5 essential social media rules for successful PR

It’s no secret that technology has completely changed the way people do business today, especially in the world of PR. Over the past decade, we’ve seen a major shift from sending out memos and letters, to sending out emails, tweets and posts to your newsfeed.

But along with this new age, effective way of doing business, comes a lot of responsibility to say the right things and post the right content, in order for your PR to have maximum impact while keeping your audience in good spirits.

Here are five rules for every PR pro to follow, to make sure their social media etiquette is up to par, and that they are reaping all the benefits of technology through smart PR.

Don’t be a robot

People like personal connections especially when it comes to a brand or product they like. Customers want to feel connected with a business, get news and interact with them at the push of a button, which is why they will follow these social media accounts in the first place. Because of this, PR pros need to make it their obligation to eliminate automated responses in order to keep the customer-brand connection strong and flourishing. Every customer wants to be recognised as an individual contributor and feel special and unique to a business. Personally responding to individual inquiries will emphasise the importance of each customer’s needs and concerns and will create a good relationship between your company and the people it depends on to survive.

Be a first responder

Because social media has become a platform for real-time news and updates, customers expect the same efficiency when trying to contact and seek responses on these platforms. When a customer is using social media to contact a company, it usually means they don’t want the hassle of picking up the phone or waiting in an email lineup, to get a response. To make sure every comment, question or suggestion is acknowledged, assign different messages to different people on your team in order to ensure efficient, prompt responses. Doing something as simple as this can make even an unhappy customer feel like a priority to your company, which could be the difference between a good and bad customer review.

Don’t abuse the #hashtag

Hashtags are a great way to give your social media posts higher visibility by using keywords to directly target a specific audience. But although helpful, it’s very easy to get carried away with the number of hashtags you use because let’s face it, they can be #addicting. But as a PR pro, you need to be very careful not to let this happen. An overuse of hashtags can not only be distracting to the followers reading your posts, but it can also contradict its initial purpose. By being selective about the hashtags you use, your posts will reach the largest amount of your target audience, in order to guarantee the greatest success on return.

Keep it professional

Whether it’s politics, religion or a heated argument, there are some things you don’t engage in on a company account. You must make sure the social media accounts you’re managing on your company’s behalf, are only posting informative, helpful and constructive comments on their pages. Social media accounts under a company name, are not the place to portray opinions on sensitive subjects, and all personal thoughts should be saved for personal accounts. By staying out of controversial topics you are marking your company as a neutral party and eliminating the risk of losing supporters because of differences in opinion or potential offensive comments.

Spellcheck

As a PR pro, especially a PR pro posting to social media, you are meant to be the master of all things communications on both a verbal and written scale. From dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s, you need to make sure all of your spelling, punctuation and everything in between is correct before sending it out for the world to see. Any kind of grammar or spelling mistake can make both you and your company look unprofessional and ignorant in the eyes of your audiences. A PR pro can’t live up to their name and reputation as a master communicator if they aren’t practising what they preach. So make sure you’re checking every letter, of every word, of every post before you send it out, so your credibility isn’t questioned due to a careless mistake.

Social media is great for getting your story out there, but do you want to get it further? Want access to our incredible press release distribution platform and our database of over 6,000 media contacts? Click here or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845 to find out all that MediaHQ can do for you.