Online PR is all about relationship building, much like face to face networking, except there is more of it! Not only is the online word vast but it is all happening in real time. In cyberspace, discussions about brands, products and organisations are constant.
If you are a running a business you may have already learned that online PR and social media tools are the way for consumers and businesses to connect and exchange ideas and information. Consumers simply used to listen to what businesses had to say and there was little conversation but the tide has turned. Gone are the days when we rely solely on the information given to us in a magazine or a newspaper.
The power of the conversation is now in the hands of the consumers who engage directly with businesses on blogs, forums and social media sites. The consumer has far more influence and it is all happening in front of our eyes. We are all ‘journalists’, and everyone, if they choose, has a voice. The advantage is that the online conversations have more meaning and depth than ever before.
Digital PR and the world of social media are constantly growing and evolving. The only way to be efficient if you manage your own PR online and marketing is to streamline your efforts so that you are making the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.
So here are some of the ideas we think it is possible to put into practise so that your business or brand can maintain a presence online without the overload:
1. Decide on your marketing strategy.
Ideally you will be combining any offline advertising and marketing with your online efforts. Make sure that at the start of each month you decide what your messages are and who you are targeting. Use search engines to see what your competitors are doing and who they are trying to influence.
2. Make your marketing a priority.
Make time in your diary every day to follow up on what has been said about you online, to reply to enquiries and to update your online content. No time for marketing? Outsource!
3. Be time-efficient with social media.
If you have time constraints and are running your own online PR and marketing campaigns, use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at least and set up a YouTube channel for video marketing. Make sure there is a blog on your company website and post valuable informative content. It’s easy to get carried away when working on line and lose track of time, so stay focussed on what you need to say and where.
4. Plan your content.
Have informative, valuable and relevant articles and news releases ready to send out on a regular basis. Keep your social media and PR presence fresh. If you want your followers to engage then use your content to keep them interested. The same applies to your Tweets. You can automate your Tweets using this tool and time when they are to be sent out. Whether or not you automate your Tweets, if you are running a business and care what your followers are saying then check in. Pay attention to those who replied to you or connected. Man does not replace the machine!
5. Use Facebook Pages as an extension of your website.
Ask your followers for an opinion. Facebook giveaways are a great way to keep your followers coming back for more. Make sure that you are linking all your posts back to your website.
6. Link all your social media accounts.
Connect your Facebook Page and LinkedIn account with Twitter. This is a real timesaver. Most social media sites now give you the option to connect to other sites so that your content or updates are shared automatically.
7. Use Tweetdeck, Ping.fm, Hootsuite or one of the many other integration tools to update all your social media accounts at once.
If you want it even simpler, use Google Chrome browser extensions such as Chromed Bird, where you can see your real time updates on Twitter. You can reply and re-Tweet without being signed into your Twitter account.
8. Use free tools like Google Alerts, Addictomatic and Twitter Search to see what is being said about your business in cyberspace.
9. Reply to enquiries and follow up!
Using social media tools efficiently and making the most of your resources can be of great benefit and provides a real return on investment of your time. You choose what you want to say about your business or organisation and how you want to say it. Just one Tweet or article in the right place at the right time can be a deal maker. Be consistent, be open and approachable and keep it smart and simple.
If you want more details on any of the above points or a great PR sales and marketing agency to do it for you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org