Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
Social media is a blessing and a curse. What does that mean in this instance? It means that people who inculturate themselves within apps such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram romanticize it. Granted, it does give people the satisfaction of going viral if they post something that’s popular enough to “win the internet.”
However, if you’re advocating for a certain cause instead of winning the comments section, there might be some roadblocks to consider. One essential roadblock that stands out is a weak relational link when it comes down to connecting to your audience. One individual shared a personal story about his works with an at-risk child, which led to $6,000 worth in donations as a result.
On the surface, this sounds really good, and it is. But, his charity foundation blog earned 750 shares. Only 92 people actually decided to make a donation to his particular. This reasserts the lack of action taken due to the fact that 680 people spread the word without donating themselves. Also, 80 people that donated were ones that this individual met in person in order to build a strong personal relationship with his audience.
Don’t get me wrong, advocacy is one of the strongest aspects of an amazing public relations and marketing campaign in addition to social media as a whole. Yet, intention and applying intentions into reality are two different things.
Large social media audiences does not automatically equal results and action. It’s nice to have a large reach, but the importance of primary and secondary research is essential to a campaign because it makes for better analysis of trends and how people might think long-term.
Also, automatically thinking that people will just believe in your idea is romanticizing the way that a company caters to the respective audience, and will guarantee a failure of execution. Again, having a good reach is not good enough.
Lastly, social media is an effective tool in this era, but it doesn’t do the work itself, especially for public relations practitioners. So, it’s a blessing if you know how to use it properly and effectively.
Photo credit: Raymond Ellis/Wikimedia Commons