social media pr

Social Media PR: A Comprehensive Guide 

Picture of Written by Chris Norton
Written by Chris Norton

Guest Author

Are you making the most out of social media PR? Given the vast number of active usersmore than five billion—social media offers a valuable opportunity for audience engagement.

It allows organizations to effectively connect with their target audience and maintain a positive brand image and reputation.

But how do you manage the complexities of social media in public relations? In this guide, I’ll dive into why social media PR is essential and share strategies for how companies can use it to enhance their public image.

Ready to start aligning social media with your PR efforts? Buckle up!

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Short Summary

  • Utilizing social media for public relations allows firms to reach far beyond their traditional audience. The platforms’ algorithms can target specific demographics, making it easier to reach interested users more effectively.
  • Being active and responsive on social media can really polish your brand’s image. By quickly addressing customer concerns and showcasing positive reviews, you build trust and make your brand look more reliable.
  • Social media makes it easier to connect with influencers and other brands that align with your company’s values. These partnerships can help spread your message further and lend you some of their credibility.
  • The analytics tools available on social media sites give you real-time data on how well your posts are doing. This means you can see what’s working, what isn’t, and tweak your strategy to better engage your audience.
  • Regularly posting intriguing content on social media isn’t just about keeping up appearances—it can also drive more people to your website. By tailoring your posts and ads to appeal to your target audience, you can boost your site’s visits significantly.

What Is Social Media PR?

Social media PR (Public Relations) uses platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to build and maintain a positive image for a brand or person.

It involves creating and sharing engaging content, interacting with followers, and managing any crises to enhance visibility and establish trust.

Another important aspect is collaborating with influencers to promote the brand and using data to measure PR success. This helps understand what works and allows for improvements. Effective social media PR keeps brands connected with their audience and maintains a strong, positive public image.

Benefits of Using Social Media For PR

Social media is essential for PR, offering key benefits for shaping and maintaining a brand’s reputation. Using it in your PR strategy helps you effectively connect and engage your audience. 

Here are the benefits of using social media marketing in your public relations efforts:

  1. Provides greater reach
  2. Enhances online reputation
  3. Offers opportunities for collaboration
  4. Creates measurable results
  5. Drives traffic to the website

1. Provides Greater Reach

Social media enables PR firms to access a broader audience compared to traditional PR techniques.

People spend an average of 7 hours and 46 minutes per day online, including on social media. That’s more than twice as much time as they spend watching television.

In short, more people are likely to see your PR campaigns on social media than they are to read press releases or watch TV ads.    

statistics people spending time online


Also, the easy sharing of social media content increases the chances of it going viral and reaching even more people. Moreover, social media algorithms help businesses reach more specific demographics and interests. This can lead to increased brand visibility and awareness. 

2. Enhances Online Reputation

Companies can improve their online reputation using social media by actively engaging with potential customers and addressing issues quickly, which enhances their credibility. 

Additionally, by highlighting positive feedback from satisfied customers and sharing knowledgeable content, they further strengthen their online presence.

3. Offers Opportunities for Collaboration

Social media platforms enable companies to collaborate with content creators, industry leaders, and other organizations on marketing campaigns.

Remember to create a digital business card and share it on your social media profiles. That way, interested businesses can get in touch with you for collaboration opportunities. 

This cooperation will help amplify your brand message and boost your credibility through association with respected industry figures.

4. Creates Measurable Results

Social media enables direct communication with your audience, offering prompt feedback on PR campaigns. 

Moreover, social media analytics offer important insights into audience demographics and behavior, allowing PR professionals to customize their messaging and strategies accordingly.

It can also monitor various metrics like reach, engagement, and conversions to gauge the impact of PR campaigns.

5. Drives Traffic to the Website

Using social media can be a great way to boost website traffic. Sharing engaging content and interacting with followers helps businesses increase their online visibility and attract more website visitors. 

Furthermore, social media platforms allow you to engage with particular demographics through targeted advertising, and, therefore, increase traffic to your website.

How to Use Social Media to Support PR Strategy

Now that you know the benefits of using social media to influence brand perception, it’s time for you and your PR teams to learn how to integrate a social media strategy into your PR efforts.

Here’s how to use social media to support your public relations strategy:

  1. Share content that positions you as a leader
  2. Highlight client testimonials and case studies
  3. Engage with influencers
  4. Monitor conversations or practice active listening
  5. Collect and analyze social media performance data

1. Share Content That Positions You as a Leader

Demonstrating your knowledge and insights on social media can enhance credibility and trust with your audience. 

It can also help you catch the eye of journalists, influencers, and potential clients.

As a result, you can attract opportunities for partnerships and collaborations that can further boost your authority in your niche. Ultimately, you stand out from competitors.

Writing engaging social media posts, joining relevant discussions, and sharing useful resources are all ways to do this. For instance, Qualtrics shares extensive insights on X, establishing itself as a leading resource in the field.

qualtrics social media post


Whatever leadership content you choose to share, create a content calendar. This will help you plan out your posts and ensure a consistent flow of valuable content. 


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If you are looking for a content calendar tool, consider using AI-powered social media management platforms like SocialBee.

SocialBee simplifies social media management with features like content categorization and post-recycling. Content categorization organizes posts by theme or type, ensuring a cohesive strategy.

Post-recycling automates reposting evergreen content, saving time and maximizing impact. This streamlines scheduling across platforms, keeping your audience engaged effortlessly.

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2. Highlight Client Testimonials and Case Studies

Positive feedback from satisfied clients and successful case studies can provide real-life examples of the value your products or services bring to clients. 

If you highlight them on your social platforms, you can make your PR efforts more impactful.

Create visually attractive visuals or videos to make these testimonials and case studies more engaging and shareable. Utilize relevant hashtags to increase their visibility and reach on social media platforms. 

See how Rollga Health does it:

Rollga Health social media post


Don’t forget to encourage satisfied clients to share their testimonials and case studies on their social media profiles as well. This will help amplify your value further.

Additionally, consider contacting industry influencers or thought leaders to feature your customer success stories. This will help you reach an even larger audience and solidify your brand’s reputation as a trusted and reliable choice in the industry. We’ll talk more about this later. 

Suffice it to say that it’s a good idea to hire a PR company to help you identify the right influencers for your brand and connect with them. Just make sure you choose an agency that specializes in your niche. 

If you’re a restaurant, for example, a food PR agency can best help you establish relationships with food bloggers and other figures in the cooking world to promote your brand effectively. 

A medical PR agency, on the other hand, can connect you with relevant health influencers and specialists who can help boost the value of your healthcare brand in the eyes of customers.

3. Engage with Influencers

Building relationships with influencers on social media even before you decide to run your PR campaigns requires time and effort, but the payoff can be invaluable.

Influencers who know you are likely to say yes if you formally ask them to help in your PR efforts. 

As I mentioned earlier, having influencers endorse your brand can boost its credibility and trustworthiness. They can craft content that connects with their audience, which can help your PR campaigns.

To engage with influencers on social media, comment on their posts, share their content, or even send them a direct message expressing your admiration for their work.

Take Duolingo as an example; it retweets posts from influencers and adds humorous comments. 

duolingo social media post


Once it’s time to look for an influencer for your campaign, make sure you conduct thorough research to identify the right one who aligns with your brand values. Their target audience is also essential. This should be your target audience as well.

Then, create your pitch. Make sure to highlight what they can get from collaborating with you. Also, personalize your pitch. 

It’s best to send your pitch via email to your chosen influencer. You can use a good email finder tool to get their contact details. 

4. Monitor Conversations or Practice Active Listening

Social media conversations can offer great insights into your audience’s preferences, opinions, and concerns. 

It can also help you recognize trends. This is data you can use to make adjustments to your products and services for customer satisfaction.

Also, social listening ensures you quickly respond to publicized customer complaints. 

But wait. How are these connected to PR? Well, if you consistently cater to your customers’ preferences and immediately respond and address their concerns, you boost your reputation as a brand.  

You can use social listening tools to track mentions of your brand and industry keywords even when you’re not running a social media PR campaign. These tools can also provide real-time updates on discussions surrounding your brand and industry.

PRO TIP: Manage your DMs, mentions and comments with ease from SocialBee’s unified inbox and impress your audience with quick replies.

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5. Collect and Analyze Social Media Performance Data

You can leverage your social media performance data to improve your social and, ultimately, PR campaigns.

How else can you enhance your reputation as a brand for PR if you don’t reach and engage your target audience with your social media content in the first place?

You’ll need to monitor metrics like reach, engagement, sentiment analysis, follower growth, CTR, and share of voice, utilizing tools like SocialBee for data gathering and analysis.

There are many tools you can use to gather and analyze such data, such as SocialBee.

Google Analytics, meanwhile, can help you monitor website traffic and conversions from your social media platforms

Of course, you also need to make adjustments to your campaigns based on what your analysis tells you. Say you find a sudden increase in the number of likes on your social media page right after you started posting more videos. 

Then, to ensure optimal social media campaign and, therefore, PR, results, the logical thing to do would be to double-down on that video marketing strategy.

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SocialBee offers comprehensive reports that enable you to track and analyze your social media performance from one convenient dashboard. 

With SocialBee, you can monitor key metrics such as page growth, engagement rates on pages and individual posts, reach, and the number of likes your content receives. 

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Social Media Public Relations Campaign Examples

Ready to launch your own social media PR campaign? A successful campaign uses social media not just to share information but also to build community and spark conversations.

This approach helps transform your audience from mere viewers into active supporters and champions of your brand.

Here are a few examples of successful social media PR campaigns you can draw inspiration from:

  1. #LastSelfie
  2. #ThisGirlCan
  3. #whatsyourname

1. #LastSelfie

The #LastSelfie campaign was launched by the World Wildlife Fund on Snapchat, but it gained just as much momentum on other social media platforms.

The campaign aimed to leverage the selfie trend to raise awareness about endangered animals. It featured ads that showcased endangered animals with the message: “Don’t let this be my #lastselfie”.

#lastselfie campaign


The hashtag quickly went viral, with users worldwide sharing photos and spreading awareness about the importance of conservation efforts. It reached 50% of all Twitter users, resulting in 40,000 tweets globally. 

The campaign also generated significant media coverage and boosted engagement with the World Wildlife Fund’s social media channels. It won prestigious awards, including a Webby Award for People’s Choice.

2. #ThisGirlCan

The #ThisGirlCan campaign was aimed at empowering women and promoting gender equality in sports.

The campaign, created by Sport England, showcased women of all shapes, sizes, and abilities engaging in physical activities and breaking stereotypes. 

this girl can youtube screenshot


The hashtag quickly gained popularity on social media platforms, inspiring women to overcome barriers and pursue their fitness goals without fear of judgment.

The campaign also garnered over 95 million views and generated around 733,000 mentions on social media, plus over 1.2 million visitors to the Sport England website.

this girl can screenshot


It also gained endorsements from various celebrities and athletes, further solidifying its impact and reach. 

3. #whatsyourname

Starbucks launched a successful public relations campaign on social media called #whatsyourname.

The campaign encouraged customers to share their experiences and personal stories with Starbucks baristas using the hashtag #whatsyourname.

#whatsyourname screenshot


It proved to be effective in cultivating a strong sense of community and loyalty among Starbucks’ customers. Moreover, the campaign contributed to humanizing the company by highlighting the inclusive nature of Starbucks’ customer base.

#whatsyourname screenshot starbucks


The hashtag #whatsyourname sparked a multitude of stories on social media, like the one above, bringing the community together to talk about shared interests. All this helped enhance Starbucks’ image as a socially aware brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do You Need a Social Media PR Strategy?

Absolutely, a social media PR strategy is essential for any business looking to stay relevant and maintain a positive image online. It helps control your brand’s story, connect quickly with audiences, and manage issues promptly.

2. Is Social Media Marketing PR?

Social media marketing and public relations often overlap but are not exactly the same. Social media marketing aims to promote a brand and increase sales through content and ads on platforms. 

In contrast, social media PR focuses on managing a company’s reputation and building relationships. Both use social media to communicate but have different goals: marketing boosts sales, while PR shapes public perception.

3. Are Social Media Platforms Good PR Channels?

Yes, social media platforms are excellent for PR efforts. They offer a way for businesses to rapidly communicate updates and engage directly with their audience. This real-time interaction helps in promptly addressing any issues and maintaining a positive public image. 

Ready to Include Social Media Marketing in Your PR Strategy?

Social media is a powerful tool for PR professionals. It can help increase brand reach, improve online reputation, and boost collaboration opportunities, among others.

Companies can successfully improve their public relations through social media by sharing leadership content and client testimonials, actively listening, and engaging influencers. For the best results, social media performance data collection and analysis are also a must.

So, what are you waiting for? Launch your own social media PR campaign now. Draw inspiration from the successful social media PR efforts of the organizations above.

Good luck, and don’t forget to start your 14-day SocialBee trial now!

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Author bio: Chris Norton is host of the UK’s 7th largest marketing podcast, Socially Unacceptable, and Founder of award-winning B2C specialist PR agency Prohibition. His social media training blog is listed in the UK’s top 10 PR blogs. For tons of digital PR tips, you can follow Chris here @chris_norton.

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