Blog / 13th February 2022

PR and Social Media - a match made in heaven?

Social media and PR may seem like two entirely separate entities, and for the most part, they are and should be treated as such. However, that does not mean that they cannot work together and complement each other to form a well-rounded and successful strategy. Our partner Faith shares their views on how to go about it...

How does it work? 

To create a successful integrated social media and PR strategy you must consider how your content will work on each channel.  There is no point copying and pasting a press release directly on LinkedIn and congratulating yourself on a job well done. To create a truly integrated campaign you must consider how you can adapt your content to have an impact on each individual platform. 

It goes back to the key messages that you want to convey, whether that be for your brand as a whole or a specific campaign. You want your messaging to be consistent and clear, and not differ depending on where people find you. Collaboration is key, work with your internal team, social media agency or outsource to an expert to get true insight into what works best for each channel. 

How can my social media activity complement PR? 

A really simple yet effective way to integrate your PR strategy into your social media strategy is to create some accompanying visual assets to share across your channels. This really serves to amplify the wider press activity. This does not need to be an incredibly time-consuming endeavour, but it is worth spending the time to consider what content would work well with your PR activity, with your brand and with your tone of voice. This could include: 

Each social media channel, whether that be TikTok or LinkedIn, provides a range of features to help people interact with your posts. Make use of these to get people involved and talking to your brand. Getting your audiences to interact with your campaign will help to build momentum behind it and can help to drive people to your site, to view the media coverage you achieve or to take a specific call to action.  

While sharing press coverage is a great first step and definitely something we would recommend there is a lot to be said for taking it that one step further and creating something bespoke for social media to tie in directly to your PR activity. 

Why should I do this? 

Creating an integrated strategy can be incredibly successful and will allow you to target different factions of your audience within the same campaigns. While a traditional or digital press release may be targeted at trade media, your social media activity can be entirely consumer-focussed and much wider reaching. This will allow you to get as much mileage as possible out of your campaign and your investment, while communicating with the various sections of your audience in a way that suits them and is appropriate to their needs and interests. 

Intertwining your social media and PR strategies creates continuity of your brand and overall key messaging and values across a broad spectrum of platforms. For example, a consumer may read a magazine feature, then go to search for your brand on Twitter. You want to make sure that your values and identity as a brand are clear and consistent, no matter where a consumer has found you. This will enhance your customer journey and help to promote your key messaging in an informative and holistic way. 

How can social listening help? 

Social listening is a fantastic method that allows you to test a specific brand, topic, or social handle to see how people are engaging with it on social media. This helps you to get a better understanding of your audience, their interest and their behaviours. It can provide incredibly valuable data about your audience, such as: 

This data can help you to determine future performance across various channels, including editorial, on-site and social media. It can also be used to inform PR and social media campaigns, helping you to understand what gets you in front of the right people at the right time. 

Example: App Annie 

I came across a really great example of a social media PR strategy recently and this is fantastic case study of how this can be done successfully. 

San Francisco-based App Annie launched its State of Mobile 2022 with a full report on user behaviour and trends for mobile. This in itself is a great piece of work that can be hosted on their site for audiences to view. However, App Annie took the campaign one step further with an integrated PR and social media strategy, covering all bases to promote and share the report. 

Traditional PR was done with the report being used in a range of titles including BBC, Marketing Dive and Arab News, each taking a different angle on the report to suit its audience. 

Next step, social media. I actually came across this campaign because it was trending on LinkedIn, proof that this can work! To complement the PR campaign, App Annie created a number of infographics highlighting key findings that were then shared across its social media channels. 

App Annie delivered a really comprehensive campaign, breaking down the data within the report to target certain audiences with the relevant information and statistics. While this is clearly a very thorough report, integrated PR and social strategies do not need to be done on such a big scale and breaking the data down into short, sharp and eye-catching focal points can really help capture people’s attention.

Smaller campaigns can work just as well to ensure consistent brand messaging and allowing you to reach all types of consumers that you are wishing to target. 

For more advice on social, PR and other channels, check out the GrowthBox advice section here. Thanks to our partner Faith for this advice too!

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