The rapidly growing importance of social media as a communications platform has been trailblazing its way through the public relations world. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have an active user base of over two billion combined, making them the perfect space for growing brand awareness and generating action from users. The reach that social media provides for any message is astounding, and the ability to utilize these platforms in tandem with traditional earned media is changing the way many firms secure successful coverage for their clients.
The instantaneous nature of social media is something that allows public relations professionals to publish content that is relevant, timely and trending. Social media is centered around its short-form, breaking news type content. When you’re able to push a timely message on behalf of your client almost instantly, their presence becomes that much more relevant and current.
By working in tandem with traditional earned media such as coverage in an online publication or a press release, social media can amplify any message by strengthening the impact of the reach. The initial hit of earned media can live on with a simple post to Twitter and Facebook. Not only will social media extend the reach of the coverage to a significantly large audience, but it will allow the content to gain traction and attention for days to come.
In addition, the public relations world now has access to influencers: individuals who have secured a large social media following for themselves. The ability to work with an individual who has a following of people who trust their opinion, recommendations, etc. makes for an incredibly organic and effective brand ambassador partnership. With the popularity and demand for influencers rising, public relations firms now have a new resource and strategy to present to their clients.
Social media has lit a fire in the public relations world, and it’s not going out any time soon. With active user bases increasing every day, the utilization of these platforms will continue to be an integral part of earned media strategies. Overall, social media has proven to further increase brand awareness and sales success by amplifying the messages of traditional earned media and extending their reach. Social media gives public relations firms an additional tool to ensure their clients are seen and heard. Its relevancy, extended reach and its overall importance in today’s society is only growing. Social media has had a major impact on public relations as a whole and will continue to do so in the future.