By Alyssa Bedrosian
In just a few years, social media has become vital to our personal and professional lives. From wedding hashtags to Instagram advertising campaigns, the impact of social media is felt in all aspects of society, and so it’s no surprise that it has changed how companies approach public relations. As this new media gives organizations new platforms for storytelling, PR pros are adapting to this dynamic communications tool that gives everyone a voice.
At RLF, we manage social media for several of our clients. While tweeting and pinning may seem like second nature to the millennial generation and younger, successful social media management requires strategy and measurement.
Although we have several professionals with experience in social media management, it’s always helpful to exchange best practices and lessons learned with other industry professionals. Earlier this week Jenifer Daniels, APR, shared some of her experiences as social media manager for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Tar Heel Chapter monthly meeting. Daniels is the creative resources specialist for the library, and has nearly 15 years experience in nonprofit and education communications.
After the library’s budget was cut by 50 percent a few years ago, Daniels used social media to actively listen to the concerns of patrons and share the library’s story. Here are some key points from the discussion:
Follow the Pareto Principle, which states that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of the causes.
The 80/20 rule pushes us to focus on the 20 percent of tasks that really matter and are key to success. You can see dramatic improvements in social media engagement by focusing your efforts strategically, rather than trying to do anything and everything on social media.
As social media managers, 80 percent of our time should be spent as active listeners.
Find out what customers are saying about you and listen to what they want from your organization. The remaining 20 percent of your time can be used to share information with your followers.
Don’t chase followers.
You want hearts, not eyeballs. Organizations should seek followers who will actually engage in discussion, regularly visit an organization’s social media pages and share content.
Don’t lose customers to negativity.
Try to solve their problems as soon as possible, and take their recommendations into consideration.
No dumping on the Internet.
Don’t overindulge on social media just because you have the capacity and resources. Before you post, ask yourself these questions: What do my followers want to hear? Am I posting something of value, or am I just posting junk?
80 percent of posts should be helpful, interesting, funny or irreverent.
20 percent of posts should be original or self-promotional. Share messages that will resonate with your followers, but feel free to weave key messaging and positioning into these posts.
In a world that has been saturated by online content and social media overload, Daniels’ advice is short and sweet: Simplify your social media strategy through focusing your efforts, listening to followers and posting interesting content.
Daniels ended the conversation with one last social media tip: If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter.