We hear a lot about the diverse use of social media in the public relations world, but how are other industries leveraging the power of social media? Companies in the health care and sport industries are beginning to understand that their richest source of insight, ideas, data and information is within their business-to-consumer (B2C) engagement via social media. These industries, among others, are learning the value of social media engagement and strategy that traditional public relations and marketing companies have already proven to be so successful.
In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary — we will explore the use of social media by other diverse industries, and look at what some of the top executives from Silicon Valley are predicting for the future of social media. We also will feature tips that will help you become more social media saavy by making your social media engagements count.
Report from Social Media’s Front Lines (Ad Age)
The best way to stay ahead of the fast-changing social media and digital marketing ecosystem is to go to its mecca: Silicon Valley. Ad Age’s Marc Brownstein, along with other CEOs from a variety of industries around the world, traveled to Silicon Valley to visit Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter, the “fab four” of social media, meeting high-level resources at each company. Here are a few of the takeaways from their meetings:
- Social is here to stay. Every executive stated the same thing — social is just getting going, and if you are not on it in a meaningful way already, you should be.
- Agencies had better get skilled at creating meaningful user application experiences. People spend more time navigating their favorite apps (2 minutes and 30 seconds, on average), compared to less than 25 seconds on a website.
- Plenty of companies are successfully using social media to drive awareness and sales. Dell, Lilly Pulitzer, IKEA, Whole Foods and Comcast are prime examples.
- Beware of the hashtag. According to the folks at Twitter, they may soon replace the URL in ads, because hashtags take you right to the conversation.
- The leading social media platforms still are focusing resources on consumer brands. For B2B brands, social media is highly relevant; it’s just a matter of how to best use it.
- The old fashioned resume is dead. According to LinkedIn, job applicants will post credentials online at sites likes theirs.
Transition Game: Using Social Media to Create a Brand, Not Problems (The Washington Post)
Social media has given athletes the opportunity to create a personal brand that defines their image. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr (the list goes on) are all outlets that provide fans, coaches, teammates and alumni a glimpse into who you are and what you’re about. With this power, however, comes great responsibility — particularly for student athletes. The Washington Post’s Monica McNutt discusses the impact that social media has on athletes, even at the high school level, and the importance of strong student athlete brand management in dealing with coaches during the recruitment process.
Health Care Using Social Media More to Engage Consumers (TechFlash)
Health care has been slower to join the social media bandwagon than industries, such as retail and hospitality. According to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Health Research Institute, about one third of consumers are turning to Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to interact with health care providers, and more than 1,200 hospitals are participating in social networking sites. For the health care industry, social media engagement may provide the clues that lead to higher quality care, more loyal customers, efficiency and even revenue growth.
Social Media’s Modern Day Role in PR and Marketing Campaigns: Highlights and Thoughts (Huffington Post)
Marni Salup, CEO and founder of The Salup Group, discusses the role that social media is now playing in public relations and marketing campaigns. She offers three great ways to leverage social media for your public relations campaign, shares three fun ways to use social media for marketing and business development, and explores the potential drawbacks of social media in this week’s HuffPost blog.
5 Social Media Moves You Can Make In an Hour (Chicago Tribune)
Chicago Tribune’s Scott Kleinberg offers five things you can do now to make social media more useful and enjoyable to you and your followers. These social media moves will only take an hour of your time but it will look like you spent days working on them.
- Facebook: Create or subscribe to an interest list. Interest lists allow you to choose a topic and subscribe to the pages or people you care about most.
- Instagram: Upload your first photo or interact with someone. The power of the platform lies in the community of people who want to share what they are seeing around them.
- Pinterest: Score an invite, pin and be hooked. If this column has any fine print, it’s this — it’s easy to get started on Pinterest, but once you do, it’s very addictive.
- GetGlue: Social media meets television. Before you watch your favorite television show, check in on GetGlue. You can earn stickers, discounts and other rewards.
- Any Platform: Check your privacy settings. Because privacy settings tend to change often, it’s always a good idea to jump in and make sure nothing is awry.
Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.
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