One of the biggest trends to affect the PR industry is the rise in technology. Today, nearly everyone has access to the internet and are using it more and more for means of communication. Being active online is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity; if organisations want to be successful.
Everybody’s doing it
Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? What’s your favourite platform on social media? Either way, an increasing number of us are using it. A survey by the European Communication Monitor (ECM), which interviewed communicators from 43 countries, found the changing relevance of key channels in the last 10 years. While face-to-face communication was found to be the top most important channel of communication, the internet and social media follow shortly after. The rise of usage and relevance of social media has seen a constant increase since it first came into play, with no signs of it slowing down.
What does this mean for PR?
Being active on social media puts your organisation in the middle of the public’s platform for conversation. It’s becoming the norm for organisations to be online. When your company is only a tweet away, consumers get a quick response and a positive association with that brand. In PR, you want consumers to interact with the brand, so every post, tweet and comment is an opportunity. Companies who have greater exposure are more recognisable and are more likely to be talked about. When people follow a brand, they are more likely to be loyal consumers. Influential consumers can become something like brand ambassadors when they promote and talk about a brand because they like it so much.
While technology provides opportunities for businesses, everyone has the ability to publish any information about your brand, whether it’s good or bad. When it comes to times of crisis, organisations are having to be more transparent. It is now more important than ever to develop a good relationship with consumers. When people can publish their complaints onto social media for everyone to see, a company has the opportunity to reply and resolve the issue.
A good campaign will use social media to get more exposure to their brand and will integrate the campaign across different platforms to target all possible consumers. Hashtags give people the opportunity to talk about the same thing and we love to all get involved. If a campaign is really successful, it may go viral. A viral campaign can generate great exposure for a brand and can lead to more likes, followers and consumers.
Netflix created their ‘Netflix Socks’ to detect when binge watchers fall asleep mid-episode. Netflix lovers everywhere could even make their own socks and personalise them with ‘Netflix Originals’ designs. The campaign went viral and lead to two Twitter mentions per minute in the first week of the campaign, as well as 1 billion media impressions, 300 million social media impressions and 600 live TV segments. You can go to makeit.netflix.com to check out their latest campaign.
“These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.” – Aaron Lee, marketing and social media expert
What do you think of the rise of social media? Can businesses survive without it?