Today, there are about 1.26 billion users on Facebook and 215 million active users on twitter (smith, 2013). Social media is used in many different ways. From keeping up with your friends and family on Facebook to sharing a picture on twitter of a cup of coffee from your new favorite coffee shop down the street. Social media allows the consumer to share positive or negative feelings about a company and their services and products. This can obviously be a very good or a very bad thing for a company. Regardless, “If your company is not participating in social media today, it’s missing an opportunity to spread its message and missing valuable – and even damaging – conversations that could be taking place about your brand” (Seiple).
Social media is another platform for consumers to talk about a company and the products and services they provide. Although, the difference with social media is that it has the potential to reach a very large audience. Conversations on social media sites can spread incredibly easy and quickly. Positive social media is basically free PR. Its important that a company is present on social media sites in order to be able to reply to consumers who are pleased as well as unhappy about a service or product. This way a company can somewhat control their reputation on social media. It is also a beneficial way to share new products and information about their company.
An example of how PR team used social media in real-time is when “The Bridge won a PR Week award for innovative design of “holistic engagement.” The basic idea is to provide 24/7 conversation monitoring for clients and offer rapid response within social media. When Al Roker overslept his Today Show shift, for example, he was tweeted at by the McDonald’s Twitter account”(Lipschults, 2013). This tweet shows that this PR team has constant engagement in social media and is following trends in order to react so quickly and creatively. Personally, when I see a company using social media and replying to consumers via a tweet or comment on facebook I feel that the company clearly cares about its customers and it also gives a more personal experience with the company.
Overall, it’s clear to see how social media is a vital tool for any professional in PR. When used properly social media can help a company grow and gain a relationship with its consumers, through witty replies and concerned responses to upset costumers it’s crucial that a company of any nature is present on social media.
Lipschults, Jeremy. (10/16/2013). Real-time social media creative marketing and PR. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremy-harris-lipschultz/realtime-social-media-cre_b_4102446.html
Smith, Craig. ( 10/7/2013). How many people use 275 of the top social media, apps and services? Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/
Seiple, Pamela. How to leverage social media for public relations success. Retrieved from http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/53/docs/hubspot_social_media_pr_ebook.pdf