The panelists that included Public Relations practitioners and a journalist, were in unison on the role played by social media today, agreeing that it has added a whole new dimension to the concept of communication by enabling richer communication in the form of blog posts, videos, and tweets among others. With 5 billion active users on various social media platforms, and 10 new users being added every second, the opportunities for an influencer’s reach on the internet are enormous.
The panelists who represented well-known companies from the auto, healthcare and retail segments said that they use social media to create engagement and build a reputation for their brands through thought leadership blogs, advocacy, showcasing their values and discussing topical conversations on social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. This also aids in building brand reputation, acquiring new customers, and building customer loyalty among other things.
One of the key points discussed was around paid influencers and how a system of disclosure was necessary to distinguish between what content has been paid for by brands/companies versus free content. All the panelists agreed that disclosure ensures transparency and balances the interests of all the stakeholders.
Filtering endorsement requests from various companies to promote the right product/service that adds value to the customer and the influencer was also recommended. The richness of the content, neutrality in sharing reviews, and the necessary disclosure wherever applicable, establishes the boundaries for paid influencers, thereby enhancing his/her trustworthiness. Stringent global guidelines related to ethics and integrity codes are also helping the influencers’ space shape into a trustworthy domain for marketing, added the experts.
Finally, each panelist shared their tips to encourage and motivate their colleagues who create digital brands for others, but tend to ignore themselves.
It is imperative that one observes, learns, and contemplates what new they can add to the plethora of information already available. It is important to use those learnings to create a personal niche in social media, as an influencer. It can be about one’s own interpretation of an industry topic, but it’s pivotal to become a subject matter expert, to earn the stripes and credibility offline, said the panelists. Social media leverage can only be possible when one has strong credibility with the audience was the general opinion of the experts.
Sharing or reposting relevant content with personal opinions, targeted at the right audience is another way to increase engagement among one’s followers.
Another important aspect is maintaining a sustained relationship with peers from the communications industry and journalists from the media, as they are the generators of content and will help to get a headstart into the world of social media.
Additionally, what is important is that brand owners and agencies must encourage their colleagues to take risks, which is a very important part of social media behavior. By helping them realize that they can be the leading ambassador of a brand, they will not only be self-motivated but encourage others from their fraternity to have a go at becoming an influencer.
All the panelists were in agreement that Public Relations practitioners should leverage social media as they are in the business of influencing and as influencers they can add a layer of authenticity and credibility to the brand and help optimize reach and engagement.
You can read the SMILE report here: https://reputationtoday.in/smile-2022/