Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Social Media Tips for 2014

Looking forward into 2014, it’s almost certain that social media will continue to have a strong presence in public relations strategy. With many lessons learned in 2013, the upcoming year shows promise for effective and creative social media in the year to come. The past year has offered many opportunities to develop and improve best practices, and also offers great ideas for the creation of online media strategies. By combining what was learned in 2013 with new ideas in the new year, social media will continue to lend itself as a great resource to public relations.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at social media to be utilized in 2014. Social media resolutions for the new year, creative approaches to social media, perfect platform combinations and helpful statistics from 2013 are all covered in this week’s post. Additionally, we take a look at 14 conversations to focus on in 2014.

9 Social Media Resolutions for 2014 (Mashable)

Friday Five LogoAs many people are creating resolutions for their personal lives, another area that can be improved upon in the new year is social media. In this article, “we’re taking a look at your social media life with a list of new year’s resolutions we’d like to see everyone keep, from posting fewer annoying photos to being a bit more positive across your networks.”

Checking posts before sharing to avoid posting misinformation, keeping complaints and negativity to a minimum and refraining from sharing “TMI” posts are all areas that should be considered in 2014. The article also offers a friendly reminder to be kind to others in the realm of social media – a “like” or positive comment can help “spread a little kindness online.” For the full list of resolutions, visit the article.

10 creative PR ideas to try (PR Daily)

Social media can play a large role in creative public relations efforts. Creating new and different campaigns can be both difficult and intimidating, however, when successful, brands can benefit greatly. “Combing contests and events,” and distributing gifts creatively to your community are both creative approaches to public relations.

Forming informal partnerships with brands that are unlikely matches with your brand is another unique PR tactic to utilize through social media. An example of this is the relationship between Burger King and Jeep – after both brands’ Twitter handles were hacked, the two brands communicated back and forth via social media. They made light of the hacking scandal and created a unique, comical social media relationship.  Visit the article for more creative social media tactics like this one.

Social Media Mixology: Which Networks to Use Together (Mashable)

With plenty of social media mastering done in 2013, 2014 offers the opportunity to apply already learned skills and combine social media appropriately. With the variety of platforms available, it’s important to remember “different sites have different audiences, favor different types of content and require different kinds of humor,” the article states.

By understanding what content is appropriate for specific platforms, you can then gauge what other platforms can be used for sharing. Through “social media mixology,” platform combinations like Instagram and Pinterest, Tumblr and Pinterest, Twitter and Pinterest and more can be used together to get the most out of specific posts with content that resonates through both platforms. For a full list of social media mixes and their coinciding content, visit the article.

Infographic: social media statistics from 2013 (The Drum)

This breakdown of social media statistics from 2013 is a great tool for creating strategies for 2014. It highlights a variety of statistics from traffic, to likes, to activity for different platforms. The statistics offer insight into the popularity of different platforms that can be integrated into social media strategy. For example, the infographic states that “95% of Facebook users log into their accounts daily,” suggesting that brands should post to the platform frequently.

The infographic also includes valuable information about active users on Twitter, the power of branded Vine videos and the impressive sign up rate for Google+. Visit the article for more useful social media statistics.

14 Social Media Conversations You Need to Monitor in 2014 (Social Media Today)

Going into 2014, addressing key conversations is an area that should beincorporated into social media strategy. This article recommends different topics that need to be focused upon in the new year. “We all know there’s more to social media marketing than simply broadcasting our clever messages in hopes of motivating our fans to an action of some kind… But one thing all the experts agree on, that too many of us are ignoring, is the need to listen to the conversations in social media that affect our brand,” the article states.

A few of the key conversations include identifying “key influencers that talk about your brand,” “your brand advocates” and “your detractors.” Another tip, “listen[ing] for opportunities to establish your expertise” can “alert you of potential opportunities to share your knowledge. This conversation can produce opportunities to speak; maybe write a guest blog, or operate as a media resource.” For all 14 conversations, visit the article.

Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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