The Importance of Social Media

By Ross Coyle

Ross-Coyle-Harden-Communication-PartnersI’ve never considered myself a religious man, but lately I’ve found myself preaching one key message to our clients repeatedly – the need to recognize the importance of harnessing social media as part of their ongoing communication and PR efforts. Gone are the days of press kits and faxing press releases. Social Media has become a game changer. Don’t believe me? Facebook alone has over 1.2 billion monthly active users, Twitter over one billion registered users and Instagram over 300 million.

Social Media plays a crucial role in connecting people and developing relationships, not only with key influencers and journalists covering your company’s sector, but also provides a great opportunity to establish customer service by gathering input, answering questions and listening to their feedback.

The insight you gain from social media listening provide your organization with a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not, and goes a long way in helping your  public image. It’s important to be aware real-time of what people are saying about your company as well as your competitors.

Companies can start to reap the benefits by integrating an effective social media strategy with a traditional PR campaign.

  • For starters, social media allows you to get your message out to your target audience faster. You can create content and share information immediately, whether it’s a news announcement or video, to catch the eye of a reporter or blogger who’s browsing Twitter or Facebook looking for story ideas.
  • Sharing & Engagement. Folks are constantly sharing and engaging information across social media, so channels like LinkedIn and Pinterest are useful tools to get the word out to more people and engage with your target audience.
  • Cost-Effective. Social media offers a cost effective approach that can help dramatically increase both visibility and brand awareness.

So go out and spread the gospel. Just remember you only have 140 characters to do it!