Social Media Marketing (SMM) + Public Relations (PR) - The Ultimate GuidePublished on 24th of October 2023
Social media has become an integral part of public relations, owing to discussions and perceptions that they’re in fact the same thing and that one cannot exist well without the other.
Recently, we examined how these two promotion strategies can be integrated for a more powerful online marketing campaign (by the way, here are 6 marketing strategies to avoid on Instagram). We'll go through our findings in this article:
The new public relations
A good reputation is critical for a company's success. Public relations is the way of building a positive image for your brand by promoting your connection to consumers. The goal of a good PR plan is to send a message that your company has good things to share with the world.
But how can you establish your public image without social media? Everything happens there now—the better you know this media, the better your business will be. Your presence on social media reflects the reputation of your company in real life.
That's how your bio, story, posts, and social media presence can get everyone to know more about you. Activities on your social accounts are great for sharing how your brand is doing with the world.
In other words, public relations is just one fraction of marketing and social media is just one channel for marketing.
The new media
Social media is the way of the future—the new media for connecting our world. It's not just about staying in touch with friends and family anymore; there are also lots of great business opportunities to take advantage of.
It is no longer just a way of sharing photos or talking about your day; social networks are now utilized across all kinds of industries—from news and fashion to sports, music, and healthcare.
It's possible for people to build their businesses or careers in the digital world by leveraging social media marketing. As an excellent marketing channel, potential clients/customers can get to know you better and connect with you in an authentic way.
How does social media relate to public relations?
In today's world, you'll find that your customers will largely interact with your brand on social media. This is your chance to reach out and strike a conversational tone with them.
As we all know, this new media lets us reach a global audience - like the way Amazon and eBay advertise to existing and potential buyers, or how Apple sells their goods across the world.
If you have clients all across the country, how will they relate to you? What do you tell them about your business and why should they work with you? Social media is a great avenue for this. It promotes your company online and brings your products to different demographics.
Your brand has an identity and to promote it properly, you need to leverage both social media marketing and public relations. Here are a few ways that you can use them together to get the most out of both approaches:
1. Sharing public relations online
Every PR activity should be shared across social media platforms. This is connecting both tactics for maximum impact, making sure that your efforts really get the attention and results they deserve.
These two work in tandem; however, there's a slight difference. Public relations is about directly interacting with audiences, while marketing involves wider reach through digital channels.
PR is a broad term and could include anything from press conferences and rallies to tours and more. Sharing these activities on your social feeds can create a perception of you as a well-respected professional or brand.
A disadvantage of public relations is the limited amount of time people have to talk to you, so it's important to take advantage of your online presence.
Your PR should go beyond physical communications and activities, so find ways to engage more with the public by using the digital sphere to your advantage.
Uploading your PR materials online will give you an advantage over the competition. Not only can you reach more people by using social media, but you also have the opportunity to be far more targeted in your approach.
Make your PR dealings a comprehensive package—an all-around activity. Nowadays, it's easier to connect on social media than a physical meeting. If you've ever been in love (or are currently), you'll notice that the relationship gets better the more time you spend talking on the phone or online.
This is also true for public relations. When you share your pursuits online, you're more likely to get engagement with your consumers. This is how you can integrate PR into SMM. You should make sure that all your PR activities are streamed live so that the public can engage with them.
2. Using social media as a weapon
Social media is a useful tool for PR. Networks like LinkedIn and Twitter are great for getting your business out there. These platforms provide a great marketing opportunity for promoting your services or products.
It is becoming more difficult to be heard with traditional methods of advertising, but social media is allowing your voice to be heard with less risk.
Consider implementing PR strategies on social media to reach a wider audience and generate brand awareness. If you only focus on in-person PR, you're missing out on potential customers who can't get to your physical locations.
Public relations involve more than just creating content for your audience—you want to build a strong, positive relationship with them. One way you can do that is by interacting with them on the sites they spend most of their time on.
Social media offers a variety of methods for businesses to engage with potential customers. It's important to maximize these opportunities and give your potential customers a positive online experience. Marketing your business online will let you build a perception of who you are as a brand and what you offer.
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3. Integrating social media and public relations
PR mainly focuses on spreading positive awareness and changing attitudes towards the brand, whilst SMM has a stronger focus on sales and purchases.
The whole idea is to integrate these two marketing strategies. When your social media marketing involves your public relations, then you're set up for success!
When you're using social media for marketing, public relations is key. For example, if you're promoting a video game, incorporate elements of your brand into the game.
By doing this, you can relate and communicate better with your customers and clients. Companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and the rest use social media to stay in touch with their customers.
Check out our article about the best Instagram marketing strategy examples for brands.
4. Leveraging your executives' online presence
Lastly, let your leaders maintain an adequate social media presence. An executive social strategy is a great way to integrate public relations with social media marketing.
For instance, your CEO can share his activities on his handle and drop a little design of your brand by the top corner—that can pass as public relations on social media.
This is a way you can subtly and effectively incorporate your brand into these two without customers noticing. Your exec promotes your company on their respective social media platforms.
Your leaders are representatives of your brand. The truth is, some consumers connect to your executive first before they connect to the brand.
You can also promote brand awareness by using employees' social media accounts as well as their work. Their posts about your company could be seen as a form of public relations.
By taking a personal approach to your consumers, you'll be able to forge a stronger connection with them. Your brand is ultimately created by the people who work there and when they interact online with customers, it's essentially public relations.
Learn how to use public relations and social media marketing together, for a more compelling and effective brand marketing strategy.
There are a variety of ways to combine PR and SMM, but it's important to understand the difference between each strategy so that you can choose the best combination for your brand.