If you think about it, learning how to beat the competition as an athlete is not unlike learning how to outshine the competition in social media marketing. For the same reason an athlete determined to take home the gold wouldn't just jump into the competition without a strategy for winning, companies shouldn't jump into social media marketing without a strategy in place for winning. After all, you create goals and strategies for other aspects of your marketing campaigns – why should social media marketing be any different?
A company lives and dies by its reputation.
The key to creating a good reputation is establishing a friendly repartee with not only your customers, but also the public at large. Initiate a healthy relationship and the public will come to trust and respect your integrity. Create a bad impression and the potential customer will be less likely to walk through your door.
Your company's relationship to the outside world – this is public relations boiled down to its essence.
There's an old adage: Advertising you pay for. Public relations you pray for. It's true. Good PR is hard to come by. It's not the same as 'paid advertising'. You can't get it by simply forking over some cash and placing an ad in the paper. The men and women of today simply will not be patronized and are far too savvy to be bought off by such cavalier tactics.
Many businesses recognize the need for communicating with their target audiences. But oftentimes PR is confused with advertising or sales, and there is an incomplete understanding of what PR really entails.
The scope of PR is not defined by the tools in the PR toolbox: web sites, press releases, newsletters, blogs, etc. Nor is it defined by the crisis communications efforts that many people call 'spin'. When challenges arise or decisions take a wrong turn, some people want to 'get some PR' on an issue to turn it around.
An effective PR program, based on marketing strategy, will help avoid the need to scramble at the last minute when a problem arises. It will also help establish trust and ongoing two-way communication between the business/organization and the audience as they establish an interactive discourse: communicate, listen (through surveys and feedback) and communicate, etc.
In the good ole' days, marketing used to be one-way messaging. Simple stuff. You have a product or service and you tell folks about it. Now, with the advent of social media, marketing is becoming two-way – customers finding YOU when they are seeking products or services. And they are not quiet about the experience.
Marketers, however, are the guardians of a company's brand. So how do you walk the two-way street of social media marketing, keep the brand intact, and use new technology to your benefit?
A tornado touching down in your community and ripping roofs off is bound to make waves in the local media. Print, online, radio and television journalists will be asking questions and interviewing frustrated homeowners. How much will repairs cost? How can homeowners protect themselves against scams? Does my home need only minor repairs, or will I have to get a new roof?