While many companies today are looking for ways to utilise social media and seek out experts within the industry, public relations professionals are already trained in this core skill. More and more, PR professionals are being recognised as ‘the corporate voice’ for social media activities.
The use of social and traditional media complementing each other will in turn create success. Blogs, micro blogs and social media sites provide instant tracking and feedback from targeted audiences – which amount to a built-in measurement tool.
The spread of social media networks has resulted in a boost in free and low-cost avenues for sharing an organisation or brand’s news. Social media heavily relies on the art of good communications. Social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can complement a company’s overall PR plan.
Online communications make the PR outreach more transparent by allowing a direct connection to people the company wants to engage with. Social media networks are great tools to create viral buzz about a company, forming connections by eliciting discussions, comments, “likes”, “tweets”, “retweets”, “shares” and other social media interactions.
Thom Brodeur, Senior Vice President Global Strategy and Development for Marketwire says, “With online media, a story can hit hours or sometimes minutes after it crosses the newswire, where in traditional print or broadcast the story can take up to days if not weeks.”
B2B PR is based on building two-way mutual relationships between your business public and your company. It touches nearly every part of a business: marketing, sales, customer service, etc. Companies need to listen to what their publics have to say and social media offers the perfect forum for this.
2012 will see an increasing number of B2B companies adopting social media strategies into their overall PR campaigns. This means that there will be a greater spread of B2B social media activities than ever before. Some of the predictions include:
• Blogging will play a central role in B2B Social Media
Corporate blogs are now a standard feature of the B2B website. Companies that post valuable and insightful content to their blogs regularly will drive traffic to their blogs (and websites) through a combination of search and social media. The important thing here is to make sure you maintain regular and fresh content as this will ensure people make return visits.
• Social media taken more seriously
More B2B companies will launch dedicated programs to generate leads through social media. As more organisations take this approach to adding real, measurable results to their social media efforts, it will be easier for top company executives to take social media seriously and therefore invest more resources in it.
• Mobile strategies will catch up
Mobile marketing is growing rapidly. B2B organisations looking to keep ahead of their competitors need to ensure they are creating mobile-friendly websites so their audience can successfully access them anywhere.
• Social media supports offline activities
Social media will be a key component in the marketing mix in 2012. It will become an important driver for other activities like trade shows and company events. Social media resources will be used to complement the more traditional PR strategies that companies use in their campaigns.
In today’s informational world, the social media market has become a dynamic, authentic and important entity. It has the ability to influence the ideas and opinions of millions of people worldwide. Since it is autonomous, substantial and changeable, it can’t be ignored. There is a real necessity for businesses and organisations to enter the world of social media, monitor it, act through it and respond to its challenges.
- Be social: Social media and B2B (marketing.yell.com)