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Getting into the social media game:

The benefits of online public relations for businesses

We are living in a new era of influence.

An era where news break around the world in seconds and citizen journalism is on the rise. An era when the majority of the world's population has now plugged-in to a powerful online platform and where the continuous stream of new content and opinions never cease.

We are living through a time when one word - the internet - stands as the most significant revolution in communication history.

It is now a question of whether or not your business is keeping up to speed with the online revolution.
Social Media

As author Brian Solaris stated in his book 'Putting the Public back in Public Relations' (2009), businesses must expand their scope and understanding of all that is online and furthermore, begin engaging in online communications.

Online public relations is the management of online communications and includes developing and/or enhancing company websites, e-newsletters, social media interaction, blogging strategies, interactive media releases and more.

There are many benefits of online public relations for your business. Including:

  • increased traffic to a website
  • contribution to search engine optimisation by generating links back to a website as well as enhancing website authority
  • enhanced brand awareness
  • position a company as an authoritative voice in their industry
  • provide an avenue for improved customer relations by allowing a company to directly engage with individuals interested in their brand or product
  • provide a platform to communicate information and/or company insights to target audiences

Regardless of the medium or the pace at which technology changes, the traditional principles of online public relations will continue to remain the same.

Listen. Create. Engage.

The first step to successful online public relations is to listen. A business must listen to and monitor what is being said about their company, product or brand online, who is driving these conversations and where these conversations are being held. This research will provide a solid foundation for effective online communications. This ground work is essential in giving your company confidence to enter online conversations with the right content, in the appropriate space, to the correct audience.

The next step is to create relevant content to post online. Regardless of the platform or technology a company decides to use, every piece of information posted by your company online must be relevant and of interest to the target audience. Fresh content will draw people continuously back to your company's website, blog, Facebook page and so on. This will assist in raising your company or brand's profile while also establishing your company as a thought leader in your chosen area of interest.

Most importantly, a company needs to view online communication as a process of continuous engagement. Without interaction, social media tools can quickly become another broadcasting mechanism. Interact with others online by, for example, commenting on blog posts, replying to followers on Twitter, entering forum discussions and so on. Make sure when engaging online to be personable in your approach. Any hint of a 'sales pitch' will be easily identified and your company's presence on the social media platform may be hindered as a result.

A successfully executed online public relations strategy offers endless benefits to a business. By listening and researching online conversations and key influencers, creating compelling content and interacting with others online, a company can effectively use online public relations to enhance the business and achieve growth.

For more information on how to develop an online public relations strategy contact us.



 
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