The digital world is on the rise, and if you don’t jump on board, chances are you’ll be left behind. Unfortunately, there are still many organisations who are either not active on social media or aren’t using it appropriately. The organisation that fails to master social media risks becoming irrelevant. As Public Relations professionals, it’s important to understand this.
Some still believe that social media is just a phase and soon society will move onto the next craze. Social media strategist Dionne Kasian-Lew told Melbourne’s Social Business conference this year that only 30% of CEOs are connected with social media. This percentage is predominately made up of CEOs signed up to LinkenIn as opposed to other social media websites. This number is far too low.
Image from Dionne Kasian-Lew’s presentation at Melbourne’s
Social Business conference.
Social media is not a fad and is not going away any time soon.
So how do you get organisations to implement the use of social media within their business practice, much less use it effectively?
Journalist and social media expert, Jordanda Borensztian, discussed this issue at Melbourne’s Social Business conference this year. In summary, she recommended you must follow a few simple rules when using social media.
- Be engaging.
- Post appropriate content.
- Consider the social media platform that best suits your organisations demographic.
- Use informal and conversational language.
- Learn how to use the social media site properly. For example, learn how to hashtag and always link it to your other social media sites.
- Ensure content is focussed and integrated.
An example of an organisation using social media effectively is SmartCompany, an Australian website that features news and journalism for small and large businesses. SmartCompany staff members are taught how to use social media appropriately. These skills include: how to make a page attractive, engagement generation techniques and post sentiment.
No doubt about it, within the culture of SmartCompany, social media plays an important role. Their tweets incorporate a range of structures, including pictures, questions, statistics and enticing statements. They contain appropriate content couched often in informal language. SmartCompany has conducted considerable research into understanding its audience and found the social media platforms most appropriate for targeting them. Examples of this can be seen in the images bellow.
An example of SmartCompany using an enticing statement in their tweet.
As PR professionals it’s time to involve yourselves in social media, learn how to use it appropriately, and implement it in the everyday life of your organisation.