I work for the largest public relations firm in the world and know nothing about public relations. What I do know is the importance of relevant content and why it's important to an overall communications plan. Many PR firms are now responsible for posting content on a brand's Facebook page and Twitter account. Here are four quick tips that will ensure the content you post increases engagement and provides value to the community.
1. Listen first
Listening is important. Just like any in-real-life relationship, listening is imperative to building strong relationships. Listening will help a brand understand the pain points of the community, their motivations, their passions, and even their criticisms of a product. It's also important to listen outside of a brand's owned media channel i.e. other blogs, communities, and mentions on Twitter. This can be done with a conversational audit using software like Simply Measured or Meltwater Buzz.
2. Content consistency
The 2008 presidential campaign is a lesson and case study for business. President Obama's campaign was executed flawlessly. His “consistent” message was “change you can believe in,” and bumper stickers still live on today. Every piece of content – the TV appearances, every interview, every town hall meeting – there stood a visible banner that reminded viewers and attendees about his message. His advocates (supporters) and employees (volunteers) were consistently repeating his message within their own micro-communities. Obama's campaign was omnipresent, meaning his message was at every customer touch point – search, paid media, outdoor, voters, media, etc. And because of this, he was able to change the minds of those who were unsure of his candidacy. Having a consistent and relevant content plan is equally as important for business to breach through the clutter and begin to change the minds of customers.
3. Real-time analytics
It's important to understand what resonates with the community in real time. Do they like tutorials? Or, do they prefer animated GIFs of kittens? In either case, you won't know unless you are monitoring the conversation and using real-time analytics when posting content. Tools like Sprinklr and the Syncapse Platform will give PR pros real-time insight as to which content is garnering the most likes, shares, comments, and retweets. Having this knowledge will allow you to adjust your content on the fly and provide a more positive experience for the community.
4. Let us not forget Google.
Believe it or not, people still use Google. And guess what, it has free tools that tell you what keywords consumers are searching for and how often they are searching for them. Understanding consumer behavior as it relates to search will help you create a more relevant content calendar and also begin to show up in the search results.
Michael Brito is an SVP, social business planning at Edelman Digital. Follow him on Twitter.