3 PR Tips for Turning Social Media Into a Business Opportunity

Caitlin Mills

Social media needs to get down to business.

With so-called vanity metrics summarily dismissed by C-level execs for not having any real value, the pressure is on PR and marketing executives to monetize their brand’s or organization’s social channels. Bigger budgets—and being considered a profit center rather than a cost center—depend on it.

Caitlin Mills, the director of public relations and social media at Planit, will speak at the “Turn Social Media Listening Data & Analytics Into Business Opportunities” session during PR News’ Measurement Conference, which takes place April 20, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Ahead of the conference, Mills shared three tips to ensure your social media plan syncs up with your company’s overall business goals.

  • Social needs a seat at the table. Without understanding the overall picture of what the business is trying to achieve, how can social media be expected to successfully support it? A member of the social media team should have a presence during conversations about company goals.
  • Don’t set out to please everyone. Once company goals are communicated, focus on developing a social media plan to support two or three key objectives, and let these objectives determine the channel. Not everything is right for Facebook. If a company goal for the year is to recruit 10 senior-level new hires, you might begin by developing profiles and channel strategies for LinkedIn and Twitter and establishing a budget for recruitment advertising on those platforms.
  • Know what success means. Before you set out on a trip, you open up Google Maps and figure out the best route to get you to your destination. Do the same for social media. Identify road markers for your plan by outlining key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll measure along the way and what numbers you need to reach to be successful. For example, if a business objective is to grow sales by 15 percent in 2015, focus your social media KPIs on measurements such as the amount of online traffic driven to a place to purchase, the amount of sales made directly through trackable links on social media channels and the number of leads developed through new LinkedIn connections. When social media is involved in the strategic marketing planning process up front, the end goals are clear and the plan can be easily mapped to the larger business objectives.

To learn more about PR measurement, register for PR News' Measurement Conference, which takes place April 20, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Follow Caitlin Mills on Twitter: @crmills

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1