Making Sense of the Puzzling World of Social Media

PRSA Event Presentation | October 17, 2014
Article written by Power Communications

It seems as if there’s always a new social media site popping up on the Internet. With so many out there, it’s overwhelming to keep up with all of them, let alone deciding which we should be on. What content is relevant or interesting and worth posting? How much posting is too much posting? Is there such a thing? An afternoon at a recent Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Capital Region event helped clarify some of these overwhelming questions about social media, through a series of three presentations.

Sure there are a lot of social media platforms out there, but that doesn’t mean your business belongs on all of them. You need to determine who your audience is, where they are in the social media world and then develop your plan. When developing your content consider what your audience interests are, make sure you are not talking about yourself, but you are instead talking about your consumer, suggests Bryen Bushner, of ZuZuPow. Another good tip Bryen suggested was to stick with the 80/20 rule – post 80 percent about your business and consumers and post 20 percent content that you wouldn’t normally post about.

A social media platform that has emerged in the more recent years is GooglePlus - a platform that many people may not be as aware of and should consider trying. Ann Smarty, of Internal Marketing Ninjas, gave a great presentation about GooglePlus, stating that it’s not about relationships, but instead content. GooglePlus is essentially a stream of content that Google thinks you will be interested in based on your searches. It’s also a tool that helps Google understand people and their interests, said Smarty. There of course is still a social aspect as with other social media sites, where you follow people and categorize them into “circles.” Smarty suggested using Circloscope, a tool to help manage your circles, as well as other GooglePlus tools that she found useful, including Cyfe, Ripples and Bookmarklet.

The last portion of the Digital Media Summit was focused on content. “Today the audience choose us,” said Ryan Hanley, of Hanley Media Lab and Content is everything about your brand and should always be about either your client, company or the community (or all three!). It is important to make sure your content is authentic and about people – or at least about something people can easily relate to. When people can relate to stories it helps build trust – something that is important to continue to do again and again.

When exploring social media don’t assume your business belongs on every social media site – do some research; consider where your audience is and what their interests are. Don’t be afraid to try new sites to better understand their capabilities before writing it off. And content is key – make sure you’re developing authentic content that people can relate to.