journalists’ main duty is to report the news to their audiences. However, they face additional pressure of bringing in viewers, readers and listeners – an increasingly difficult task for many outlets. Though their first concern when considering a potential guest is the guest’s qualifications and knowledge of the topic at hand, it certainly doesn’t hurt when a guest has a strong social media presence.
This tells the journalist two things. First, it signals that the guest’s content resonates with a large number of people and is of high quality. Second, it promises that additional individuals will be tuning in to hear the guest. When a guest promises to promote an upcoming interview to their followers, it is mutually beneficial to both the traditional news outlet and the guest, as both are able to reach a new audience.
3) Social Media Extends the Value of Traditional Media Hits
In the past, a traditional media appearance was pretty much a one-and-done occurrence. The guest conducted his or her interview, and anyone who was tuned in at that time heard the message. Anyone who had the radio or TV off was just out of luck. These appearances were still incredibly valuable, but once the hit was over the value quickly dissipated.
Today, social media multiplies the value of traditional hits. Not only can the guest and outlet share a link to the interview to reach their followers, but a guest can promote the hit to gain additional exposure.
One of the main values of traditional media is unbiased, third-party validation. By spending a little ad money to promote the interview clip to new audiences, the guest is able to grow his or her influence. With social media, the actual interview is just the beginning of the value to the guest.
Social media and traditional public relations strategy don’t just live in harmony, they build each other up. When looking at your publicity plans, it’s important to consider how you will incorporate both.