By: Jordan McCroskeyAs a millennial, my generation of innovative thinkers and digitally savvy engineers has completely re-framed the world of Public Relations through a mighty channel – social media. We, as consumers, are experiencing the effects of integrated marketing communications (IMC) more than ever. We are being targeted and reached through any technological platform possible.

And quite honestly, it’s brilliant.

Businesses have this beautiful capability of making their consumers feel valued, appreciated and connected through platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and more. Any place where consumers may be, businesses will be there as well.

Social media has enabled companies to have one-on-one, real time communication with their clients. Whether it be responding to their concerns stated through a Facebook post, or involving them in an interactive Instagram post through hash tags or giveaways.

As consumers, we have a sense of power and control over companies. In a way, we hold their reputation in our hands. So how do businesses keep up with the trends of social media, and do their best to set themselves up for a win in a constantly changing world?

Start Conversation Weekly

Posts on social media platforms that encourage conversation are more likely to be seen by more people, and will make your consumers feel involved in the brand. Making captions, statuses or tweets that pose questions to their followers will ultimately gain more followers. One form of this could be businesses launching Giveaways. Giveaways often include businesses giving away one of their products to a customer who follows the directions given in the caption. The directions may include something like:

  1. Follow our page.
  2. Comment on this post telling us why you want to win our giveaway.
  3. Tag three of your friends in this post that you think would want to win the giveaway too!

Now, giveaways are surely not the only way to kick start conversation. Ask questions about what your consumers love most about your product, or something somewhat unrelated like “What is your favorite part of the Holidays?” or “Who is most ready for Spring Break?” These kind of questions are universal and will relate to most consumers.

One company that has done customer involvement through social media well is La Croix Water. A few years back, a young girl came up with the tag line “La Croixs Over Boys” as a catchy joke that she threw around between her and her friends. A few weeks later the group of girls ordered t-shirts that had the phrase on them. They took pictures wearing the shirts and tagged La Croix in the photo. La Croix took the phrase and ran with it. La Croix shared the story of how one of their beloved fans crafted their new phrase and before they knew it they had new tag lines being created all around the world! They encouraged their customers to interact with them and create new ideas, and then promoted them. La Croix customers went wild and the company grew quickly.

Provide Relevant Information 3 Times a Week

Information overload isn’t always a bad thing. Every ounce of information that may intrigue consumers should be relayed on every social media platform. Relevant information can take on so many forms and mean various things that are unique to each company. Buy One Get One Free, Free Shipping, 50% off, this stuff matters! When working on gant charts and social media calendars for clients, make sure to align a repetitive strategy to keep getting the same message out there in different ways! Clothing stores may show the perfect pairings of multiple products that they sell, urging the customer to buy into all of the pieces.

These owned advertisements being delivered multiple times a week lead to CONSISTENCY. And we all know that consistency is key. This will lead to a lasting impression in your consumer’s mind.

Visuals, Visuals, Visuals

Videos and photos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined.
When people hear information, they are likely to only remember a small amount of what they heard. If the information is paired with a visual, they are far more likely to remember more of the information. What I love most about visuals is the complete lack of language barriers. Businesses never truly know how far one of their posts will reach, so by using visuals those potential language barriers are non-existent.

Jordan McCroskey is a junior studying Advertising and Public Relations and is a first-year member of PRSSA. Born and raised in south Detroit, Jordan loves the serenity of Allendale and the upbeat vibe of Grand Rapids. She loves all things girlhood, DIY and trying new baking recipes. She has worked many years in the bridal industry and cannot wait to utilize her degree to further her future career doing what she loves.