Social media is not just another platform for your own PR messaging. The most successful brands and organizations on social networks let their audiences drive the content, says Amber Harris, director, digital communications and social media, for Discovery Communications. In the following Q&A, Harris, who will elaborate on building community, content strategy and more at PR News’ two-day Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event June 21-22 in New York, says truly getting to know your audience on Facebook can lead to better engagement, sharing and reach.
PR News: What best practices can you share for maximizing the use of Facebook's Timeline format?
Amber Harris: In the case of Discovery Communications, it's been a great opportunity to bring our history to life—from our founding in 1985 to the launch of our first global employee volunteerism day. With the Timeline layout and EdgeRank, your fans' engagement with a page is key, so focusing on questions, conversation and featuring them regularly is a must. Our social media litmus test has always been: "If I saw this post, would I want to share it?" That's increasingly important today.â€¨â€¨
PR News: With the rollout of Timeline have you seen an uptick in fan engagement?â€¨
Harris: Our engagement with fans continues to build across our 100+ Facebook pages. However, this is a result of us constantly adjusting our strategy and content to our audiences and the platform. Your social media approach must continuously evolve, with testing and recalibration at the core.
â€¨â€¨PR News: How have you updated your content strategy to adapt for the new Timeline format?â€¨
Harris: Our content strategy has always been built around one primary input: our audience. However, the way we deliver that content (as a straight post, photo with a link in the caption, a share, etc.) is always evolving. Since Discovery's programming often includes amazing visuals—and now that we have the ability to highlight or pin posts—we've certainly increased our use of photo posts, as an example.
PR News: What’s one key tip you’ll offer attendees at PR News' Social Media Summit on June 22?â€¨
Harris: The key to social success is starting with your audience—getting to know them and the true reason they have chosen to like, follow or pin you. While no social audience is homogeneous, by spending time with them and trying new things, you can chart a course to greater engagement and reach.
Attend PR News’ two-day Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event June 21-22 in New York City and learn more from digital leaders like Amber Harris.