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  • Writer's pictureLaura Merritt

Public relations: The growing influence of social media

This is part two of a four part series. Read part one here.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the number of platforms and their influence grow. Many brands and businesses are struggling to decide on which platforms they should be. The simple answer is that you don’t have to be everywhere. In fact, it's simply not possible. Three things to consider when determining the social platforms on which you should be active include:

  • Your target audience. Where are your customers, clients, prospects and competitors? If, for example, they are primarily on LinkedIn, you should be there too.

  • The differences between platforms. For example, Facebook targets audiences based on interests, which makes it a great choice for reaching consumers. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is more focused on professional targeting, making it a better fit for business-to-business activity.

  • How much time and effort you can commit. It can be incredibly time consuming to create separate images, videos and text tailored for each platform. And it’s extremely important to actively engage with your followers, which could be considerable across multiple platforms.

If you spread yourself too thin, the quality of your brand is likely to suffer. At the same time, while caution is recommended, you shouldn't be afraid to experiment on emerging platforms and expanded features on existing platforms.

Live audio conversations like those offered with the recently introduced Twitter Spaces allows you to speak in real time with journalists. This can jumpstart relationship-building and can offer great insights into what journalists are looking for, which can be leveraged to secure the desired media coverage for your brand. For those considering entering the podcast domain, Twitter Space is a terrific way to test the waters without making a major commitment.

Why aren’t more PR pros on Twitter?

Twitter is a great tool for building relationships with journalists, finding out what they’re looking for and what stories they're working on. Journalists are eager to interact with PR pros on Twitter, both when pitching a story or simply engaging when you don't need or want anything. The latter is an important step in building those relationships.

Other platforms like TikTok and Instagram are increasingly popular with brands incorporating video into the media strategies. And, because nearly 70 percent of people prefer learning something new via short form videos, more journalists are using these platforms to share short stories and connect with their audiences.

Social media presents brands with a vast range of opportunities to engage with their target audiences. However, if a brand’s presence on these platforms is not authentic, consistent, engaging and trustworthy, it can come back to haunt them. Once again, it is the responsibility of the PR professional to build a social media strategy that ensures a strong and meaningful connection for the brand with its audience.

Social media is not the only thing changing for PR pros. In part three of this series, we will cover artificial intelligence, the Metaverse and cross-functional integration.

How can we help you?

AOE's expertise in public relations, social media, branding and communications is proven. Let’s chat about your strategy, key messages and tactics today!


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