6 PR and social media predictions for 2013…and how they can benefit your business.

zoltarRecently published on PRdaily.com, these predictions explain how public relations and social media will be transformed in 2013. But something is missing. What do these predictions mean for your business? How can you use these predictions to your advantage?

Following each point, I’ve provided examples on how to turn these predictions into fortunes (but don’t hold me to your wallet!) To save space, I’ve removed PRdaily’s descriptions for each prediction. Click here to read full descriptions.

1. LinkedIn is the new Facebook. More brands will use LinkedIn to monitor conversations and connect with customers and influencers. How can you use LinkedIn to your full advantage?

  • Start and manage a group or fan page for your product, brand or business.
  • Join groups worth engaging. Being a part of groups can increase your brand awareness and foot traffic. They’re also a great way to show your expertise by posting discussions or comments, linking back to your own content, and building relationships with the right people.
  • Keep track of former clients, colleagues and potential business prospects. Embrace LinkedIn Search! By entering one or two keywords of interest, you can find people, businesses, groups and discussions worth your time (and money).
  • Ensure your LinkedIn page is updated daily with discussions, articles, web links, polls, SlideShare presentations, reading lists, blogposts or even video clips.
  • Conducting polls on LinkedIn is a great way to do market research and gain knowledge.
  • Request LinkedIn recommendations from happy clients, stakeholders or customers willing to provide testimonials.

2. Governments (and war) go social. Social media will be a primary news source for citizens, traditional media, and the government.

  • We just covered LinkedIn, but if you don’t have an account or if you’re not on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook, you’ll be stuck on the battlefield. How can you win the battle?
    • Say goodbye to your office rolodex. Even though business cards are still widely used, they too have drastically changed to include QR codes, social media links and trendy graphics. In the past you would follow up by phone or email. Now, people are following up on social media and sharing an article of interest, or having a quick conversation around tweets and updates.
    • Using social media can boost your SEO (search engine optimization). Increasing your SEO means getting closer to the top of Google searches. By adding great content to your site, building up and engaging with social followers, and getting links to your site from other authoritative websites, you are able to become the thought leader people and businesses want to work with.

3. The reputable journalist is revived. The rise of blogging and social media has increased the volume of online news and the speed at which it’s available, often at the expense of responsible reporting.

  • Not only do journalists feel more pressure to push information more quickly and more accurate than the average citizen, writers and bloggers need to be very careful which information they read and which source(s) they read from. To PRdaily’s point about misinformation, this can and will hurt your company’s reputation. Check and then check again your source(s) and their information. Just because an article or infographic sounds or looks good, doesn’t mean the information is correct, reliable or true. Every time you share, ‘like’ or retweet, you are endorsing that information and its source.

4. PR goes mobile. Delivery is king—but brevity is still queen.

  • The 4 C’s are very important when working with mobile: clear, correct, complete, and concise. With the exception of blogs (although shorter can be sweeter), mobile technologies and applications have squeezed the traditional news release or email pitch into a couple of sentences or less. LinkedIn and Twitter are the second most used channels PR professionals use to contact journalists. Facebook is another option, but it’s not recommended. (That’s a whole other post for another day.)
  • As I’ve written before in my post Social Media Relations, using social media as pitching tools can be tricky and a long process.

5. Pictures tell the story. “A picture is worth a thousand words”; more important, it might also be worth your customer’s attention.

  • With the overflow of information on social media, pictures always grab the reader’s eye. If you don’t have images readily available, purchase stock photos for a low price through sites like istockphoto.com or shutterstock.com. You can also design easy, unique and engaging images if you have an in-house designer or have some design skills yourself. If budget is a concern, take photos yourself, but please make sure you use a professional camera and at least know basic photography skills. Here are some tips I learned in college: click here.

6. PR wins the social media battle. PR pros will emerge as trendsetters in the social space by providing valuable communications counsel and achieving results that directly impact clients’ bottom lines.

  • At the end of the day, if you or your employees are not comfortable or experienced with social media, consider hiring a consultant, external agency or someone in-house. There are lots of new graduates from business, communications, public relations and marketing programs with tons of social media experience and knowledge, and they’ll most likely love to manage your social media.
  • Don’t let the word agency scare you. Canada has seen a huge increase in start-ups and entrepreneurs. Small agencies (1 to 20 employees) are choosing to specialize in one area versus larger agencies that tackle multiple specialties.  It also means they’re working on fewer projects at the same time which allows them to stay more focused on you. Some small agencies offer custom and more affordable services, and they can also be more personable with your best interest in mind.

Is there a point you would like to learn more about; what to do or how to do it? Anything you would like to add to or change about these predictions?

Happy New Year!

Related articles:

The Best Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business [Infographic]

Why you should be ‘always on’ on LinkedIn

6 Ways to Use New LinkedIn Features to Get More Business

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About Samantha Hartley

Public relations and marketing aficionada. IABC volunteer, Girl Geek Dinner co-organizer, Big Brothers Big Sisters board member. Wannabe private investigator. Avid volunteer, traveler and writer. Soccer player. Astute sociologist.

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