Perhaps from the day of its inception, social media and Public Relations have been entwined with each other. There are a lot of PR-enabling phenomena such as Facebook Live, Snapchat filters, selfies, Periscope and the latest is the Instagram.
These platforms are almost entirely ingrained in the day to day lives of its users which is even more profound in case of Instagram users. Day by day, the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others are taking on more significant roles in the PR agencies.
It is for this reason that PRs need to change the way of thinking and operating and agencies now are adapting quickly to such needs fearing the risk of being left behind.
Therefore, it is high time to probe into the matter and find out how social media is shaping up future PR and its role played in public relations. It is also important to know how the industry needs to familiarize with such changes and at the same time account for its constantly increasing influence.
Impact on traditional PR
Before you delve into the role of social media in future PR, it is important that you take a note on how social media, especially Instagram has already altered the course of PR and that too beyond recognition.
- The fact that social media provides individuals with an opportunity to showcase a completely different side of them has also allowed the brands to represent them with more personality.
- With such a shift, PR has to adapt quickly to the platform that is known to have much faster response time than other social media channels. This helps them to reach out to a wider audience with better and more engagement as compared to the PR techniques of the olden times.
- In light of today when everything changes at a rapid pace, the emergence and importance of social media platforms is unprecedented and is no longer enough to expect wide coverage from the journalists by simply sending out a press release.
- These days, you will need a monitored and precise content to be created and posted on a regular basis to get the desired results in a real-time basis.
Therefore, the key factor to success is to monitor the trends on social media and accordingly create contents that will engage and build the audience.
More data-driven PR
Today’s PR has become more data-driven by nature and therefore to make the best use of the social media platforms you will need to create more engaging and relevant contents. The usefulness of such content can be summarized and explained as follows:
- This will, in turn, allow better data analytics by using the analytical tools that most platforms now come with.
- Apart from the Twitter Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and Instagram Analytics you also get a large number of third-party analytical tools that you can use to monitor your progress.
- It is the analytic-friendly nature of social media that will help you to translate across to public relations making it more data-driven.
- With such data analytics used by PRs you will get more information about your future campaigns and at the same time know how to improve your current ones.
- In such a situation the social media management and the analytic tools play a much greater role in shaping and influencing the PR.
- There is a dire need of expert professionals who are trained in using these analytical tools effectively. This is important as it is only the use of the correct tools that will help the PRs to provide the precise and more accurate overview to judge the success of such campaigns.
- Modern data-driven PRs are able to provide more accurate context which is very important in reporting back to the Instagram followers.
Therefore, data-driven PR is not only the future but is a necessity to make and keep your brand as relevant as possible. This will help it to stand out and be more authentic in this age where there is an oversaturation of information and a lot of fake news. With the use of correct data analytics, it will help the PRs to build more successful campaigns.
Visual Content And Augmented Reality
There is a significant rise in the video content and augmented reality in recent years, and according to reports it is seen that video content makes up at least 74% of the internet traffic.
- The social media channels have already adapted to this, and the success of Facebook Live and Instagram stories are attracting more into it. The meaning of such a rise in the trend in visual content is that PRs now will no more need to adapt to the new type of content. They will already have a new format to deliver brand messages successfully.
- Another aspect of the natural evolution of visual content is the increase in the use of 360-degree video. This has resulted in a fully immersive visual experience eventually.
- Figures show that the use of AR and VR have resulted in the users spending three times more time currently on average in watching Facebook Live videos as compared with any other type of video content on the same platform.
- This means, when brands use visual content on social media, they can engage more with the audience in a direct way. That means the PRs now are required to have new skill sets so that they can film and edit visual contents effectively.
- It has also resulted in the rise of augmented reality in a visual content so that it can be used across static images or video contents in the app.
All these open up doors to new possibilities for business promotion and brand engagement on the platform.
The upcoming changes
To sum up, you must be ready to brace the upcoming changes wherein you will need to design ephemeral content that will last for a short period of time. Social media press releases or SMPR will replace traditional press releases to make it more shareable and linkable coming is a digital format. Lastly, you are about to see the extensive use of micro-influencers to build relationships.