Social media has become ubiquitous in our world, and especially so for communicators. As a PR pro, you likely have a solid grasp on the basics of social media, but do you know how to get the most out of it?
We have access to a robust range of social media technologies today and no longer need to rely on the native features of platforms; these tools can greatly enhance our ability to manage, monitor and optimize socials, but which ones are most pertinent to PR? And how can PR pros effectively leverage them? Read on to discover some new tools and tactics to add to your social media playbook.
What tools are out there?
The social media tools available today run the gamut, each serving a niche need for comms pros.
Seen most often are management tools, which enable users to easily schedule posts across platforms, assess analytics, track trends and manage communities. Some popular examples are Sprout Social and Hootsuite.
Similarly, social listening and monitoring tools make it much more feasible to take a pulse of social media activity. Tools such as Talkwalker and Synthesio allow users to monitor social media platforms for mentions of their brand, competitors or industry keywords, as well as analyze sentiment and engagement.
In the age of influencers, there’s a new wave of social media tools to accommodate them. There are tools such as Koalifyed that help brands and influencers connect with each other, while other tools focus on providing analytics to illustrate the impact of influencers.
Honestly, we could spend all day talking about the different options out there; these tools barely scratch the surface. Better yet, let’s shift our attention to how these tools can actually be leveraged in public relations.
How can PR pros utilize social media tools?
Social management tools bring a wide range of features to the table, empowering comms professionals to strategize content more efficiently, in turn streamlining campaigns. Additionally, these tools make analytics much more accessible and digestible.
As we enter the era of the “communications engineer,” data-driven decision-making will become a necessity — not a nice-to-have — for the most performative PR pros. Having descriptive data at the ready also makes it easier to demonstrate the value of PR efforts to stakeholders.
In an industry as fast-paced as public relations, we need to keep our eyes and ears open at all times. What was once a tedious task can now be simplified through social listening and monitoring tools. As these tools track brand mentions, industry keywords and consumer sentiment in real-time, PR pros can have a wealth of information at their fingertips. Having a repository of relevant info allows PR pros to be better prepared for reputation management, crisis response and other critical objectives.
There’s no denying that influencers are playing an increasingly important role in PR. Since this is a relatively recent development, many PR pros may be unsure of how to navigate this realm, but the tools available today can help PR pros connect with the right influencers, manage relationships and track performance. To this end, these tools can facilitate successful influencer campaigns aligned with brand messaging.
As the communications landscape continues to evolve, keeping up with social media tech and incorporating it into strategies will only become more important. Staying ahead of the curve and embracing new tools can empower PR pros to maximize their impact, driving PR success in the digital age.
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