Public relations (PR) professionals are key individuals when it comes to a brand’s outward and online presence to consumers. Our world is constantly evolving, which means PR professionals’ jobs and approaches are too. Staying ahead of trends and tactics is important for delivering engaging, viral-worthy content. Here are three incoming PR trends that your brand should be focusing on.
1. Increase engagement, not boosting
While social media is a great outlet for advertising and promoting products or services, it can also be used to build relationships with consumers. Stop viewing social media as a one-way conversation – i.e., your brand speaking to consumers. Instead, look at it as a two-way street. Think about it this way. You are talking to a co-worker. A one-way conversation where they are telling you all about their weekend plans without letting you get a word in edgewise is less enjoyable than the back and forth that we expect of good conversation. Same goes for social media and customers. Try to focus on replying to as many comments as possible, answer questions or complaints and respond to DMs that pop up. When consumers feel that they are heard and cared for, there is a better chance that they become a lifetime customer. You are only one engagement away from a new promoter.
What is newsjacking? It is a process that involves taking news and reframing it in a way that highlights or promotes a brand. Newsjacking allows businesses to take their brand awareness to the next level by injecting themselves into larger news stories to increase engagement. One example would be creating blog posts that are related or social posts to instantly reach audiences. There are simple ways to track trending news with Google Trends, Sprout Social tools and watching trending hashtags on various platforms.
While newsjacking is beneficial, it is important to keep in mind not to move too swiftly. Some opinions on larger stories may rub your audience the wrong way and do the opposite of what your brand intended. It is always best to avoid a negative story unless your company has a legitimate tie to the news. One example of great newsjacking would be the Oreo Cookie tweet from the 2013 Super Bowl power outage. They tweeted, “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” This tweet gained a lot of buzz due to its positive but quick-witted response. However, newsjacking may go poorly and receive negative feedback like AT&T’s 9/11 tweet. Wrongly interpreted photoshopping of an image led to several upset users and AT&T later issued an apology.
3. Importance of micro-influencers
Influencers have saturated the marketing world and changed the game for brands. However, the number of paid influencers has grown so large that consumers may shy away from your brand. Switching to micro-influencers, accounts with 10,000 to 50,000 followers, is a perfect way to approach influencer marketing this year. One example would be wanting to have Rachael Ray promote a product as a macro-influencer, but going with a local farm-to-table chef as a micro-influencer to resonate better with your audience. Due to the influencer having a smaller platform, their audience has grown to trust and know said influencer. This can work in your favor by engaging with close-knit connections rather than big paid, low connection influencers. The more trust that your brand can receive from micro-influencers’ audiences, the more leads and possible sales are attainable.
Stay up to date and stay engaged
Finding the right social strategy might take time to develop, but the benefits in terms of quality leads and community engagement can quickly pay off.
Not enough time to do this on your own? Flint can provide a social-savvy team with the tools to keep your business ahead of the trends.