Increasingly, companies are using social media to spearhead their PR campaigns. Once only regarded as a small player in gaining brand exposure in local and national press, social media is fast becoming the weapon of choice for forward-thinking and tech-savvy brands.

Social media has a number of benefits when it comes to an impressive PR strategy:

1. Finding journalists and influencers

Twitter search tools allow any company to find the journalists, reporters and experts in their sector very quickly. Not only that, by utilising Twitter lists, it is easier than ever to keep up with them and build a relationship. There really are countless benefits to this point, which we’ll discuss in a later blog.

2. Instant bio and personality

Providing your social media bios are up to scratch and you’ve been posting great value-adding content, anyone who comes across your material can get a snap shot of exactly who you are and what you do. You’ll also be demonstrating your knowledge and passion for your field as well as some character and personality. You’re instantly more likeable to a journo or potential customer than a corporate email address or website!

social media for PR

3. Press releases and blogs

Social media is the perfect medium to both share and follow up your press releases. All self-respecting journalists are on Twitter and use it constantly to keep up with news an developments in their sector and geographical location. Sending a tweet is both less intrusive and more instant than having to construct follow-up email after email. Remember you can simply link the press release you have written as a PDF or webpage in the tweet itself – utilise the functionality of these platforms! This is how to speak the language of the modern-day journalist by making everything fast and convenient.

4. Immediate coverage and reaction

Got something sharable? Nothing helps spread the word like a well shared or even viral post. The perfect combination of an image and well-worded text can create shareable content that can be seen by thousands of people in an instant. There’s much less time spent putting something in a paper, magazine or webpage, all it takes is the click of the ‘share’ or ‘retweet’ button. I can guarantee you’ll have better engagement levels and reach than from traditional means. It also enables any interested parties to investigate immediately by clicking to your site and even through to your squeeze page – make sure your mobile site it up to scratch!

5. #journorequests and other hashtags.

Hashtags are a great way to categorise your content. This makes you easy to find if you’ve got something interesting to share and helps others get in on the act. This is great for both spreading something newsworthy or publicising events locally and nationally.

6. Cost efficiency

Everyone knows that traditional PR can be expensive but hundreds of the fastest growing startups of the 21t century have gained widespread exposure purely through the clever use of all of the above benefits. Many of these startups have taken the time to learn how to use social media for PR expertly and avoided shelling out four-figure monthly retainers.