Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tips for managing social media

Picture via Ragan PR Daily

Social media is a huge part of public relations. All of us will undoubtedly be given the responsibility to maintain a social media account other than our own at some point. Whether it be for an internship, a first job, or a project for school, it will need to be done and it will need to be done well. With the never ending list of technologies and social media tools, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to maintain social media accounts.

PR Daily has listed a few strategies that they hope will aid the average person in excelling at this aspect of PR. As a person who manages many social media accounts, I found these tips to be extremely helpful and wanted to put my own input into it by discussing it in the blog!

  • Make a social media cheat sheet.
    • According to PR Daily, this cheat sheet should be made to help you determine how many times a day you wish to post and what types of content you are looking to share. This should be done according to trial and error and will take time because you will have to be in tuned with how the audience responds to your posts.
    • My advice would be to set up TweetDeck. With TweetDeck, you can determine everything that you want to post that day and then set what time you want the tweet to go out. This is useful if you do not have all day to keep getting back to it. (Facebook now has a built in scheduling tool, as well!)
  • Stay up to date on social media.
    • This means that time should be taken every day to scroll through sites like LinkedIn, PR Daily, and HubSpot and see what the latest news is. Find what interests you!
    • I follow all of my favorite sites on my personal Twitter account so that I can scroll through the tweets and see interesting news while entertaining myself.
  • Make it easy to respond to your followers.
    • PR Daily suggests creating an e-mail account to be used solely for your social media accounts. This way, you will always be alert and know that someone has tweeted at you and that it is not just an e-mail telling you about your favorite store's sale.
    • The article also suggests using Social Mention to see what people are saying about your brand. I have never heard of this tool but will be sure to look into it!
  • Be sure to measure your social media.
    • Whether this needs to be done for a boss or solely for your own benefit, it is a smart thing to get into the habit of doing. If you can prove that social media is having a positive impact on your client or business, it makes you feel worthwhile and gives meaning to your efforts. 
    • Google Analytics is a great place to start. Create an excel document and keep tabs on all of your progress, which you will be sure to see after using these tools!
To read the full PR Daily article, click here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Social media bringing people together during tragedy

This past year has been filled with natural disasters, tragedies, and horrific events. From the tornados in Oklahoma and destruction of Hurricane Sandy, to the shootings in Newtown and the bombing at the Boston Marathon, the United States has faced a plethora of hardships and heartaches.

Although all of these occurrences have been unique and different in their own ways, Melissa Monahan, Senior VP at Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, has noticed a new similarity among all of them. Each catastrophe was rapidly discussed on social media and demonstrated people's dependence on one another through their desire to be a part of the conversation. 

When disaster strikes, people immediately post their firsthand accounts of the event or repost what others have said. These types of accounts occur in real time and allow people to have an updated feed as to what is going on. People can then post their own condolences and concern for the victims. Monahan agrees that this represents "something good springing from something awful" because people feel the need to support one another.

Monahan then goes on to say that she feels that the onset of things like Twitter has filled a void once experienced by humankind. Previous to social media, a person could watch the news and receive live updates on what was happening. Now, however, it is possible to actually read through people's thoughts and see firsthand that others are feeling the same distress or feelings that you are feeling. It can put a person at ease during something so horrific and that is an amazing thing. Monahan concludes that social media breaks down barriers because people can be connected whether or not they are from the same ethnic background or country.

For PR professionals, Monahan mentions a few tips to keep in mind for social media etiquette when a disaster occurs:

  • Turn off any auto/scheduled tweets meant to promote a product.
  • Do not use humor in your tweets because it can be misinterpreted.
  • Do not make it political.
  • If you are going to do something for the victims, do it selflessly and not to get PR. 

Ultimately, social media is a representation of collective humanity. It brings us together in times of tragedy and can even tell us if our loved ones are safe and secure. In a world that is so complex, it is amazing that something as new as social media can have such a big impact on our lives by bringing us together and causing us to depend wholeheartedly on complete strangers.

To read the full Bulldog Reporter article by Melissa Monahan, click here