Where are you, @ ?

Ragan’s PR Daily posted a article recently that I found to be surprising and a little scary.  ‘Brands simply aren’t replying on Twitter, study finds’ by Kevin Allen (http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15963.aspx) discusses that the average company tweets at least 12 times per day (great!), but they are sending out less than one @-reply per day…what?!

One of the great benefits of social media for companies is the ability to engage with your audience – your valued customers.  It’s silly to not use a tool like Twitter to it’s fullest potential.

 I know, from experience, that after I send out a tweet to a company or brand, I absolutely LOVE getting tweeted back.  It’s something magical that without social media, I wouldn’t be able to experience.  As a consumer, when a company engages with me directly and personally through social media it shows that they care and value my business.

 By the way – I LOVE Rent the Runway!

 Katie Howell describes the beauty of social media perfectly in her book Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals, “social media are about presenting the human side of your business, engaging with your audience to build trust, understanding and brand loyally” (Howell 18).  Now, I understand that maybe some companies know or appreciate the value that social media can do for them, but if you’re going to implement social media into your business plan, at least use it for all that it’s worth.  “The ideal situation is to firmly align your social media goals with the core drivers of your organization’s success” (Howell 17).

Twitter was founded in 2006, it isn’t new, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.  So there’s no better time than now to understand how Twitter can benefit businesses.  Yes, the article I’m about to tell you about is a little old (2011), but it features ’15 business benefits of Twitter’ (http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/10252.aspx), which is still extremely useful today (2014).  As it states in the article under customer service, “when people “call” your company on Twitter, do you pick up the phone?”

Allen, Kevin. “Brands Simply Aren’t Replying on Twitter, Study Finds.” Ragan’s PR Daily. 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.

Sanders, Simon. “Kick-start Your Social Media Strategy.” Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals. Ed. Stephen Waddington. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2012. 15-22. Print.

Schaefer, Mark. “15 Business Benefits of Twitter.” Ragan’s PR Daily. 8 Dec. 2011. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.

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It’s a social media world after all

I’ll start this blog off by telling you a little secret; I love social media!  But, I’ll be the first one to admit that although I love social media and all that it has to offer, I don’t know too much about writing blogs.  Being a soon-to-be graduate with my degree in communications, I know that I should be well-versed in social media and that includes blogging.  I’ve started a couple blog prior to this one, but I hit the writer’s block wall that I feel every blogger must hit a one point or another.  So, here’s to starting fresh!

Recently, I read the first chapter of the book Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals by Katy Howell.  Like I said before, it’s important as an aspiring PR professional to be well-versed in social media and Howell does an excellent job explaining why that is.  Let’s be real here – “57% of people talk more online than they do in real life” (Howell 4), that doesn’t include the amount of time people spend talking on cell phones.  So what does this mean?  It means that our lives are becoming more and more virtual than ever before and as a future PR professional this significantly impacts my job.

Let’s take a second to thank Web 2.0 for helping us maintain and establish relationships easier and more accessible than ever.  According to Howell, Web 2.0 principles are found throughout the social media landscape.  These principles are ones that “ensure communications are two way, interactive, and above all, shareable” (Howell 7).  I mean think about, that’s what we all look for when we log in to our social media sites, right?  We look to communicate with our friends, family and coworkers; we look to share our interests, beliefs, and personal (sometimes too personal) feelings; and we all look for the same thing in return.  “Social network sites are the vehicle, not the destination” (Howell 5).

My favorite quote from Howell on page 12 that I feel captures the significance of social media in PR.

“Tapping into conversations that are relevant to your stakeholders allows businesses to build relationships, influence communities and ultimately inspire advocacy and trust.”