One of the most challenging part in public relations (if you are a startup or a small business) is on how much money you are willing to spend in PR activities to encourage people to talk about your products or services.
Since budget in PR is often limited, you have to find other alternative ways to create awareness about your brand. Fortunately, social media is easy to acquire and has been proven as a very effective PR tool if you are on a budget.
Since social media is very popular and almost all those who have internet access often use it, the need to get your brand in the very centre of where the action happens should be your top priority. The good news is, in social media you can do PR activities within your budget. Because traditional PR is very costly, social media websites are now the best places to make people talk about your products or services.
When people talk about your brand in social media the probability of increasing its visibility is higher because anything that is hot and trending can always spark interest and discussion. It’s just like, when a social influencer talks about your brand and their followers talk about it as well, in no time, you’ll just realise that your content becomes viral and everyone starts talking about your brand. And, you know that this kind of buzz can help you a lot in building your PR.
Now, the important question is, how do you encourage people to talk about your products or services in social media if you are not a well-known brand? This is probably quite challenging because you can’t force people to create a buzz about your business just by asking them. This is where a bit of strategy and understanding your target audience come in a handy.
Create a compelling and controversial content. Compelling in a way that it has the power to grab people’s attention and stick in their thoughts that would prod them to talk about it to others. Controversial in a good way that it would encourage them to discuss about it for days. A good example is featuring current hot and controversial issues that are highly relevant to your target audience. If you are a SEO company, creating and publishing an Infographic that features studies that show how Fortune 500 businesses managed to earn billions through search engine optimisation is definitely a winner.
Blog about a very famous person most of your target audience love. Have you ever asked why entertainment websites are quite popular? It’s because their main topics revolve around very famous celebrities most people love and idolise. Featuring a very famous SEO celebrity and letting your target audience know the most surprising facts they haven’t known about them yet is a good example.
Start a social media contest and encourage influential users to join. This is quite popular and very effective as well. You can start by listing social media influencers whose interest are within your niche. You can start by tapping influential bloggers to join a contest that would measure their online popularity through total number of likes in Facebook. In the entire duration of the contest, people would surely talk about your brand and will become curious that even their favourite bloggers are patronising the contest you organised.
Pioneer a social cause that is highly relevant to your brand. A social cause such as a campaign for “free internet everywhere” is highly regarded by many and would surely catch the interest of your target audience. Pioneering social causes is a way of reaching out to them and making a good impression. In your campaign, you should encourage social media users to use your official brand hashtag every time they mention about your cause.
Promote the use of your official brand hashtag. People won’t talk about your brand if you remain invisible. In social media, hashtags are very powerful features that would allow users to become more familiar with your brand’s name. For example, every time you share a status, a tweet, or a post, always make sure to include your official hashtag and encourage your existing customers to use it as well.
Encouraging people to talk about your brand is no easy task. It would take more effort and time and there’s no absolute formula to do it right the first time. The tips above are not direct solutions but just a few ideas on how you do public relations even with a very limited budget.