You heard it a thousand times: to attract and retain consumers, businesses need to use social media to their advantage. However, according to public relations writer Robert Wynne, online presence by itself does not mean much; it should be supported by “coherent messages, valuable networks and great stories”. Indeed, he states that business owners should abide by five Public Relations rules:
- Good writing: Media tools are only useful when read. According to social media expert John Ochs, posts need to remain “light, bright and polite.” Therefore, to get readers’ attention, business owners have to demonstrate their uniqueness, while remaining succinct.
- Networking: Business owners should strive to be household names in their specialty, by attending relevant events, meeting experts and competitors, and getting to know the press!
- Learning the Tools: Social media offers businesses several potential ways to be patronized, but owners need to capitalize on the opportunity. Author Eric Schwartzman encourages small businesses to get registered with Yahoo! Local, Google Places and Yelp, for smart phone owners to consider them in their future decisions.
- Befriending the Media: Helping the media goes a long way, even when not publicized. Indeed, Wynne states that helpful business owners always seem to be recognized in major media publications, one way or another.
- Picking up the Phone: Sometimes, online activity is just not enough, and should serve as a follow up to actual interactions – especially when dealing with important customers.