Social media is probably the most important tool in the modern era to grow your business and expand your reach. According to Pew Research Centre, with a global population of over 7 billion people, there are 3.03 billion active social media users. With the click of a button, you can instantly interact with thousands or even millions of people worldwide on behalf of your business.

Let’s consider 5 key ways in which social media can maximise your business.


Influencer marketing to help public relations

One particular way to enhance your company’s PR is to integrate influencer marketing. This is definitely one of the most influential tools a business can use when their main aim is to sell their product or service to the consumer.

Influencers can be anyone from a celebrity with a high amount of social media followers, a person who has a lot of sway in your particular industry or anyone relevant with a substantial number of followers that can capture the consumer’s imagination.

Small to averagely sized influencers, in terms of following and status will commonly accept the product or service free of charge, in exchange for an honest and hopefully positive review. Smaller sized influencers can potentially be more resourceful to use than a massive celebrity personality, as they can be quite enthusiastic and driven to also make a name for themselves in partnership with a brand.

However, particularly with emerging and established celebrities they will look to charge companies to post on their personal social media feeds. This can be quite a difficult option for a brand starting out with limited funding; however, for already largely recognised brands it can often benefit their company’s perceived status dependant on the reputation of the particular celebrity and their relevance to the target audience.

If your company can make a coup of an influencer, it can really kick-start a following on social media and be used to add fuel to the tank of your business’ journey.

There has however been some controversy about paid endorsements of social media tweets. An example most recently was when a hit soap banned their star actors from posting any type of endorsement from businesses.

Therefore, some key public figures may be off limits due to more commitments or sanctions, so it is important for a business to find the right name to align with.  A common theme amongst celebrities is that they will be asked by a commission regulations board to Hashtag #spon for sponsor or #promo for promotion. In the age of the savvy consumer, this does not necessarily have the desired effects, as tweets look staged and manufactured just for a paid promotion, limiting the authenticity of the post.

Consumer protection company Trust In Advertising INC recently sent celebrity Kylie Jenner a legal letter, threatening to report the icon to the US Federal Trade Commission about “deceptive marketing techniques’’, after the star had discretely placed products on show in her pictures. Truth In Advertising told Jenner that any marketing posts must be marked with #spon or #promo.


Be sure to have social media incorporated into your press releases

This is probably one of the most simple but effective methods for increasing your brand’s reach to the consumer. Are you a business that publishes a standard press release and waits for the media to make contact? When delivering news or making a statement via a press release on the company’s website, it is a necessity to have your social media linked in so that the press release can be shared and distributed by media outlets and users. Even better, using social media itself to publish press releases is a great way to make sure your posts can be shared immediately by the masses.


Responding to negative press

Social media is a breeding ground for the consumer to voice their opinions, both good and bad. When a consumer or stakeholder has a complaint about your business on social media, it is within your best interest to respond to the issue and try to resolve any problems before they escalate. Sometimes a user may not directly mention your business profile to voice their concern, so it would be beneficial to have a member of the team using the search tool on each particular social media platform to vet and respond to all negative press.

In order to keep the negative publicised messages about your business to a minimum, it would be highly recommended to ask the user with the problem to send you a direct message, in order to resolve the matter discreetly, and most importantly, ‘offline’. This would hopefully stop more than one negative message being posted in the public eye at once.


Use social media campaigns to increase brand awareness

A social media campaign can gain you massive recognition if you target a vast enough market. If we look at an example from charity ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Research who started the #IceBucketChallenge campaign. In order to increase awareness of the disease and raise money, people would throw a bucket of ice-cold water over themselves and then donate to the cause. With celebrities like Justin Bieber participating, the campaign was a massive success and raised over $100m dollars, as well as receiving 1.3 million mentions on social media in just 24 hours after Bieber completed the challenge. With the right campaign and target audience, the outcome can be phenomenal.


Interact with journalists on social media

Journalists have great power and a massive say in how a business is perceived in the public eye. By interacting and keeping journalists on your side will, in turn, allow your business to thrive. Journalists have the authority to publish both good and bad stories on your brand, so it is essential to open up honest dialogue with the media. If any social media posts created by your brand are relevant to a news outlet or journalist, you should tag their profile handle, so they can retweet or share the post with their followers. A key tip when building an online relationship with the press would be to keep the conversation genuine, informal and not robotic-like. It is essential to go above and beyond your professional side when trying to form strong humane bonds with the media. By making positive relations with the press can only benefit how your business is viewed upon.


Good luck and get social!