Using social media as a way of engaging


Many PR course graduates will be keen to get customers, users, and the general public talking about the organisation they represent, or its products or services.

This could be achieved by allowing users to post comments, if the particular social media platform allows it (Facebook and YouTube both do).

As a PR professional, you could post replies and try and encourage further discussion.

Twitter can be used to encourage conversation: your organisation’s users or customers could be invited to send public and private messages via the site.

Social media experts suggest an organisation should be represented by a named person on Twitter, as users tend to feel more comfortable messaging a person, than they do a faceless organisation.

Several organisations are already successfully using Twitter as an extension to their customer services operation. They allow customers to post questions and make complaints via the site.

One of the first organisations to make this kind of use of Twitter was the American media group Comcast. It uses the Twitter username @comcastcares.

Twitter, also uses a tagging system called hashtags. Tweets can feature a hashtag: usually a word preceded by the # symbol.
This is useful when searching for tweets about the organisation you represent. In Twitter parlance, multiple references to the same hashtag are said to be ‘trending’.

Most PR people will not be disappointed if the organisation they represent is trending all the time, because the reason is positive.

The Mashable website features what it thinks are the best brands on Twitter, and many sites have posted advice about how not-for-profit organisations can effectively use Twitter to raise their profile.

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