Social media isn’t what it used to be. Public Relations professionals used to manage a brand’s social media presence by taking an organic approach—a natural, casual engagement strategy that prompted authentic interactions with the audience. Those days are long gone; we now live in a post-organic social media world where paid promotions rule over all.
PR pros are no stranger to major industry changes, which is why we need to remain on our toes in order to keep up with the changing social media landscape. The downside of this shift toward pay-to-play social media is obvious, as our organic efforts are disappearing and social media is morphing into an advertising outlet. Despite these big changes, there is still plenty for PR pros to celebrate in this “new world”:
- We still create the stories. Despite the shift away from organic social media, PR professionals still have the power of developing and crafting a brand’s message. According to a blog post from Vision Critical, approximately 91 percent of customers want brands to be authentic with their social media content. With this in mind, it’s important to construct and convey a genuine identity that the target audience can engage with and relate to.
- Paid social guarantees a larger audience. Organic content may have helped maintain an authentic image, but only certain Facebook followers would actually see your content (with even less seeing it following the algorithm changes the platform made this past June). With paid social media, you’re giving your brand’s content the opportunity to be seen on a much larger scale. On top of that, specific demographic and psychographic information is used to narrow down your audience to those most likely to embrace your message. There are no guarantees that this highly targeted audience will go out and buy your brand’s product or service, but with the insights provided from social media and the expertise of marketers, we’re able to get key brand messages in front of the right people.
- The customer service element expands. Regardless of what industry you’re in, the phrase “keep the customer satisfied” remains a great piece of advice. With your content being seen on a much larger scale, user engagement increases, meaning a greater emphasis must be placed on monitoring. By being able to quickly respond to comments and questions from social users, a brand is likely to be seen as being attentive and customer-focused. And by resolving any issues, customer attitudes toward the brand are more likely to remain positive.
Marketers may be living in a post-organic social media world, but this is far from the end of social media—it’s simply one change in a long line of innovations. All platforms, especially Facebook, have made updates that impact the way marketers engage with their audiences, and they will continue to do so. Adapting to these updates by shifting your social strategy makes it easier to continue engaging with fans and potential customers. Social media isn’t what it used to be, but there are plenty of ways for brands to thrive in this new world.