Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: A Winning Formula for Social Media

As brands continue to increase their presence on social media, this week’s Friday Five focuses on best practices for brands. By using social media, brands have the opportunity to escalate engagement with consumers, to participate in conversations with followers and to increase their digital presence. With a variety of platforms available, brands should pay attention to desired results from each and implement the most effective posting strategies. In combination with solid strategy and appropriate metrics monitoring, brands have the ability to master social media and achieve their engagement goals.

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 recommendations for brands. Basic ways that brands should use Twitter, how brands can get the most from their social media usage and stories highlighting what brands can take away from social media data are all covered in this week’s post. We also look at what social media metrics brands should be monitoring.

Four Ways Brands Can Win With Twitter (Social Media Today)

Due to the real-time nature of Twitter, brands are faced with the challenge of having a constant presence on the platform. Interactions with followers can come at any time of the day, which poses the question of the effectiveness of prescheduled tweets. Because the best practices and uses of Twitter can become confusing, Jason Falls, a digital strategist, offers advice on how to address the need for constant interaction and Friday Five Logohow to combine prescheduled posts and timely responses. The article also provides “four basic uses for Twitter” that brands can utilize.

The four basic uses for Twitter are: conversation, broadcasting, curating and awareness. The article addresses that “Twitter is a channel for conversation.” Topics are crowdsourced by comments made by followers, allowing for “conversations [to] ensue.” This approach provides brands with the opportunity to participate, to have open communication with their followers and to interact with a group of users who can be viewed as a “community.” For the full list of Twitter uses and a warning about not to promote with Twitter, visit the article.

How Much Time Should Brands Spend On Social Media? (Marketwired Blog)

There are hundreds of social media outlets available to brands, and each requires time and attention to ensure follower interaction is maintained. This article offers recommendations on how to ensure social media strategies are effective and time-efficient. According to the article, “Any brand that doesn’t get a solid return on investment from the time it spends on social media will find it more difficult to maintain its momentum and ability to meet marketing and sales goals.”

To meet these sales milestones, the article suggests making “specific goals” and taking a “disciplined approach” to ensure that all social media activity is focused, prioritized and engaging. Once the goals are in place, brands can work their strategies and time allocations around their desired results. Brands should keep in mind that “it really comes down to the needs of the business, as well as the audiences a brand is trying to serve.” Visit the article for more recommendations.

This Week On Twitter: 7 Engagement Tips, Twitter’s Top Brands, Twitter Account That Draws Your Tweet (Media Bistro)

This article features 10 stories (and accompanying infographics) that highlight ways to increase engagement on Twitter. It offers helpful information specifically for brands, including sources that give examples of brands successfully using Twitter and studies showing how brands use the platform.  Titles include “7 Tips To Increase Engagement On Your Social Media Profiles” and “Which Brands Rule Twitter?” The stories highlight the best uses of Twitter, creative uses of the platform and many offer insight into how brands can use Twitter for best results.

How Top Brands are using Twitter” offers applicable lessons from brands dominating the Twitter scene. It includes an infographic giving a breakdown of the most followed companies, follower distribution of top brands and more. It also elaborates on top brands’ activity, the most engaging brands on Twitter and how brands can grow through engagement. The full study is also available for viewing. Visit the article for the full list of helpful stories.

Data from social media is the must-have brand asset (The Guardian)

One of the major benefits of social media is that it offers insight into opportunities for companies. Data from social media can help brands determine who is interested in their product, keywords associated with the brand, levels of engagement and more. The data also has the ability to help brands understand the type of social media behaviors its followers and its target followers exhibit. It can help brands by “looking at behaviours, and what they mean, such as people interacting from different devices, across social different social networks.”

Once this level of understanding is established, brands can use this to assess the level of follower engagement. According to the article, “If someone is checking you out on Instagram for example, you are engaging them in a deeper way that if they follow you on Twitter. And if you have them following you on Snapchat, deeper still.” The full story and more about how social media data can benefit your brand can be read via the article.

These Are The Metrics That Really Matter For Social Media (Business Insider)

Social media offers a variety of measurable outcomes that can help brands assess productivity. However, certain metrics can help brands gauge their success better than others. A recent report done by Business Insider Intelligence found that “vanity likes” such as fans or likes aren’t as valuable as other measures like shares, audience reach, engagement and sentiment. Tools like “Insights,” Facebook’s analytics tool, are becoming available to help brands find metrics that matter.

According to the article, “surprisingly few brands and businesses use metrics to perform a competitive analysis of how they stack up against other brands on social media platforms.” The article highlights “how social media strategies are evolving” and offers recommendations about what metrics should be measured, highlights valuable metrics, explains the “decline of ROI metrics” and more.  Visit the article for more social media metrics information.

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

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