Start-Up Success: What Is More Important, PR Or Social Media?
Social media has allowed PR to reach out to a much larger audience than before.
Achieving success simultaneously across multiple areas is a challenge all start-ups face. Most start-ups do not have big ad budgets or high-profile investors. In fact, even those who do, have begun to focus on high-ROI channels for marketing. That’s where low cost –big impact marketing methods like Public Relations and Social Media come in.
While Social Media offers an interactive marketing platform, PR extends an opportunity to disseminate information through a credible media outlet. Though both work towards controlling a brand’s image and messaging, they have their own advantages and challenges.
Social media has in fact allowed PR to reach out to a much larger audience than before. Previously, PR was targeted at specific individuals such as investors and business partners, but social media has caused this target group to expand and include everyone vital to the success of a business.
One For All & All For One!
My journey with Pouring Pounds, CashKaro and now ZoBucks has shown how a brand can strengthen their PR using social media. I personally stay in touch with a lot of media professionals and influencers on Facebook & Twitter.
I have realised how useful it is to strike up casual conversations with reporters to not only share the latest company updates but also build a relationship which goes beyond interviews and industry quotes. The way I look at it, having a strong social media presence itself is a great PR practice.
As both PR and social media are used to build and maintain trust in the company and its founders, it is only natural that the two must be in sync. In many ways, the two media rely on each other. Thanks to social media, an article in a small local publication in the middle of the country may go viral online, spreading globally, and becoming the next big story.
Today we can push out any and all information we want over social media. The most effective way to spread the word about your brand is to share published stories via social channels. Readers are more likely to trust information coming from a media outlet than when it comes from a general social post.
PR & Social Media: Working Hand In Hand
This gives more exposure to media mentions and latest updates from a brand. For example, when we expanded to Singapore as ZoBucks, a lot of publications covered this news. Sharing these news articles on all social handles not only extended the reach of the news but also amplified media endorsements and had a lasting impact.
Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are also useful when conducting research or a poll on a target demographic. Often, you’ll be able to uncover a trend in consumer preferences that can help you shape your marketing efforts accurately. Sharing the research reports with journalists and putting it up on social media can give it a wider reach and garner more brand mentions.
Moreover, social media hasn’t just provided an outlet to share breaking news; it’s also brought about a new type of citizen journalist: the influencer. From a beauty vlogger with 3.7 million subscribers on YouTube to a travel blogger with 175k followers on Instagram, influencers are considered one of the best ways to attract new customers to a brand.
Consider the fact that 71% consumers say they are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. Powerful, right? More than ever, these social media influencers with high follower counts could mean big opportunities for PR professionals and the brands they represent.
For instance, we often interact with top bloggers and YouTubers across technology, beauty, fashion and travel etc. for CashKaro. These individuals have not only positioned CashKaro as the best saving destination for online shopping amongst its audience but, have also turned into customers themselves.
In the end, it all boils down into 3 important aspects:
To understand your audience on a deeper level and foster engagement, it’s time to make way for incorporating social media into the old-fashioned growth strategies of a start-up. By coupling PR plans with social media, you’ll be able to accomplish the efforts more efficiently and without necessarily spending lots of money on them.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Swati Bhargava – Co-founder, CashKaro.com