Not terribly long ago, in a pre-buzz feed and hashtag world, socializing took on an entirely different meaning. It was required to physically congregate somewhere, with some people whether we knew them previously or not and actually forcing ourselves to gain the nerve to physically talk to those we were mingling with. Obviously this archaic practice has changed a great deal over the last several years. Now meeting, socializing, and expressing who you are to people has become much more convenient. Social media has been changing the world and has been touching more and more aspects in our everyday lives. From simple beginnings, social media sites were designed for the sole purpose of helping people connect. With time, social media has been adapted to be more than just a place to post "what’s on your mind?" or to share vacation pictures. This form of social outlet is now one of the most convenient and inexpensive ways to market a product, promote a concert, or do advertising for your business.
Author of Socialnomics, Erik Qualman said, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
With this shift in how social media is used, how can we most effectively use it in Public Relations? According to an article published in Forbes magazine, "Winning Social Media Strategies for Public Relations" they give several tips.
- Be brief. Keep posts short. People lose interest quickly, so make sure it is to the point and will grab their attention.
- Be helpful. Be more giving in what we do on social media. Putting ourselves out there as someone who is useful can pay off.
- Be live. Always be quick to respond. Pay attention to what is happening on your, and other, social media feeds because when a crisis happens you can be there to provide quick support.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools we have to work with. More and more people are using it every day. And if used wisely, we can reap the benefits from it. Whether it be crisis management or easy advertising, social media can be one of the quickest, cheapest, and most far reaching way to get things done.