• Julia Loughlin

How to set up for success on social media

Social media is an incredibly powerful dimension of PR. Here are a few golden rules for setting up for success:

1. First, always start with the why. Ask yourself, Why are you on social media? Why will people engage with your content? Once you’ve established this purpose, set your goals. What are you looking to achieve?

2. Secondly, build an ecosystem. Social media isn’t an isolated activity, it’s part of your marketing communications mix. So think about where your channels are leading – is the experience smooth from your content to your website? Or from your Twitter profile to your LinkedIn page?

3. Know who you’re talking to. Check the insights analytics to get a breakdown of who follows your page, their gender, where they’re from and how old they are. You might find that you have to amplify content to the people your brand should be reaching. Or on a personal level, perhaps there are hashtags you could be using to get in front of the right people or participate in the right conversations.

4. Next, identify 3-4 pillars of content that you have permission to talk in with authority. From an individual level, it might be Leadership, Small Business, your sector, let’s say IT, and something personal, like food and wine, or football. 

5. Listen – you can learn a lot from what people say about you. Use social listening tools like Keyhole or NUVI, or BuzzSumo, or even a good old-fashioned Twitter hashtag search.

6. Respond at all costs. It’s not enough to post and watch the likes roll in. Social media is a very public, very demanding comms channel. A bad client or customer experience can play out very publicly if not handled properly.

7. Measure. It’s really important to measure the results of your content – reach and engagement being the primary metrics. identify the best performing pieces of content and repeat.

8. Lastly, it’s worth remembering there is no one size fits all approach.

Above all, be yourself, create a space that says something about you, and give people a reason to engage.

Like the other forms of PR, social media is an investment, so give it the attention it deserves.

It takes time and effort to get right, and if you’re outsourcing it, or even resourcing it with your own staff, it does cost money to do, and it should be valued, and its return should also be analysed, and maximised as you would for any other investment.

But when done right, it is well worth it and can make a powerful impact on your brand.

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