Using Twitter as Public Relations Tool & Why its an Asset
Twitter is a social media like Facebook, Myspace, and all the other media platforms that have come and gone in trending over the years. Still, somehow, it has become the preferred form of contact to the public for everyone from Journalists, Actors, and Musicians to yes, you guessed it, Public Relations Experts among others. Perhaps Twitter has recognized this, as is reflected in the recent change in maximum character count in posts. When originally the character limit for tweets was 140, it was changed in September of this year to 280. This modification may seem small to recreational users, or maybe an enticing chance to rant a bit more about television shows. For Public Relations, however, this offers an amazing opportunity to express a broader message for the firm itself as well as clients. Taking this change lightly would be a great mistake of any PR expert, and there are several ways to utilize Twitter for the better.
First and foremost, the bio (limited set of characters in which an individual Twitter user would see with a name in a list when finding people to follow) must be clear, concise, and factual. Getting bluntly to the point of what a Twitter page will ultimately contain, or at least revolve around, would rid of any confusion. Let the followers know that this is a Public Relations account, so they are not surprised of any posts. In addition, doing this is also better for those looking to follow PR accounts in particular. Clear up any confusion and let the world know how great the firm is! With that in mind, social media users (and really everyone) admire and respect the truth. Let the platform know what the page goal is, but don’t brag.
Next in importance, after that bio is perfected, is the bulk of the page and reason for the site, the content! The first thing that users see is a bio and next to the content. This is where the glorious 280 character count comes in handy. With that ammo, a social media user for PR can make announcements and even dabble in networking. Reach out to those who already recognize you, and also those from which a relationship would benefit both parties. Through networking on Twitter, a PR account can reach current and potential clients as well as keep up to date on competitors who may or may not have as strong a hold on how to utilize Twitter for a benefit.
After the bio is completed and the content has been kickstarted, the next asset is promotion and advertisement. According to Forbes (2014), the number of followers a particular user has is not reflective of relevance or popularity. In fact, it has been revealed that some of the most popular Twitter accounts with millions of users are only partially active, real accounts (with others either being inactive or “fake”). When one uses Twitter, it is broadcast to all available users, not only followers. This can come as a relief to those who seem to be in a lull of collecting followers. Still, if a user feels their content is not being seen, then there is always the option of promotion. This puts promoted Tweets at the top of search results pages as well as the Promoted Trends tab. In a happy circle, this will also show on the timelines of those who we mentioned earlier, who have chosen PR as relevant to their interests.
In all, Twitter is a fantastic source for anyone looking to reach a massive number of users (whether or not they be followers) with a few characters (280 to be exact). While Facebook may have millions of more users than Twitter at the moment, Facebook is limited in more ways when considering privacy settings for “friends” of the user. Twitter is inclusive in its promotion and distribution to users based on relevance. Even with all the perks mentioned here, there are still others, including the ability to Direct Message journalists and other experts, again working out those networking muscles. It is possibly most easily explained by American author and speaker Susan RoAne when she said, “It’s not what you know or who you know, but who knows you.” Considering this when creating a Twitter account for a PR firm or individual expert should serve as motivation or a smidge of inspiration for newbies. Happy Tweeting!
Twitter, Inc. (2017). What are Promoted Tweets? Retrieved From: https://business.twitter.com/en/help/overview/what-are-promoted-tweets.html
Wynne, R. (2014). Twitter for Public Relations: Fact and Fantasy. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwynne/2014/09/22/twitter-for-public-relations-fact-and-fantasy/2/#4d7c43df3020