Council Post: Five Creative Ways To Use Social Media And PR For Branding

Council Post: Five Creative Ways To Use Social Media And PR For Branding

When it comes to branding your business, utilizing a healthy mix of public relations and social media to boost your strategic marketing plan is key. While the tactics may vary depending on whether you’re engaging in B2B marketing or B2C marketing, there’s no limit to the ways you can be creative to bring awareness to your brand.

When it comes to PR, it’s all about reaching new customers, adding value and staying top of mind. While people think that PR and marketing are the same, they are uniquely different. PR is the way you positively promote your brand and leverage marketing deals with additional key elements of your brand that help growth and longevity. PR used to consist of traditional media outlets and press releases to get the word out, but social media has changed the game.

Social media has its own lane and can work in tandem with your PR efforts for a lasting impact. In fact, many say that in today’s digital spaces, you can’t have one without the other. So, if PR is what you’re using to position your brand in a positive light, and social media is where people see these efforts taking place, it only makes sense that the two need each other. It’s hard to find brands that want exposure without a social media presence, and for good reason. According to Instagram (via Hootsuite), 50% of users have clicked through to a brand’s website to buy something after seeing it in Stories.

If you’re wondering how to creatively merge the two, here are five ways to get it done:

When you think of hashtags, you immediately consider social media. While hashtags can strengthen your campaign or what you have to say, targeted hashtags help keep conversations going. Those conversations become valuable when you use them in your PR efforts. This is a great way to get people on the bandwagon with your efforts. Good hashtags are easy to remember, and you can use them to support causes, build a community, and highlight things your brand is doing. When you use it the right way, one branded hashtag can live forever.

Social media gives brands an opportunity to show their human side. That means you should engage with your customers and followers in real time to build relationships in an open forum. This is a great way to get buzz for your brand through retweets and shoutouts. A good way to get those mentions is by responding to everything: questions, comments and complaints. Another great tactic is to retweet when someone says something positive. They appreciate the retweet, which makes them want to engage and tell others about your brand. Allowing people to be real and ask questions means they will expect an answer. This is an opportunity to make sure your voice is heard—and theirs is, too.

B2B companies and their management teams are all over LinkedIn. This is a great time to have your management team or someone from the PR staff discuss noteworthy items or ideas going on with your brand. This can help make your brand seem personal and human. Your target audience will get the message, but you’re using social media and PR tactics to gain visibility for your brand.

If you’re an expert in your field, showcase your expertise by contributing to a business blog. This not only gives your brand exposure to a larger audience but also means you can follow up by promoting your contribution on social media. You can pull excerpts from the blog for social posts, create signature hashtags, create Reels or make a quick social video where you read an excerpt from the blog.

Influencers are becoming common in the world of social media and PR. One influencer can change the trajectory of the success of your brand when you use the right strategy. If B2C marketing is part of your digital marketing strategy, using an influencer to engage and connect with their audience can make a big difference in getting exposure for your products and services and can keep the conversation going long after your partnership with the influencer is done.

In my opinion, PR can no longer thrive without social media. These tactics should help position you for long-term success.

Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

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