How does social media fit into your PR strategy?

We are all aware of the way in which social media has been heralded as the bright, shiny new saviour of marketing and PR for business – ‘its free! It’s instant! And you can reach everyone!’ Of course all this is true but when you’re considering the value of social media it’s important to also acknowledge that some of it is a serious waste of time. Acknowledging this means that you can learn how to harness it effectively, avoiding those rookie mistakes that can cause your social media accounts to simply eat into business budget, or even damage your public profile. To help you do this, below are four tips on how to make social media work for your law firm as part of a PR strategy.

1. Shun Facebook. Given that Facebook has been such a social media stalwart this might sound like rather an odd tip, however, despite all the money that has gone into Facebook advertising this still isn’t really the most effective channel for most businesses. Yes, Facebook Groups are useful if you have a membership or want a forum in which to stimulate discussion – but when it comes to PR there are better, more effective ways to do this that are more industry specific and have a better reach.

2. Visuals are now video. Although images have long been the currency of social media, video is now becoming one of the most popular tools. The human element of a professionally presented video is hard to beat when it comes to good PR, particularly in an industry like law, so it really is worth investing in developing video content as part of your social media offering. Plan the videos, execute them well and ensure they are interesting and informative and you have highly shareable content that will appeal to everyone from bloggers to journalists.

3. Don’t be dull. Social media success is all about grabbing attention with a one liner and so the content that you post has to be interesting – boring is bad PR. Add images and videos, employ someone who can turn the dullest of announcements into a glittering 140 characters and link to websites and other social media accounts, such as Instagram. If you use social media to simply publish a link to a press release you are wasting an enormous opportunity – it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get enough of a click through rate from such a dull method so your announcement could get completely lost, particularly when competing against the plethora of other more interesting updates appearing in a user’s feed at the same time.

4. Be current and helpful. There’s no better way to get your particular story/news/angle covered than to make it up to the minute current and helpful to the person or organisation you want to cover it. Incorporate breaking news into your social media content and you’ll have more chance of it being picked up and repeated; approach your target media via social media, offering them something to make life easier and you’re much more likely to get a positive response rather than just sending an email saying ‘look you should cover this story.’

These are just a few tips for making social media work as part of a PR strategy – if you would like some more help or assistance then please contact a member of our team.

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