How Social Media Platforms Prove to be Useful – Part 2
By: Danielle Trentin
The first part of this series talked about how blogs, LinkedIn, and Facebook are all social media platforms that have made an impact on how people interact with one another, how daily news is received, how businesses attract and gain customers, and much more. In Part 2, I will talk about three more platforms that have the same effect.
I have to say that although I love the other social media platforms, Instagram is by far my favorite out of all of them. It is a medium that is based off picture sharing and is used by most iPhones and Android phones as an application. With the app, one can simply take a photo with their phone, edit it with different photo filters, and share it with their followers. Today, businesses are using Instagram to post pictures of their products, events, and more to get their companies out there and known to the public. From a business standpoint, Instagram is a great resource because it can grab people’s attention with a simple, presentable picture. This can lead users to visit the page and view more of what the company has to offer without having to read long articles or searching through websites. Also, if a person is not following a company, the hashtags and search tab makes finding them very easy. When hashtags are used, people who are interested in those types of things will easily find the photo. Also, the explore tag puts up different pictures for viewers to see even if they are not following the person. This also makes company recognition very possible.
Instagram is also a very useful tool for PR professionals. For instance, if a restaurant is trying to make their special of the day known to the public, they can quickly snap a picture of it and post it with a caption and appropriate hashtag to follow. It’s a quick and easy thing to do and can be done right from a phone. A picture is worth a thousand words so even if that special of the day might not look so tasty, it can easily come off as looking good by taking it from an angle and adding a reasonable filter. Instagram proves to be an extremely useful application, especially in today’s fast-paced society.
Twitter is a social media site that is used by a variety of audiences. You will find that teens, adults, and now businesses are all using this site to get the message they want across to the public. It is often used by individuals for personal reasons but is more commonly becoming a major marketing tool for businesses. Companies and individuals using it for professional reasons are using it in a way to brand themselves and or sell their product. With Twitter, users can only type so much and are already engaged by other content that they are following through it. It can be used to easily catch people’s attention and make what you want to be known, heard.
As a public relations professional, you have to keep a positive public image and create relationships with various audiences. It is for this reason that tweets must be positive, relatable, and have a purpose. If used correctly, Twitter is a great medium to promote and gain recognition by allowing people to quickly see your content and information that you share.
Pinterest is one of the newer social media platforms that became a quick favorite to many of its users. The idea of Pinterest is to create an account and then virtually “pin” pictures of interest to any of the boards that created. Although I use Pinterest mostly for my own personal use, there are many business opportunities. Pinterest is actually a great way to promote your own products and get them out there to users. If you create interesting visual content, people will pin it (from your website) or repin it (from Pinterest), driving traffic to your site. This medium allows for companies to create business pages, and then upload their own products with descriptions that can link directly to their website. Once the pin is posted, people can then go repin it, which puts it on their page spreading the content with the attached business website to even more users. This allows for the business to reach even more people by attracting them through the pin.
When it comes to the public relations aspect of business and maintaining a relationship with a company or an individual’s various publics, Pinterest serves as a valuable tool. One of the most interesting aspects of social media is that people talk about you, your company, and its products and services. When pins are repined they are spreading over the internet for hundreds of different people to see. If the description is used properly, branded, and includes the company, that can cause people to be attracted to it in a positive way. In conclusion, if a company or individual is consistent with their Pinterest, it can help with their branding and can make a business and their products be more recognized by the public.
These are three more social media platforms that can be beneficial for people and businesses to use. Once again, the key is to learn how to use them and in a professional manner in order for them to be the most useful. I hope that this short series helped people realize how these different social networks can be used in a professional, creative manner.