Shifting Skillset for PR Pros: Social Media

The public relations industry has long been built on two core skills: writing flawless content and garnering influential media coverage on behalf of a client. If you embodied both skills, and could execute them well, you were bound to be a successful PR pro.

 

But, what about today? With the evolving skillset of PR professionals, it’s more important than ever to be armed with multiple proficiencies to develop and manage successful campaigns. In addition to the core competencies of a traditional PR professional, the following social media skills are key for any PR professional looking to grow within the industry.

 

Reporting social analytics.

Sure, writing a captivating Facebook post is great, but it doesn’t carry a lot of weight if  you can’t show its audience reach. Tracking analytics allows us to identify what’s working and what could use some changes. If an Instagram post gets 30 more likes than usual, we need to ask ourselves why, review and analyze the metrics, and carry key facets of that post into future social media content. Whether it’s through paid or free reporting services, professionals should be tracking impressions, engagements, reach and more to better understand social performance.

 

Social advertising.

Public relations often intersects with advertising, traditional and social. It’s common to facilitate or provide recommendations for advertising requests. According to the latest CMO survey, social media advertising budgets are predicted to increase by 32 percent in 2018 and almost double by 2023. Understanding basic terminology and vocabulary is easy with simple resources searches online, but to truly become well-versed in the space, you may consider taking an academic course on social advertising.

 

Basic graphic design.

Crafting social media messages is imperative, but so is creating the right image to go along with it! Graphics are a great asset to use text, photos and elements that can make your social post stand out. Although the most seasoned graphic designers use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, it’s not necessary for all public relations professionals. Canva, a free website with a “drag-and-drop” format, is an easy tool for beginners. Let your social images stand out, not blend in.

 

As the public relations industry continues to evolve, its professionals should too. Take time to gain a basic understanding of traditional and new-age PR tactics, and you (and your clients) will be in good hands.

 

Think your business could benefit from social media and reporting metrics? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com, or request a consultation today.

Facebook: When to Advertise vs. When to Boost

With more than 1.94 billion active monthly users worldwide, Facebook is the top social media network available with the ability to target specific audiences. Not only does the platform allow businesses to interact directly with followers via messaging features, but Facebook also provides a way to scale that messaging to reach additional audiences.

 

Facebook advertisements and boosted posts are two ways businesses can further accomplish their social media goals. We will explore the differences between the two and examine how each option can work to increase reach and engagements on Facebook.

 

Facebook Advertisements.

Running an advertisement on Facebook allows businesses to achieve campaign objectives, such as increased brand awareness, website clicks or conversions, app installs, event responses, video views and more. Step one, though, is to prioritize goals and launch a campaign centered on them that includes a call to action.

 

After selecting the primary ad goal, businesses can set start and end dates for the campaign and have the option to target specific individuals using demographic traits. These include age, gender, hobbies, language, location and more. From there, select a maximum budget for the overall campaign, as well as the daily allotment from the campaign budget. The daily budget will ensure your ad continues to run through the end date, should you choose to set one. Finally, select the campaign’s creative content, which includes image or video along with key messaging. Be mindful of text overlays on an image, as Facebook limits the amount of text in each advertising campaign (90 character count limit).

 

Facebook advertisement audience traits

 

Depending on the overall campaign goal, the look of the ad may vary slightly, but all will be visible on the general Facebook newsfeed. While businesses have the ability to view the ad metrics through Facebook Ad Manager, the ad itself is not visible on the business’ Facebook page. Facebook also gives businesses the option to run the ad on Instagram and includes those metrics with the ones from Facebook. Be careful to cater messaging that would work for both platforms.

 

Businesses can expect to see an increase in page likes, website clicks or online conversions, for example, based on the campaign’s call to action. Post likes and comments are also tracked, but because the ad will disappear following its conclusion, these engagements are not permanent.

 

Facebook Boosted Posts.

Boosting a post on Facebook allows businesses to increase the reach of a post on its business page. Types of content available to boost include status updates, photos, videos, special offers and events, web links, job postings and more. Typically, boosted posts are used to increase the reach of a post that is already performing well organically.

 

Businesses can begin a post by selecting the blue Boost Post buttonon the bottom right corner of an existing post. If creating a new post, visit the Publishing Tools tab on the business’ Facebook page and click the Create button in the top right corner. From there, insert messaging, attach an images or video, and select a day and time to schedule the post.

Select a post that is performing well organically and click the Boost Post button

 

The process for boosting a post is like an advertisement in that Facebook provides the option to set demographic triggers for the post, such as age, gender, hobbies, language, location and more. Boosted posts can also be set for a specific length of time and with daily budget parameters.

 

Boosted posts appear on both the Facebook News Feed and the business’ page, and will remain on the page as a general post following the conclusion of the campaign unless it is deleted. Like advertisements, boosted posts also have the option to be run on Instagram, however metrics are combined for the two channels.

 

Businesses using boosted posts can expect to see a general increase in likes, comments and/or shares of the post.

 

Results.

Dittoe PR put these Facebook marketing options to the test by running both an ad campaign and a boosted post for clients in the hospitality and real estate industries. For both industries, the experiment ran for the same amount of time, using the same messaging, creative assets and budget to ensure the results could be compared accurately.

 

When selecting between the two, we found that Facebook ads are better for content focusing on current events, contests and special offers. These goals are more focused on short-term effects, garnering attention and engagement immediately. These ads saw higher engagement with the business’ page, resulting in page likes or follows, website visits and more.

 

This furthers the reach of the original post, as Facebook also shares information about what audience members are interacting with on the Facebook newsfeed. Because the post remains on the business’ page following the conclusion of the campaign, boosted posts are focused on long-term efforts, sharing information and gaining credibility. Boosting these posts saw an increase in overall engagements with the post itself, including post likes, comments and shares.

 

We recommend testing each method to determine which works best for your business or industry. Depending on your specific goals and objectives, one option may be better than the other. If you are interested in learning more about how Dittoe PR can assist with your social media marketing, request a consultation today!

The Difference Between Marketing, Public Relations & Advertising

I’m often asked what I do for a living, and I always reply “I work in public relations.” Usually the response is, “So that’s like advertising? Or marketing?” Well, kind of. Not really. No, not really at all.

As Dr. Lisa Fall at the University of Tennessee used to tell me, marketing, advertising and PR are all first-cousins. They’re closely related, but they’re very different in their functions, objectives and tactics, though they may all lead to the same goal.

I typically end up explaining the difference (even my parents still don’t understand!). And many companies we do business with at Dittoe PR have trouble distinguishing between the three. I recently came across this perfect visual description of the notion from Ads of the World, an advertising archive showcasing campaigns from around the world.

So here it is: the difference between marketing, PR and advertising.