Social Media Campaigns
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Social Media Campaigns

Strategies for Public Relations and Marketing

Carolyn Mae Kim

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  1. 210 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Social Media Campaigns

Strategies for Public Relations and Marketing

Carolyn Mae Kim

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About This Book

This new edition continues to give students a foundation in the principles of digital audience engagement and data metrics across platforms, preparing them to adapt to the quickly evolving world of digital media. It takes students through the processes of social listening, strategic design, creative engagement, and evaluation, with expert insights from social media professionals. Thoroughly updated, this second edition includes:

• new strategies to guide students in the initial campaign planning phase

• added content on influencers, social care teams, and newsjacking

• coverage of research evaluation, the implications of findings, and articulating the ROI

• expanded discussion of ethical considerations in campaign design and data collection and analysis.

The book is suited to both undergraduate and post-graduate students as a primary text for courses in social/digital media marketing and public relations or a secondary text in broader public relations and marketing campaign planning and writing courses.

Accompanying online resources include chapter reviews with suggestions for further resources; instructor guides; in-class exercises; a sample syllabus, assignments, and exams; and lecture slides. Visit

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Introduction: Social Influence

Understanding the Development, Value, and Role of Social Media for Organizations
Organizations are operating in a new social paradigm. Brands can no longer expect to control, dictate to, or push a conversation onto the public. Rather, they must engage with the public, creating a two-way, relevant conversation in order to thrive in today's social world.
Out of the world's 7.8 billion people, the internet has 4.54 billion users, with 3.72 billion active social media users.1 To help give context to the power and reach of social media, between October 2018 and October 2019 there was an average of 10 new social media users every second.2 In the world of public relations (PR), marketing, and communication, it is more important than ever that professionals have a strategic understanding of how to utilize social media effectively. There is, however, a significant difference in how the public perceives organizations engaging on social media and how the brands themselves perceive social media engagement. Despite nearly 90% of social media users indicating that they have used social media to personally communicate with a brand, there is a gap in the perceived quality of interactions. Whereas 80% of companies indicated that they provide “exceptional customer service,” only 8% of their customers agreed.3 Social media is a critical component of brand communication, particularly given the amount of time people invest not only online, but in social media specifically. That's why it is so important that brands get it right when it comes to developing social media communication and thriving brand communities.
Having a purposeful design for social media has the potential to ignite powerful conversations among key stakeholders. As social media has developed as a communication channel, and organizations have matured in their approach to social media community engagement, the methodology for using social media as a platform also needs to change. Although every organization, online community, and social media campaign will have its own unique flavor, there is, nevertheless, a unifying model that underlies social media campaigns, fostering strategic engagement. This model provides a framework in which all the creative, individualized approaches to social relationships can take shape. Organizations that are the most successful users of social media campaigns, however, not only understand the process of a social media campaign, but also the way social media should be integrated into the entire organization's ethos.


There is a significant difference between brands that infuse social strategies into the entire organization and those that use them only in social media campaigns for communication purposes. Michael Brito4 differentiates these two concepts as a “social brand” versus a “social business strategy.” Whereas a social brand uses social technologies to communicate with its key audiences, a social business strategy is a “documented plan of action that helps evolve and transform the thinking of an organization bridging internal and external social initiatives resulting in collaborative connections, a more social organization, and shared value for all stakeholders.”5 Figure 1.1 illustrates what a historical approach to a business model looks like. Each department in the organization is separated by its individual roles, responsibilities, and objectives. While they all jointly support the success of the business, they individually specialize in only their specific purpose.
Figure 1.1
Figure 1.1 The Historical Business Model
Today's business environment, however, is not a static one in which key stakeholders can be approached in a mechanical way, with each department solely responsible for only its area. Departments can no longer function in a silo without interacting with each other to support the needs of key relationships. Publics expect brands to be holistic, connecting across multiple departments and with multiple people in order to provide the best solution for each stakeholder's need. For example, if someone contacts the brand through Twitter about a concern with billing or with a product, it is important that the social media team communicates with the other department in order to get an answer and response to the individual. Research indicates that 83% of people who reach out on Twitter and get a personal response back from the brand report that they felt better about the company, which is key to maintaining a positive reputation, and are likely to continue doing business in the future, resulting in loyalty among stakeholders.6 However, simply giving the phone number or email address of the other department to the person on Twitter, instead of providing the answer, gives the impression that interaction between departments does not occur. The message that is being sent, then, is that the business is not actually relational internally, but simply wants to give the impression that it is relational. Today's social business is all about connecting and relating, both internally with others in the organization and externally with audiences and their needs. This model is illustrated in Figure 1.2, which shows how the various departments not only surround and support the vision of the brand, but also help each other. Social organizations are brands that recognize social interaction as a core approach to business, rather than social media as a tool to accomplish business, and thus experience the power of authentic relationships with key stakeholders.
Figure 1.2
Figure 1.2 The Social Business Model
For a brand to be social requires an entire paradigm shift in business and structure. Jay Baer7 points out that organizations now need to operate with a “friend-of-mine awareness,” recognizing that, in today's world, people do business with brands with which they have relationships. “Like never before in the history of business, our personal and commercial relationships are merging and entangling, line for line, pixel for pixel.”8 He goes on to describe an approach that he has named “Youtility”:
Youtility is marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that's needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that's wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and customers. The difference between helping and selling is just two letters. But those two letters now make all the difference.9
In order to achieve this Youtility approach to an organization, Baer10 suggests that organizations have to recognize that publics want self-serve information, allowing them to get all the details they need whenever they are looking for them. In addition, they expect brands to operate with radical transparency, giving answers and information before they are asked for, and real-time relevancy, which utilizes technology and engagement to connect with key stakeholders in meaningful ways.11 Essentially, the new paradigm of business in today's social world is all about people. We need to go back to the basics, valuing and investing in relationships with people connected to our brand. For a brand to be truly social, therefore, people have to matter: At every level and in every decision. Social organizations do not just use social media as a tool to communicate. Social organizations operate in an entirely different framework than historical models, they operate in a social paradigm of business, placing people and their needs/desires/values front and center in business operations and decisions. Social media, then, should serve as an indicator of the relational priorities of the brand within the digital world, not as the only source of relational interaction that occurs within the organization.

The Crisis of Trust

People do business with organizations that they trust—with people that they trust. In a world with more competition than ever before, and thousands of options for people to choose between, relationship becomes the defining factor in business. Unfortunately, despite trust being the cornerstone for ongoing relationships with key stakeholde...

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