Written by Intern Erin Beck
One of the many tasks I have been working on since my public relations internship began with the Bradford Group is social media. As a lover of all things pop culture and a self-proclaimed social media junkie, I jumped at any opportunity to contribute to the social media for our clients. Not only is this my first internship, but also it is my first experience using social media as a marketing strategy.
My personal Twitter feed is flooded with pictures of food, my opinions on various newsworthy stories and countless Real Housewives references. Needless to say, the work I have done at the Bradford Group is on the other side of the spectrum. We use social media as a tool to drive our clients’ business, share industry-related stories and trends and get people talking. Here are some of the social media takeaways I’ve learned:
- Share what people care about. When I am posting from my personal account, I don’t usually put much thought into if people are going to truly care about what I’m saying — if I did, I would post a lot less pictures of my dog. When it comes to posting for a client, I have to put myself in their audience’s shoes and think, “If I care about Client X, would I also find this interesting?”
- Be consistent in posting. If I’m feeling uninspired, I don’t feel guilty for taking a two-week Twitter hiatus on my personal account. That’s not an option when social media is part of your job. Our clients rely on our creativity to leverage their business and that means posting regularly.
- Keep it professional. You are probably thinking, “Shouldn’t your personal accounts be professional too?” This is more than just making sure your posts aren’t marked “NSFW.” Beyond the kind of content you post, there are still some “unprofessional” things you can get away with on your personal account that just won’t cut it for a client. For example, I don’t usually check my personal posts for typos before sending them out. At work, I triple-check.
- Learn a client’s tone. Your tone on your personal Twitter or Facebook comes naturally. You don’t go to post something and wonder, “Does this sound like me?” Of course it does. On the other hand, posting to match a company’s tone takes a little more polishing. When tackling a new client, I like to start by reading a month’s worth of their tweets to familiarize myself with their tone.
- Track your results. Every month, the Bradford Group completes a social media report that shows the results and success we had on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for a specific client. We use that report to determine what type of posts get the most feedback, which shapes how we interact on that client’s social platforms in the future. Even the most dedicated PR pro probably doesn’t do this for her personal account.
Social media, whether you’re using it personally or professionally, is a great tool. I’m thankful I’ve chosen a career path where the tweeting doesn’t stop when I get to work. Although my PR internship with the Bradford Group will soon come to an end, I will continue to stay social media-savvy thanks to the practice and hands-on experience I’ve had during my internship.