The age of the internet has dramatically affected the way we do business. New avenues for businesses have increased competition to an all time high. This makes it difficult to get noticed, even if your company is providing a great service or putting out fantastic products. In order to combat this, smart companies look to social media marketing agencies to help them establish and nurture a positive public image. The best social media firms are simply public relations professionals who have adapted with the changing times. They still specialize in traditional public relations methods, they’ve just added a primary focus on social media, and for good reasons. Millions of users visit their accounts and view content on social media each day. If your business can harness its power to develop a great image you’ll have a distinct advantage over the competition.
The primary focus of PR and social media management is to open the lines of communication. Public relations is simple the effective management of various communication strategies aimed at building positive relationships between firm or organizations and their target audience. The reason so many PR firms have developed social media marketing strategies is because of the effectives of the internet in managing these communications. Social media has allowed for two-way communications instead of the standard one channel method of companies talking and audiences listening. Of course the internet is valuable in ways beyond social media. Third party websites are a fantastic place to get earned media. People still watch TV and read newspapers and magazines, so these sources are still valuable, but many people are shifting to internet exclusive consumption.
When it comes to PR there are some practices that should definitely be avoided. For example, you never want to hire a company that will create an advertisement and try to disguise it as valuable, useful content. People see right through this tactic, and they do not appreciate it. People are not stupid, but those who think they can a fast one like this on them think they are. There’s a place for advertising, but it should never be misleading. People often confuse public relations and advertising, but they’re actually quite different. Advertising focuses on purchasing exposure, whether it’s on TV, radio, in print, on the internet, or outdoor campaigns. While it is important, advertising doesn’t carry the same clout that merit based exposure does. The overall goal of public relations and social media management services is to present your company as an honest, fair, open, and valuable organization.
Most social media or PR agencies will offer a wide variety of services included with their overall strategy. When you’re reviewing proposals from various companies weigh their plans against the list of services we’ve created. These are some of the more important features you should look for when trying to establish or revamp your company image. Check it out:
- Establish Positive Presence in Community – Businesses that enjoy longevity are often valued by the communities they operate in. A good PR or social media firm is going to take steps so solidify your company as a valuable presence in your community. You’ll want people who aren’t interested in the services or goods you provide to still enjoy the fact that your company is in their neighborhood. For example, a skateboard company may not be interesting to many of the older people in surrounding neighborhoods, but they can still be seen as a positive influence around the area. Things like charity drives and community cookouts can go along way towards accomplishing this.
- Finding the Audience and Capitalizing on it – A fantastic campaign working to build your company’s reputation means nothing if it’s not reaching the right people. Finding your company’s target audience isn’t easy, and this is where PR firms come into play. They will research and investigate using various methods to identify who the audience is and where the best place to reach them is. After that, content will be created that is interesting to that target audience.
- Social Media – In today’s marketplace you cannot have one without the other, traditional PR and social media marketing are equally important. There’s no sense in having separate firms manage these when there are plenty that can handle both extremely well. The communication provided by social media is more direct and beneficial than anything has been in the past. People can provide valuable feedback to companies, and the best social media marketing agencies take full advantage of this.
- Managing Product Launches – The best PR firms are going to make your company’s product launches a big deal. When you have a new product or service coming to the market, your target audience is going to know about, and they’re going to get excited for it. Of course that’s if you hire the right firm. Be sure they companies you’re considering have a plan for new product releases.
These are just a few of the basic and most important things you should look for in your PR firm or social media company. Other services that are important are things like PR coaching for your team, speech writing, and content creation. Take your time and select the firm that best suits your company’s needs.