Saturday, November 19, 2011

Effective Use of Social Media: What it Means to Build a Brand

As PR and marketing companies continue to increasingly utilize social media, questions concerning the affect social media has on the industry seem to come up quite often. How are companies capitalizing on the use of branding through social media? What are the benefits of using Facebook and Twitter? How important is blogging to PR and marketing firms? Social media has changed the industry for good, and knowing how to use it effectively has become a main concern for companies and agencies everywhere.

Using social media is a simple way to build a brand without having to invest significant time and resources. PR and marketing agencies can reap many benefits from establishing a brand through social media, including connecting with consumers and interacting with other professionals in the field. When PR and marketing companies begin to brand themselves through social media and establish a following, it is easy to find ways to capitalize on it. The fact that a company has the potential to reach millions without spending any money is a huge advantage, especially to non-profits. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation is a great example of a company that has branded themselves extremely well through social media. They maintain a constant interaction with their over 21,000 followers on Twitter and the 97,130 people who “like” their Facebook page. They’re With Love, Philadelphia XOXO image has become instantly recognizable with the help of their effective use of social media.

It has become increasingly more crucial for agencies to have an interactive, successful blog. Blogs are one of the best ways for companies to build a solid reputation and market themselves efficiently. Blogs have affected the PR industry tremendously, giving PR professionals an outlet to promote not only themselves, but their clients, products or ideas as well. It has been proven that those organizations that are actively blogging communicate with their audience much more effectively than those that do not. GPTMC has won numerous awards for their blog, and is a great example of how PR and marketing companies can utilize blogging to their advantage. Check it out at http://www.uwishunu.com/.

So what does all of this mean to prospective PR professionals? The use of social media has undoubtedly shaped the way future employers go through the hiring process. Building a personal brand is just as important as building an agency brand. Companies will be looking at prospective employees’ use of social media, their following, and the content that they display. Blogging, tweeting and personal branding are now just as important as flawless writing and verbal skills. Social media has shaped the PR and marketing industries forever, and effective use of it is certainly a step in the right direction for students going into the field.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kaitlin Tully.

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