Gone are the olden days when PR professionals would make a statement on-air or get it printed. Social media has made the field of PR fast-paced and also more fragile. Professionals now use this platform as their primary option to manage information for their client company. Though this medium makes it faster and easier to reach a larger audience, the inability to control what is being said online also makes it extremely delicate. Over the years there has been a gradual increase in the number of companies using social media monitoring to keep an eye on what the audience has to say and ensuring every comment is dealt with appropriately.
Due to the fact that attention and visibility gained online can be both positive and negative, it is essential that PR practitioners are alerted to any discussion occurring online that might malign their brand’s or client’s fame. Here we discuss the benefits of social media monitoring for PR practitioners.
Benefits of Social Media Monitoring for PR
To begin with, PR is about anticipating, and interpreting the public’s opinion and formulating an appropriate response to maintain the brand’s image. Social media monitoring plays a key role here in preventing a PR crisis. It helps the management to track any issues or complaints the public may be facing and address them before it can blow up into a crisis. Numerous examples can be found where the company had turned a blind eye to the feedback, only to face negative buzz from criticism in social mentions and posts that were shared onward. A very recent example involves the hospitality giant Marriott in Chandigarh and actor Rahul Bose. The actor was charged an exorbitant amount for two bananas and the star slammed the brand on Twitter thus starting a series of negative comments and trolling.
Market Research for PR Campaigns
When companies plan PR campaigns, social media monitoring needs to be a crucial part of them. It is essential that the company conducts an appropriate amount of market research to know the overall sentiment of the target audience. An insight into the minds of your audience is necessary to be able to predict the success of your campaign (and make the tweaks needed before running with it). Social media monitoring makes the process of market research easier providing you an entire snapshot of competitive analysis, sentiment analysis and a sense of your audience’s preferences.
Turning Negative Feedback to Positive Publicity
It is true that companies cannot really control what is being said online. But being vigilant and responding with tact isn’t difficult. And with social media monitoring, this could also be turned into a solid PR move. Brands can track negative reviews, respond to them promptly and offer support. This shows their deep concern for customer issues and their ability to deal with crises. This can prove to be a step towards solid branding for the company. A popular brand to have tried this is Domino’s pizza. Domino’s tapped into social media, gathered evidence of how a number of customers complained that their pizza crust tasted like cardboard and re-invented their pizza.
Social media monitoring may sound like an enormous amount of work yet it really is not. This investment practically helps you save time while also keeping you alert to situations that could harm your brand’s image.