Author: Louise Harris

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE USED FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS

Whether we like it or not, social media is already a big part of our lives both personal and in a business capacity. And, if you’re anything like me, you spend longer than you care to admit scrolling through the latest content on Instagram.

But, as something that’s often spoken of as a bad apple, social media can be incredibly useful. Here are some of the reasons why companies should take advantage of these platforms and increase their business presence online.

Social media is a platform that can be used to reach thousands of people

With regular posts that use hashtags and competitions that offer relevant prizes, you can engage directly with your audience.

Taking this approach, you will soon create a community of like-minded people. This then means that the posts you share have the potential to reach thousands of prospective customers.

Consistency is key here and frequent posts are a sure way to increase following over time. It is important to remember that this won’t happen overnight. However, with perseverance will come results.

Create a Brand Persona

If you review the social feeds of a few of your favourite brands, you can bet they are carefully curated to appeal to a specific demographic. They will also portray that business in a certain light by using a particular tone of voice.

Using social media gives you the opportunity to show off the personality behind your brand. This can be done through organic posts, adverts, endorsed content, images of your product and also when replying to consumers questions.

Easy way to communicate

Being active on social media gives potential customers the opportunity to reach out and ask questions they might not want to approach through email or on the phone.

These platforms are the perfect medium for asking these questions and are often used as a more informal way of communicating with a business.

Keep your eye on other Brands

Being active on social media allows you to keep a watchful eye on other brands. This may even be competitors.

It is common for brands to follow competitors and is a great research tool. It may even provide inspiration or lessons of how to avoid a crisis. Learning from others is fine however copying posts or plagiarising content isn’t. It can be a fine line so is one to remain cautious of.

Crisis Management

Often, by keeping a close watch on social activity and comments, you can stop a crisis in its tracks. Taking hold before it has had chance to have an impact on your business could be invaluable.

Unfortunately, social media is often the first-place consumers go to broadcast a complaint or opinion. In some instances, this will show your brand in a negative light.

Responding to such comments gives you the opportunity to deal with any problems quickly and efficiently. It also shows other followers you take negative feedback seriously and are keen to resolve any issues.

Managing complaints professionally and with the right tone and approach could turn a negative into a positive. It is just a case of knowing how to communicate with customers online.

Using PR to enhance online presence

It may sound simple but growing a social media presence can take serious perseverance and trial and error.

As a PR agency we have seen the demand for social media management grow over the years. Access to digital communications, and the expectation from customers that brands have an online profile, has made this a key part of our clients’ briefs.

To find out how we can support as you increase your social media following and online profile in the right way, why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.

HASHTAGS WITH PURPOSE #ClapForOurCarers

Throughout lockdown, something that’s helped to keep me going is the weekly #ClapForOurCarers. It’s a moment where the spirt of the community is truly demonstrated.

Each week the campaign seems to have intensified as people come to their doorsteps, gardens and balconies to thank our truly incredible key workers who risk their lives each day to help others.

It’s also the only time of the week we see our neighbours and it gives us a good excuse to have a chat with someone outside of our household. All at a safe distance of at least two meters of course!

It’s a way we’ve come together without being together and it’s also a campaign we’ve watched grow from a PR perspective.

Saying it without words

Started by a mum of two with no connection to the government or the NHS, the weekly clap is now a televised event.

The simple human custom – the round of applause – is something everyone across the nation can get involved with as a gesture that expresses their thanks.

As well as becoming a weekly occasion, it’s an opportunity for us to collectively show that we care and to share our respect for the many and not the few.

It’s fair to say, given the momentum this has gained, the campaign has captured the mood of the nation both hearts and minds.

Celebrity support

The campaign has seen politicians, celebrities and big-name brands join in. They have all given their support to the UK’s healthcare professionals by taking to the streets for the applause or backing the cause online.

Undoubtedly this has encouraged others to show their appreciation and reinforces how the virus has affected the wider community.

More than applause

#ClapForOurCarers is not the only way to show appreciation for the NHS. The website also has downloadable posters, T-Shirts and family activity packs, which are a lovely way for children to be involved.

Alongside the #ClapForOurCarers campaign, NHS charities organised the #OneMillionClaps campaign asking people to donate to the cause. They originally set out to raise £5m but quickly exceeded the target.

The simplicity and humble purpose of this campaign is what has made the weekly clap so welcome at such a difficult time. Helping some of our clients get involved with the efforts has been a great feeling and something I am proud to have been involved with.

HOW TO BEAT THE WINTER BLUES

As we get ready for shorter daylight hours in the run up to the winter months, it’s no wonder so many of us feel down as the weather turns colder. I certainly feel a difference in my energy levels as the evenings get darker and my summer holiday feels like a distant memory. There are a few things I’ve found help keep on top of any negative feelings.

Get Outside

Try to get outside while it’s bright. This is particularly hard if you work the 9-5 but I’ve found a 20-minute lunch time stroll clears my head and gives my eyes a much-needed break from the screen. With the amount of rain we get in the UK, I make it a priority to get some fresh air on crisp, sunny autumn days.

Book a holiday

I’m a big fan of a winter city break. I find the winter season a little less busy in European cities and it’s easier to pack in the sightseeing when it’s not boiling hot. Planning a trip for the summer ahead is another way to get out of the seasonal slump. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to.

Enjoy the run up to winter

Take time to enjoy the things you wouldn’t do over the summer months. As we tend to spend more time indoors over this period, I like to schedule in some self-care. Set aside an hour for a hot bath with a few candles. This really helps me to unwind and warms me up on a chilly day.

Food

I love hearty, warming food and there is nothing better than a bit of overindulgence in the run up to the festive season! Although, it’s worth remembering that too much can leave you feeling sluggish and is hard to shake off when the summer months arrive again.

While I don’t feel like eating salad as the seasons draw in, I always try to eat enough fruit and veg to keep my energy levels up.

Move your body

Making time to work out is tough at any time of the year but even harder over the colder months, especially when all we want to do is curl up on the couch in front of a good box set. I’ve found exercise is so important for my overall well being and something that helps keep my mental health in check.

Create a Focus

In the Open office there is an extra buzz in the air as we prepare for Halloween and Christmas campaigns. Focusing on these exciting celebrations gives us reason to celebrate the changing seasons rather than resent them.

I’ve struggled with the winter blues in the past, but these tried and tested methods work well if you can’t jet off somewhere warm this winter.