When you ask someone who is the greatest influence in their life, he or she often names family members, friends, celebrities or athletes, just to name a few. But what companies and public relations professionals must realize is that anyone can be of influence to them. According to an article on the Mashable Business website, the internet and digital media make it possible for people to showcase themselves, their abilities, beliefs and passions. Yes, companies, advertisements and mainstream media still have an effect on society, but one person can make a difference also.
Many organizations and PR personnel are worried about gaining follower and likes, but did they ever think about following or liking other people’s pages or posts? Social and digital media is a two way relationship. What PR professionals should do is find digital media users who are talking about things that are relevant to their client or organization. Public relations professionals do not have to create the trends, they just have to find them and then use those to reach out to the people in the digital media world.
I know that this has been said over and over, but social media is nothing but an ongoing conversation. The organizations that realize that will be the most successful. A company’s social media outlets cannot be an ongoing advertisement or consumers will ignore it, like they do T.V. commercial and internet ads. Organizations need to do their research; see what people in the industry are talking about. What do consumers want to know? What is trending right now and how can it be incorporated into our personal brand? These are just a few questions that an organization should ask itself before publishing on social media. Then use the information they find to start up a conversation on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Ask a question in status update or a tweet, instead of just sharing information or ask for feedback.
Another tactic to consider is to give consumers a reason to talk about your organization or client. For example, social media users are more likely to say something about a product if they are given free samples. An organization may have a great product, but the idea of the product must be accepted first. Victoria Secret realized this and used Pinterest to reach out to fans. The company is running a contest that calls for anyone to pin pictures of themselves in PINK summer apparel. The lady with the best photo gets a $500 shopping spree. This has two advantages; one, it is free modeling. Victoria’s Secret does not have to pay these girls to model their clothes and two; the interactivity between Victoria’s secret and their customers is always a solid foundation for customer service.
In today’s society anyone can be an influence. We just have to be open-minded and use our imagination. An organization should use what their “peeps” are talking about to reach out to consumers. By doing this they will create a more personal an interactive relationship with consumers.