Originally used as a simple way to curate common subject on social networks, Hashtags have become so ingrained in our popular culture that we now often hear people using them conversationally to offset a topic or make a point. Take this popular skit from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as an example of that. It seems that we cannot escape their reach. While watching television, hashtags appear on the screen every few minutes to encourage social sharing while brands use specific hashtags to promote their products and services. However, they do come with their down side; social media users can turn creative hashtags into a nightmare for public relations professionals and social media managers.
Social Media's archives
As social media increasingly becomes an integral part of public relations strategy, public relations professionals have dedicated themselves to mastering the tactic. Because of its wide spread use and growing importance, a variety of conferences are held throughout the year, dedicated to featuring the latest trends in social media. The biannual, international conference “Social Media Week” is currently underway in New York City. Organized by Crowdcentric Media, it features presentations by social media experts, exhibits, classes and more to educate attendees and followers about all things social media for 2014. Held at multiple international locations, Social Media Week connects attendees around the world and, through a conference app, gives thousands the opportunity to digitally stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
Public relations is a diverse profession with a variety of specialties and skills; however there is one area that most professionals will agree is important across the spectrum: creating quality content. Whether it’s formal or informal, content must be composed of creative messaging that will resonate with readers. Writing content that is tailored to a specific platform and distributing it appropriately will likely generate engagement, sharing and result in desired publicity.
Social media is becoming a staple communication tool for brands. When it’s used correctly, brands can successfully build their image and their relationships with consumers. However, social media is prone to human error and lack of good judgment, which can tarnish relationships with followers and cause crises for brands.
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 recent social media failures and successes. Kmart’s response to negative social media feedback, Home Depot’s controversial tweet, using Facebook to spread a global movement and Kool-Aid’s innovative app are all covered in this week’s post. We also look at Charmin’s quick tweet-and-delete.
Even though social media has become an everyday tool for public relations professionals, it takes time and training to keep up with this constantly evolving technology. As it grows, the various platforms will continue to develop based on the needs of its users. While the changes are often welcome, it can become difficult to keep track of all that is happening in the realm of social media.
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PRSAY is a forum for PRSA members and other public relations professionals to engage in a dialogue with PRSA leaders, exchange viewpoints, and share perspectives on issues of concern to the Society and the public relations industry as a whole. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of PRSA.