Communications is a broad umbrella term, encompassing many aspects of public relations, social media and content creation.
To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to work out which task belongs to which branch of creative communication.
However, it’s more valuable for communicators to understand where these boundaries overlap, and how one specialism can reinforce the other for a truly rounded solution.
With this in mind, we thought we’d share these five key lessons of public relations which we feel are important for social media.
Accuracy of information is paramount in PR, not only because publishing false information can lead to legal difficulties, but because a company which publishes inaccurate information will struggle to retain the trust of its communities.
Do not be lulled into a false sense of anonymity when posting on social media. Social media gives you the most direct access to your Company’s followers and anything you say on social media will be attributed to yourself and your business.
It’s always possible to mistakenly publish false information, but you can limit this possibility by thoroughly checking your facts. If you aren’t sure whether something is true or not and you can’t find out, don’t post it!
Consistency is comforting for audiences. People are drawn to things they recognise, including voices, structures and grammatical styles. PR practitioners encapsulate these aspects of client companies into their press releases and blog content, but social media should be no different.
Being consistent with your style, structure, wording and punctuation on social media reinforces your company’s character in the minds of your clients. Suddenly changing to formal language after years of colloquialisms will confuse your audience and break the image they have of you. If you must make changes to your social dialogue, do it slowly.
Spelling and grammar
Yes, we’re going there. You may laugh in the face of grammatical sentences and proper spelling, or simply struggle with a tiny smartphone keyboard, but nothing is more damaging to a company’s good name than messy, typo-ridden text.
Bad spelling and grammar shows a lack of care and attention in what you produce, whether it’s on your social media page or production line. The odd typo may be forgiven between friends, but audiences expect a certain calibre of communication from organisations and businesses. Proper grammar gives your social content authority and heightens your image as an expert in your field.
PR is all about building positive relationships between an organisation and its communities. Mutual respect and understanding is vitally important to this process and must permeate through all communication, including social media.
Again, perceived anonymity is a tempting shield for many people, but there is no excuse for reacting disrespectfully towards other users. Imagine you were speaking to your followers face to face, or negotiating a deal with a customer. How would you communicate with them? In the face of criticism, remember what you represent. Be respectful, polite and business-like.
Be yourself! In PR, we understand few things are more powerful than authenticity. Trying to be something you’re not rarely works, and presenting a false character insinuates to audiences your real personality is not one to be trusted.
Using your own words and posting them in your own style gives your social media a personal touch. It presents a more intimate impression of your company’s character. That kind of openness shows you trust your audiences and they will trust you back.
Whether managing social media accounts for our clients or training people on social media, as a Newcastle PR and social media agency, we endeavour to follow these tips. Our expertise in both PR and social media equips us with best practices from across the whole communications industry, providing our clients with a fully integrated solution.
If you struggle with your spelling, have a hard time holding your tongue, or just can’t fathom where to start with social media, our team can manage your accounts for you or train you to build an accurate, authentic and attractive image of your business.
If you’d like to hear more about our services, we’d love to hear from you on 01325 486 666.