Social Media Intelligence Gives PR Firms an Edge

Kimberly Surico |
 07/18/16 |
3 min read


Public relations has never been easy, but the immediacy of social media offers new hurdles for those in PR to constantly jump. At the same time, there have never been greater advantages for PR professionals than those offered by social media – which is the subject of our latest eBook, The Importance of Social Media Analytics to Public Relations.

Who are you talking to?

Whether you’re promoting a specific campaign, working on future product development, or sorting through consumer issues, you’ve got to know who your audience is, and what they want before you can make a move. Social media analytics is your best resource for identifying topics and issues that matter to consumers.

Even with traditional research efforts like focus groups and surveys – which are still perfectly valid – social data provides an additional layer of support, and can even guide the questions you ask during live panels, etc.

When you use social media listening tools to learn what consumers want, and what makes them care about your brand, you can deliver on those expectations. Anything less will be too impersonal to catch their attention.

Leveraging consumer emotions

Social media is a very personal place – because its foundation is built on users’ emotions. What moves consumers to share is often either a passionate love – or a burning hate – for brands. PR professionals must identify the strongest voices in both the influencer and detractor camps, and manage them accordingly to keep clients happy.

Failing to find these passionate users impacts share of voice – so this is a crucial step. Being alerted to detractors at the earliest stage – via real-time alerts – keeps potential crises from escalating. Meanwhile, building relationships with influencers gives you an army of people who are passionate about your brand – willing to amplify messaging and bring others into the fold, but also willing to defend against any naysayers.

Since social users trust other social users above brands, marketers and PR agencies, this is a serious advantage to have at your disposal.

Understanding your audience also helps when a trend crops up in the moment – like the famous Pharrell hat moment brilliantly played by Arby’s during the 2014 Grammys telecast:


The playful tweet, riffing on the fact that the singer’s hat resembled the Arby’s logo, garnered more than 77,000 re-tweets, kudos from other brands like Pepsi and Hyundai, and a response from Pharrell himself.

But hitting the trend lottery can only happen if agencies are ready for the lightning strike. That means listening in real-time, and knowing your audience and competitors well.

Measure and respond

The ability to track, measure and respond rapidly is what brands pay PR agencies for. No one has time – or resources – for trial and error. Social media listening lets you course correct based on in-the-moment social data, so none of your effort is wasted.

All of these are major selling points with clients, who expect agencies to drive brand awareness, identify and engage influencers and subject matter experts, and protect brand health. Social media intelligence offers agencies a clear way to validate their expertise by showing brands exactly what insights can be gleaned from using social media monitoring tools.

Then all brands have to do is apply them.

For more on how, download the eBook The Importance of Social Media Analytics to Public Relations. Or get in touch for a demo of the NetBase platform today.

E-Book: 4 Steps to Building a Successful Social Analytics Program


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