Does Social Media Coverage Count in PR?
One question we are occasionally asked is whether social media coverage “counts” when it comes to PR. The answer? It depends. To determine whether any specific social media placement is beneficial to your PR objectives, you need to consider factors such as:
- Your current social media presence. Does your brand have a Facebook page? If your content is placed on the Facebook page of an industry news outlet, that should be beneficial in and of itself – but you will only be able to maximize benefits if your brand has its own Facebook page so that you can be tagged. The same goes for Twitter, but even more so. On Twitter, where a presence and followers are everything, a mention from an industry news account will only matter if you have your own Twitter handle that can be used in the tweet so that others can follow you.
The platforms being used. Facebook and Twitter are a given when it comes to getting social media hits to help your PR. Beyond that, you want to aim for coverage on LinkedIn (and again, it is especially helpful if your brand has its own LinkedIn page that can be tagged). Photo-showcasing platforms like Instagram and Pinterest can be a social media goldmine, but only if they contain interesting, compelling or eye-catching photos; otherwise, they aren’t the platforms for you. What about Tumblr, Snapchat, etc.? If you’re a youth-oriented brand, great. If not, tell your PR firm not to waste their time; ask them to keep the focus on conventional platforms.
Who the audience is. If your content is shared on a social media account with an audience that reflects your customer base, then congratulations: Your PR firm has generated a valuable social media hit for you. Some ideas to suggest to them include asking a partner organization of yours to share your content (if you are partnering with them on an event, for example), or asking an industry news outlet to share your blog posts from time to time. Depending on the platform, it might also be a good idea to ask if they will share your traditional media coverage when it is generated. These are the types of social media hits a good PR firm can generate.
In the new media age, social media coverage counts for PR, provided that the coverage is consistent with the criteria listed here. If you have questions on PR initiatives that can benefit your brand’s presence in traditional or new media, contact Desmond & Louis Public Relations.