A well thought-through social media strategy is central to all our public relations campaigns. Not least because these channels offer so much potential for businesses looking to squeeze extra value from their press coverage, white papers and thought leadership.
Whether this is from research-based initiatives, topical opinion or best practice advice pieces, we are used to helping our clients create interesting and insightful content that satisfies the most demanding of audiences: national newspaper journalists and business owners.
In fact, the 'content strategy' is often a vital missing component from business development strategies. Attention is focused on design and logistical issues but the key ingredient of interesting and thought-provoking content is overlooked. Given that generating interesting articles, insights and white papers is often the hardest part of a campaign, the failure to have a clear content generation strategy often dooms social media and other marketing initiatives from the start.
The speed at which social networking has been embraced by the public, including business owners and other decision-makers, means no organisation (large or small) can afford to overlook social media any longer.
For the business-to-business world, social media is hugely important for sales, recruitment and reputation management. In the professions, LinkedIn especially has been rapidly embraced, while many firms are experimenting with Twitter and Facebook.
But there is much more to leveraging social networking effectively just because competitors are doing it and customers expect it. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are now one of the most powerful marketing tools available when deciding which products and services to purchase and which providers to stay loyal too.
Social media works at every stage of the buying cycle from getting targets talking to generating attention, creating desire and encouraging an action. It is after all called 'social' media, not 'broadcast propaganda' media for a reason!
This means great content and a human tone has to be at the forefront whether you use YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Clients and referrers are social media savvy and simply rehashing sales spiels are likely to deter more users than it attracts.