Anna Pope, APSU Senior, Public Relations
This blog post is part three of a three-part opinion post that analyzes how social media is harmful and helpful to public relations practitioners and how to effectively to use it to connect with audiences. This post will explain how to effectively use social media to connect with a target audience.
There are many ways to effectively use social media but some of the most useful tips are to use visuals, be concise, post at the right times multiple times, communicate directly with the audience, and pay for a targeted audience.
Visuals Are Best!
Use images, gifs, or videos to draw in user attention and engagement. All visuals must be clear, high quality visuals. They must be relevant to the social media post and must convey both the brand’s message and the post’s message. Social media posts with visual aspects get more engagement because people want fast information. A picture can tell a thousand words so why would they want to read a thousand word post when they can see a concise picture? Use visuals to create a unique and uniform brand for the company.
Just like the visuals analysis above pointed out, the majority of people want fast information and have short attention spans. This attention span issue means that public relations practitioners must draw in their attention within the first line or two of a post. Those lines must state the important facts and give the audience something to look forward to reading so that they will want to read the rest of the article. Make sure the article does not contain fluff so that the audience will want to come back and read more. The best way to post like this is to use the inverted pyramid. This means that the most important information of an article or post is located first. This will allow your audience to get the information that they need so they can determine if they want to learn more about it.
Post Multiple Times and at the Right Times!
When making content to post on social media it is important to note not only the content but the time to post it as well. To have the most engagement possible on posts, you must reach as many people as possible. The best times to post can be determined and analyzed by some social media platforms like Facebook. Other sites require users to use third party tools to track when their followers are online the most. Another useful tool to remember is to post content more than one time a day. You can change photos to keep the posts relevant but they can be promoting the same links as posts earlier in the day. This also allows a company to reach a larger audience.
Communicate with the Audience!
Connect with your audience directly in any good way that you can. Retweet them, share their posts, like their posts, respond to their questions, ask them questions, post polls for them to answer, and keep them engaged by sharing news quickly. Social media allows companies and customers to connect publicly and quickly. Staying on top of engagement with the public is one way to endear yourself to them and humanize the company.
Pay for Your Targeted Audience!
Lastly, make sure your message is reaching your intended audience by paying to reach them. Don’t ever pay for likes or follows, but do pay for your posts to be promoted to a targeted group of people that will be interested in your brand or product. Social media platforms collect lots of data that you can use to reach your audience. This paid promotion allows your brand to get guaranteed visibility and better reach over people that care about the product. This reach allows a company to easily gain new followers and eventually customers.