Marijane Funess January 19, 2015 | 12:49:34

Is Facebook Still Best For PR Campaigns?

Does Facebook still work for brand PR?  The answer depends on your audience, but it’s likely to be yes. Although teens may have moved from Facebook to Instagram, Facebook is still used by 71 percent of  U.S. adults aged 18 and older. Not only do nearly three quarters of this group have a Facebook account, but according to the Pew Research Center, around 70 percent check it daily. So, what are some current best PR practices to consider when leveraging the site for earned and paid exposure?

Keep posts short and visual, and post on Thursdays and Fridays? Yes, current research says photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. Emoticons boost engagement and engagement rates on Thursday and Friday are 18% higher than other days.

Take inspiration from top brands. Facebook can go beyond brand storytelling and customer service, although it’s useful for both. It’s also an ideal platform for crowdsourcing a new product idea, or even customer insights, like Bobbi Brown’s campaign to bring back “retired” lipstick shades, or Lay’s #DoUsAFlavor campaign.

Create and manage Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups are an excellent way to manage relationships for a group, organization or brand.  Consider posting all company/product and interesting industry news, an events calendar, networking benefits to members, and other ways to participate. We have watched the Facebook group for a health technology client of ours grow exponentially by using the “face” of the company to help personalize content and posts.
Let your audience do the work for you. Businesses can connect with thousands or even millions on Facebook with a single click. If posts are provocative and share-worthy, the audience will be happy to do the work for you by liking, sharing, commenting and re-posting to other sites. Figure out what your “friends” like and comment on; and give them more of the same! Additionally, the connections made are that much more personal since people trust their friends and their information, leading to future benefits.

Earned vs. paid or both? We believe in maximizing the opportunity of the medium, may the best methodology win! Therefore, post some great visual content – include a provocative question or contest offer –  boost that post and consider advertising around it. Test some very inexpensive Facebook advertising and see what kind of ROI you get. If paid messaging increases brand affinity and purchase intent, while keeping cost efficiencies manageable, we are all for it.

Explore tools that will improve your posts. Whether a brand is looking to spruce up visual content or make social media publishing and scheduling easier, there are some terrific tools to explore. Canva helps the design-challenged create beautiful graphics for use on Facebook or any other social site. Try Edgar to organize and maximize social media updates. Stuck for ideas? Get to know buzzsumo.

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