Social networks are suitable for founders for advertising or social media marketing  as well as for classic PR measures. If you use social media for public relations, you need to create a social media strategy. It defines goals and target groups, but also defines resources and measures.

We explain what steps are necessary for PR in the social media strategy, introduce important social media platforms and give tips for the perfect Facebook post or tweet.

 

Benefits of social networking for your business

Using social networking for your business can increase your visibility, improve your image, and spread important information. It also gives you access to (new) customers or audiences, and you can generate clicks or raise awareness of what’s new in your business.

But before you begin to present your business on social networks, you should set up a social media strategy. Of course, this should fit the overall strategy of your business. However, a separate social networking strategy is needed to help you understand goals, resources and budget.

So first of all you should ask yourself what you want to achieve with a presence on social networks:

  • What are your goals for social media through PR?
  • Which target group do you want to reach there?
  • With what content do you reach this?
  • Which social networks are suitable for this?
  • What resources (staff and budget) can you spend on social networking?
  • Which key figures for a later evaluation can you measure?
  • Which technical or content support do you need for the implementation?

Define goals and target groups for social networks

Only by setting measurable goals can you measure the success of your PR in retrospect. Goals may include likes, followers, fans, views or clicks. These numbers are easier to collect than the number of new customers or customer satisfaction. If possible, goals should always be defined SMART:

  • S pecific, ie clearly defined.
  • M easurable, ie you must set criteria for measurability.
  • A ppropriate, ie from the target group, these goals must be accepted.
  • R realistic, ie the implementation must be feasible.
  • T ime, ie you should set an appointment for the achievement of all goals.

But before you can define goals, you first have to find out which target groups you want to reach in the respective channels of social media. Different social networks are aimed at different target groups. While many, when they hear social networks, think only of Facebook or Twitter, there are still many more target group-specific platforms .

How to create a social media strategy

So how do you proceed if you have chosen social networks? The first steps are the definition of goals and target groups as well as the selection of suitable platforms. You should always keep an eye on your competitors and check if and how they use social networks for themselves.

It’s also important to plan for both social resources and budget. Especially for business founders social networks appear as a cost-effective alternative to advertising. However, only one account is free. In order to get the ideal range of posts, you should plan for budget and possibly even an additional worker for the care of your social networks. You should also distinguish between PR and advertising in social media . Internally, the distribution of roles should be clearly regulated. If more than one employee is responsible for social networking, guidelines for communication should be established.

Once the basic questions have been resolved, you should set up a content creation plan. Keep in mind that content should always add value to your community. You should also remember the regular measurement of success: Monthly and annual reporting is essential so that you can recognize developments and optimize processes.

Use social networks for your PR: 5 tips

If you use social networking as an element of PR, you should definitely keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Content instead of advertising
  2. Quality beats quantity
  3. Promote dialogue-oriented communication
  4. Also set to negative feedback
  5. Cross medial work

Content vs. Advertising:  When you use social media for your PR, you should clearly separate content and advertising. Create a content strategy and think about how to add value to content. Only then will your posts achieve a high coverage. Creating a channel over which you only distribute promotional items will not get a range. For this you need to advertise specifically. If you’re thinking about social media advertising , read more about advertising on Facebook or about social media marketing in general.

Quality beats quantity:  content is the A and the O in social networks. As described in point 1, you should therefore offer content with added value to your community. For this it is not relevant that you publish something several times a day or as often as possible, but that the content is of high quality. So you may even achieve more coverage with a publication than with several posts of poorer quality.

Promoting dialogue  -oriented communication: Social networks are dialogue-oriented. No matter which social networks you are actively using, talk to your community. Include them with questions or actions in your publications and respond to questions and comments.

Also set to negative feedback:  Point 3 also applies to negative feedback. In particular, Facebook is developing more and more into a service channel on which inquiries are made, questions clarified and complaints are made. So if you get negative feedback or critical questions, here’s the answer: Reply! Take a stand and if the criticism is not constructive, politely point out. The bigger the company, the sooner a crisis team comes into question. But even as individuals, you should consider how to strategically best manage the risks of a social network, if they happen.

Working cross-media: Cross-media work means not seeing your channels separately but working across them. Your fans or customers may be tracking multiple of your social networks. So logically link content and not just copy. For example, you can embed YouTube videos on Twitter or Facebook. But you should also link content from your website or offline campaigns to build bridges between each channel.

The right communication on the right network

Social networks have peculiarities with regard to

  • The target group
  • the terminology and functions
  • the best way of publishing

For example, the perfect Facebook post or the perfect Tweet looks like we’ve put together in separate chapters.

Targeting social networks: post on Facebook

In order for a Facebook post to have the widest possible reach, some basic rules should be observed. For example, it’s important to include URLs correctly and use hash tags sparingly. In addition, not too often a post should be published and texts should not be too long. Time is also a criterion for the reach of your Facebook post. Find out more details on  what the perfect Facebook post for founders should look like.

Targeting social networks: Twittering on Twitter

If you twitter, you have only 140 characters available and they should be used with care. For example, an image may give your tweet more attention, but it will give you fewer characters for your text. To save space, you should use only a few, but meaningful hashtags. Learn how to handle hashtags properly and what else is needed for the perfect tweet.  2019 Twitter Stats are here.

Social networks in the spotlight: Instagram For Business

If you use Instagram as a company, you should set up a business account. In particular, you benefit from advanced statistics that you can use for your strategic communication. Find out how to set up a business account here. We also have examples of startups that use a particularly good Instagram account for you.

Checklist: Using social networks properly

Finally, at a glance: these points make social networks more successful.

  1. Create strategy
  2. Define goals (SMART) and target audience
  3. Choose platforms deliberately
  4. Create content with added value
  5. Budget budget
  6. Keep an eye on the competition
  7. Evaluate results
  8. Be prepared for any crises or criticism
  9. Set internal responsibilities
  10. Create guidelines for unified communications

So that you can now start in practice, we have put together all important social media platforms in an overview. Bookmark our site to learn more about social media strategies.