Recently, our president Brian Chandler had a conversation with us about measuring social media success. While I often report to clients on analytics related to numbers of likes, retweets and comments, Brian asked me how many times we retweeted other people or commented on other accounts. This got me thinking about more than social media measurement. I started to wonder, what actually matters in the world of PR social media?
When it comes to engaging with the community online, we know it’s not a one-way street, but we often forget that. We can send information out all day long, but if we’re not looking at what else is out there and engaging with people on their own turf, our message is of little value. So, how do we increase our value and build relationships in the greater context of the community, either online or in real life?
Engage with the public on other pages
Measuring the engagement on your company pages is valuable, but don’t forget about the public in “public relations.” Take a look at what other people are talking, tweeting and asking about. Do you have anything to offer their conversations? Have you acknowledged the success and value that the community, both on- and offline, brings to your company or mission?
Social media management in the public relations world should be about more than managing your company accounts. Take the time see who and what else is out there. Find ways to acknowledge the success of others, answer their questions, and share their news. This will make your content more meaningful, more authentic. Plus, you have the opportunity to get more eyes on your news because you’re increasing awareness of your company. It’s a win-win.
How to engage with your public
There are lots of small tasks you can do to boost your own engagement in other ways than sharing your own content. Here are some ideas:
- Set up search channels or keyword alerts in your social media management tool. Hootsuite makes this really easy to do.
- Make a goal to retweet or favorite five to six posts per day.
- Aim to like, comment or share two to three posts a day on Facebook. To do this, visit your business page and select “See Pages Feed” on the right-hand side of the page. When you share or like an article, make sure you’re doing so from the business account.
- Tag others in your posts as often as possible. Good reasons to tag someone: they wrote the piece or shared it originally, they are associated with the topic, company or industry mentioned or they may find value in it. Do not use tagging to spam people. That’s a quick way to lose followers or get blocked.
With these few steps, you’ll see greater engagement and success on your own platforms.
This isn’t a quick fix, nor is a simple solution to social PR success. It’s part of a larger communications puzzle, and it’s an important piece. Exploring the larger online community takes time and energy. Not every day or every message will garner a new like or customer, but it builds your social presence and provides opportunities to grow and change according to the public’s need.