The Importance of Social Media

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Social media has recently become one of the hottest Public Relations (PR) tools to use when attempting to reach out to the community and to the media. Social media tools, such as a Blog, Twitter and Facebook, allow you the opportunity to connect with the consumer and media through one device simultaneously.

When approaching social media, it is very important to know your goals. Evaluate what you want to accomplish and do some research to identify your target audience.  It is best to keep your social media strategy simple and direct. Start small by registering for one social media tool and watch your strategy grow.

Below are some tips to ensure that your social media campaign will be a success:

• Most importantly make sure your online message is interesting and relevant to your audience. It has to provide value to your audience. Obvious commercials or one way pitches are not for social media.

• Your goal is to use social media to create a dialogue with the world not preach your own virtues.

• Create a social media ‘plan’. Carefully create a list of all of your goals. Celebrate the small wins!

• Research which social media tool is best for you. Most common tools include Blogs, Facebook and Twitter. You may choose to begin with a Blog and eventually connect it with other social media devices. However, it is true that the more tools you use, the more visible your business will be!

• Appoint one or two people in your office who will be responsible for updating your Blog and/or Facebook and Twitter account(s). This person should take initiative and become your business social media point person. They should also be kept up to date on all key messages.

• Update frequently and respond to comments! It is so important to keep your audience engaged. The more you update, the more likely people will continue to return to your site and the traffic will continue to grow. But again, updates have to be relevant to your audience.

• Your social media tool provides a snapshot of your brand. Make sure it is well represented and thoughtful.

• There are millions of blogs out there, so make sure you make yours unique!

• Be patient and start slow. Building your campaign will take time and mastering your messaging will be the ultimate goal. Do not be discouraged by the small number of subscribers in the beginning. Numbers do not define your influence.

• Always keep your target community in mind.

Remember: PR is key to increasing awareness and building the brand. Using social media only enhances the necessary dialogue between the consumer, news media and the organization for the long-term.  Feel free to contact me at huw@impactcanada.com with questions or comments.

Huw Williams

Impact Public Affairs

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