Getting social

One of the biggest dilemmas facing both PR and marketing professionals, as well as automotive businesses, is whether or not to engage in social media?

One of the old arguments, particularly within the more traditional sections of the automotive world, is that social media is an irrelevant means of marketing. Many are, frankly, confused by its apparent complexity, its ‘young’ image, audience and casual tone. Some businesses quite rightly question whether Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the like provide a good enough ROI.

True some brands will be more suitable, and therefore popular, in communicating their message through social media. And not every social media platform is right for every business. However social media should be seen as any other form of media, marketing or PR. It’s simply a form of conversation, communication as well as a source of information. It is essentially no different to a magazine, newspaper or other websites. Therefore there should always be a target audience, however small, and people who are receptive to what you are saying. It’s simply an extension of your marketing efforts rather than a replacement.

Most marketing and PR managers wouldn’t dream of ignoring print media, despite rapidly declining sales and readerships, so why ignore social media? Effective communications mean engaging with the outlets where consumers are gathering their information. 1.1 billion people across the world use Facebook. 200 million use Twitter. There’s not a newspaper or magazine in the world that has that kind of readership.

If anything it’s easier to measure the effectiveness of social media in terms of ROI than many other forms of PR. Analytics and insights track consumer sentiment, referrals to your website and sales conversions. It’s not so clear to assess the success of a traditional article or advertisement.

The real skill in creating effective social media campaigns lies in knowing which tactics to employ. Social media should be a subtle yet influential and effective way of communicating your brand message. It’s not about the hard sell. Seemingly irrelevant content can produce noticeable gains, website hits, brand recognition and therefore sales. Treat your customers like humans and not homogenous consumers. Engage, have fun and give something back. Cut out the jargon and engage with a modern media institution.

If you need some advice on producing great social media content and campaigns get in touch with us tweets us @RedMarlinPR or visit our Facebook page

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