If you’re in PR, chances are you already have a pretty good social media presence. But if you’ve been holding off and feel like it’s too late to get into the game, here are some tips to help get you started.
1) Don’t bite off more than can you chew.
Pick your platforms based on your needs. You don’t need to be everywhere or all things to all people. For more PR pros, Twitter and LinkedIn are all you need to get started.
2) Commit to it.
If you aren’t ready to be 100% present, you’re better off not being there at all. The cocktail party analogy works well here. If you tell a friend you are going to be at their party and then sit in the corner, don’t talk to anyone and don’t respond when people speak to you, there is a pretty good chance people will think you are giant D!cK. Don’t let this be you.
Social media is social. You must engage. You must be authentic.
Otherwise you will get sniffed out. Your credibility will suffer.
3) Think strategically.
Just like you do with a client, think through what your goals and objectives are. Why are you joining this social media platform? If the answer is, ‘because everyone else is there’ is not a good one. For PR people, your goal could simply be to develop your media relationships. Or you could be there to track competitors, or news within your industry or client sector. You can have multiple goals, just be clear about them from the outset and ensure you remain consistent.
4) Listen, engage, repeat.
Just like any good communicator, the first critical skill is to listen. Twitter and LinkedIN are both great ways to gather information, news, & keep an eye on trends. Show you are listening to others by sharing their content, adding your two cents, engaging with them & others, and then repeat. Again, remember the cocktail party analogy: don’t be the guest who only talks about themselves, nobody wants to sit next to you.
5) Remember you are human and so is everyone else.
Spelling mistakes happen, broken links happen, we are human after all. If you speak like a human, admit you are human if you make a mistake, and engage in an authentic way you’ll go much further than being a bot for PR jargon.
6) Finally & more importantly, everything you learned in Kindergarten still applies.
Be nice. Share. Smile. Play nicely with others in the sandbox. Sometimes naps & snacks help.
(posted by Heather)