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PR and Social Media Trends for 2012

13 Mar

Category colourworks

We thought we would share some of the trends predicted for the realms of social media and PR for the coming year. While in the early days of social media these two discourses may have been regarded as quite distinct, they are now inseparable and form a fundamental part of the marketing mix.

Below Michael Gullan, CEO of Gullan&Gullan, shares his very astute insights on how he sees PR and social media developing:

1. Engagement over likes
When it comes to social media (a key PR function) the focus will be on engagement – not merely likes, fans or followers. There are a lot of brands with heavy fan bases but low engagement-consumers who click to ‘like’ something but never go back.

Brand social pages that have millions of fans that never engage are pretty pointless. What you should be interrogating about your social media is how do you engage with consumers?

2. Your brand needs to be available 24/7
People are engaging with their social communities at all hours – not just when your agency team is at the office. In fact, research proves that a large majority of Facebook users in South Africa are online after 8pm.

The conversation is happening, whether your brand is involved or not. While fans do find it acceptable for reverts within a day, be sure you are at least monitoring your brand pages a couple of times a day.

3. Harness the power of consumer influencers
Media personalities, celebrity tweeters and professional bloggers used to be the most important online influencers, but your key consumers who engage with your brand and have influence in their communities should not be ignored either. Those average people who tweet or post regularly about a topic and are seen as experts carry a lot of clout in their circles.

4. Quality content worth sharing
For a while, social media content was coming from everyone. Many brands had some internal secretary managing their pages, or worse their teenage kids. The landscape is totally different now. With so many brands competing for mindshare in the social space, only good content is being passed along. Brand teams and their social media agencies should have content creation plans in place as part of their social media strategies.

5. Paid, earned or shared
There is a similar blurring between paid and unpaid content in digital media. There are paid opportunities on most social platforms, including Twitter. For marketers, it’s important to be in all streams – paid, earned, shared and owned – so the message is heard.

It’s no longer enough to launch a social media campaign without the support of paid ads on those platforms. Add to that, above the line support and your results will be even better. Even brands with first-mover advantage cannot compete in the social space without additional support, as the novelty of social media has vanished.

Read the informative and insightful original article on BizCommunity by clicking here.