Hello – hope you had a good weekend? I thought I’d share the first half hour of my Sunday with you – just by way of illustrating how work and home life has become integrated – and I don’t mind a bit 🙂
1. I caught up with the news of people I follow on Twitter – retweeted some and responded to others.
2. Then flagged up an article in the Times to a fellow Netwalker – the topic was discussed on our walk last Friday.(Netwalking by the way is a Friday event we run to meet people and get some exercise. See @NetwalkingShrew on Twitter)
3. I responded to two comments on Linkedin groups relating to the interests of one of our clients.
4. Responded to an appeal via Just Giving in honour of @steveevans51 who sadly passed away last week. If all of his followers make a small donation it will make such a difference to those suffering from terminal illness and help the work of Compton Hospice.
5. Another article in the Times was relevant, and very important, to our chocolate brand so we distributed the news across all social media platforms. (See @Beyonddarkdrops on Twitter)
So by enjoying my newspaper in the normal way I was able to engage, build and reinforce relationships. All of this took less than half an hour.
People always used to say they didn’t quite understand PR. What did they get for their money? How did it translate into more sales? Now the same is being said about social media. Everyone knows it’s going on but some are reluctant to take part – or to pay someone to do it for them. Usual reasons are:
1. I don’t have time (which translates as I don’t really understand the value of spending time on it)
2. How can I trust someone from outside my business to post about us in real time? (“I like to be in control and authorise everything in my business – nobody is quite as good as me”.)
3. It’s a waste of time/money (same as number 1)
4. I don’t follow social media myself so I don’t think my customers will (Hmmm – there was a time when you didn’t think you needed a website – remember?)
It’s not an age thing, although younger people in the workplace have taken social media on board more easily as it was there in their formative years. It’s more a matter of attitude. Closed minds mean closed doors and you owe it to your business to keep both open. Back to the comparison with PR – public and/or press relations is so much more than writing news stories and sending them to editors. It’s about every aspect of the way in which your business portrays itself, both internally to your staff and suppliers or partners and externally to customers, potential customers and the world at large. Social media is just another way of communicating. It’s like word of mouth on a grand scale and the opportunity to be out there on the stage with major brands is just too good to miss.
We’re launching a new service soon that is aimed at encouraging clients to tackle social media with confidence. It will also encompass traditional PR services – journalists can be reached on social media and they are using it increasingly to source and distribute news. If you’d rather outsource the service that’s fine but we encourage you to find a keen member of your own team to take it forward once we’ve set it all up and shown them the ropes.
As I said to a client recently, social media is like being at a massive 24 hour party. There are millions of people there and you can talk, and listen, to anyone you choose. Just be careful to portray yourself with integrity and honesty (remember that anyone could be listening) and you won’t go far wrong.
For further tips on how to use social media for your business, call Amy or me on 01743 233631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org