As I've recently been named as one of Behind the Spin's frontrunners for PR Blog of the year, I decided I need to have a crack at giving you, my readers, some business tips and PR tricks that I have learnt over my time as a student at Edge Hill.
I thought about this long and hard. What can I teach people that would help them in business? What element of a business do I know like the back of my hand? At this time I was scrolling through Twitter...and that's when it hit me.
Being a child of the social media age, I know way too much about the positives and negatives of using social media for an event or promoting a product. So now I'm going to pass my knowledge onto you in my favourite form, a 'do' and 'don't' column.
Rely on one social media platform: Facebook is used by over ... people a year and Twitter is used by ... a year but if you really want to promote a product both platforms and sometimes even more are needed. Each platform is designed to convey a certain message and audience. Some people prefer the layout of Facebook, some people prefer tweeting about a product. As long as you update both, you're already starting to get the word out about the thing you're promoting.
Forget your image: I have learnt this all too well. Image is everything to what you're promoting, you have to ensure your brand/company stays within a certain frame of mind. You want them to seem positive and no slip ups can be allowed. I know, I know, some trolls on the internet deserve a few choices words, but in order to keep yourself pleasant the eyes of the consumer, rise above them. Just because fighting back works for Piers Morgan, doesn't mean it will work for you.
Rite like dis: You are not a chavvy teenager, or an adult thinking they are cool. You are a business, and unless that form of spelling is essential to your brand, I'd scrap it and pull out the thesaurus.
Use other people's posts: Imitation may be a form of flattery but can end nastily if you're not lucky. Images will have copyright and even quotes from people must be used with their permission in some cases. Just make sure you stick to the legal side of social media and everything will be rosy!
Make sure you update your platforms: I am the worst for this I know. I try not to go on hiatus but sometimes I have way too much work to do (lame excuse - slap on the wrist for me). Keep yourself in the know, like any good PR does. Read the newspaper and learn about any awareness days coming up in the calendar, for example, if you are promoting a vegetable grater, vegetarian day might be one of the days you circle! As long as you keep active, people will become invested in your social media and eventually the product. If you can't be at the computer 24/7, many people use scheduling websites such as Hootesuite to schedule their posts for different times during the day.
Communicate: Communication with consumers is a huge part of being a platform online. Nowadays nobody wants to wait hours on the phone to customer service when they have an app that can take you right to the source's Twitter page. Your job will become 50% promotion and 50% customer service and you need to deal with them quickly and quietly. Most online companies, e.g. Cadbury's offer their customers the option to DM (direct message) which causes less mess on the Twitter feed. Although, communication is not all negative. People love it when a celebrity or a product favourite's or replies to them, (I went into a panic when Kim Catrall favourited a tweet of mine last year) so try to people engaging and friendly.
Network: Participating in #FF (Follow Friday) is something I have noticed that small businesses around Liverpool tend to do, as a way of showing support for one another and also creating networking/collaboration potential. Growing your business might mean getting promoted by a bigger company or a magazine, everyone helps each other a little on their way to the top.
So there are some of my do's and don't's about social media. If you're unsure still about how to go about it, I also suggest hiring a social media manager or perhaps reading up online. Twitter also send out emails entitled 'Twitter for business' which is a helpful tool for anyone struggling in that department. Hope this post has helped some of you and if you're thinking of creating a Twitter account for your business, don't forget to follow me! @joanna22x
Thanks for reading,
To view the Frontrunners list for PR Blog of the Year visit Behind the Spin's website: http://t.co/6oiPWbZUz2