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August 1, 2017

The Social Media Situation: A Beginner’s Navigation Guide

The Social Media Situation: A Beginner’s Navigation Guide

So you’re somewhere in your college career, and you’ve recently stumbled upon the public relations path and are now wondering whether to take it. Well, first thing’s first: you need to understand what it’s all about. Public relations is an industry devoted to informing consumers about a particular brand, making them aware of everything from company ideals to upcoming events. While there are many ins and outs to the game, a crucial component of modern day PR is social media engagement.

As this is currently common knowledge, enthusiastic twenty-somethings everywhere are flocking to the field, ready to make something out of their years of scrolling. However, this aspect of PR involves much more than just post generation and a constant conquest to stay current. Even in our fast paced world, content is still king in public relations. If you are one of the aforementioned looking to play like a pro, here are several social media tips to help guide you through your first few months:

1. Use the right images on social media channels - A picture is worth a thousand words, so it’s incredibly important to make sure that each photo tells the right story, and even more important to make sure that it’s yours to post. Copyright infringement is no joke.

2. Capture the attention of your followers - Not everything is a sales pitch. Building up a brand is a slow and ongoing process; you have to generate some buzz by making the brand relatable and each channel worth following. Rather than pushing a daily hard sell message that won’t be well received, try to tap into their interests. Create something substantive, show them you know them, and give them a laugh every so often.   

3. Don’t let the client’s voice get lost in the posting shuffle - Never forget that the collection of IG photos and 140 character quips all eventually contribute to the bigger picture that is representative of who they are and what they’ve worked to create.

4. When pitching, make your content stand out - Remember everybody and their brother is trying to catch the attention of the kickass journalist from that one magazine everybody reads. Pitching on social seems much less formal, but more than ever it is so important to do your research, create a connection, and give them a story worth pursuing. Easier said than done with only a picture and a few words, but necessary nonetheless.

5. Spell check diligently - There’s nothing like quite like a grammar mistake to kill your post’s vibe.

6. Know what’s up in the PR world - Use social media to always keep an eye out for the latest industry tactics. Perusing the IG, FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts of various agencies and their employees is a killer way to stay up to date. Additionally, it’s certainly a good idea to take a minute to follow a few PR blogs here and there.

7. Mind your manners on your own socials - You are your own brand, and if you don’t market yourself properly then you won’t get the job in the first place.

About the Author

Bryn Gilbert

Bryn Gilbert

Bryn left rainy Seattle for the San Diego sun three years ago to pursue a double major in psychology and communication studies while competing for the University of San Diego women’s rowing team. Lover of the outdoors and all things art, she hopes to bring a thoughtful and creative eye to a future career in the field of public relations.