Ah social media, there’s no doubt that it’s made a tremendous impact on our culture and has been a defining factor for our generation. Look around you and you will find people of all ages scrolling, tapping and buzzing away. Because social media displays our world through filters and hashtags it’s sometimes easy to forget what your online persona really says about you. Here are some of our social media tips for making sure that your online presence represents the kind of person that you want to be publicly known for.

Stay Professional
Think before you post and stick to “tea party etiquette.” That means try to stay away from politics, religion and anything construed as vulgar or possibly offensive. Now, those rules can be smudged a little, but we suggest sticking to them for the most part.

But not too professional…
Don’t put on a façade. Nothing screams “phony” more than someone who only posts industry articles. Show your personality and your fun side without crossing any lines. Be yourself and don’t try to make yourself look like someone you’re not.

Don’t hide
A red flag typically pops up when someone has their social media profiles on private. When we see that we typically wonder what they’re hiding and then imagine something worse than it probably is. This rule is especially important if you plan on working, or currently work, in a position where you deal with social media.

Flaunt it
The times are a’ changing so go ahead and put your Twitter and Instagram handles on your resume if you feel so inclined. Show off what you’re proud of! Just make sure your online persona fits with the first two tips in this post.

Network! Network! Network!
Follow professionals that you idolize, talk to people with similar interest and use social media as a networking tool. Follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter, ask to connect with the cool journalist you met that one time and follow places where you would like to work. Getting your name out there and making connections is a great thing and social media has made it too easy to not utilize.

Use these tips as a general outline for your online presence and you’ll be pretty set the next time someone “creeps” on you. Do you have any additional tips for using social media? Leave us a comment below!

As PR girls, it’s our job to know current events and be up-to-date on what’s happening in our industry. If we want to produce awesome work for our clients, we’ve got to make sure we aren’t missing a beat! Marketing, public relations and social media are industries that are evolving every single day so we are constantly updating each other on new strategies and ways to get things done. We never stop learning and we wouldn’t want it any other way. We do our fair share of blogging, but we still look to other awesome blogs to keep us on the ball. We’ve put together a list of must-read blogs to get you inspired and help you stay up-to-date on industry news no matter how busy you are.

nyc PR girls – This blog might be our favorite. We love Adrianna and Meg’s blog because they write on a variety of topics from pitching and getting press coverage, to advice on applying for jobs.

PRNewser – Before we hit the hay each night, this is the blog we are reading. It covers the inner working of the PR industry and keeps us up-to-date on the latest industry news that we can’t afford to miss. When we need to know what works, what doesn’t and why, this is the blog we go to!

SocialTimes – Looking for a one-stop-shop for learning all things social media? SocialTimes is the blog for you! From breaking Facebook news to the latest Instagram trends, SocialTimes has the inside scoop.

PR Blonde – Lauren describes her blog as “a little industry and a little fun” and we have to agree. She shows us what happens behind some of the most popular brands in our industry along with tips on how to be the best PR girl we can be. It’s also worth noting how incredibly sweet she is. Trust us, you’ll love her and her blog!

Copyblogger – We love Copyblogger because it offers valuable information to help stay up-to-date on what all is going on in the marketing world. Every week Copyblogger brings us original and relevant content that often teaches us how we can be reaching our client’s target audiences in the most efficient way.

Do you have any favorite blogs from the PR/marketing/social media world? Tell us in a comment below!

Photo courtesy of nycprgirls.com, prblonde.com, adweek.com/prnewser, adweek.com/socialtimes and copyblogger.com

Twitter Success

There’s a good chance your company already has a Twitter account, but do you really understand the potential impact it can have on your brand? A common mistake that businesses tend to make is not fully understanding the difference between using Twitter and other social media outlets.

Unlike the ever-so-popular (and equally important) Facebook, Twitter serves as a key relationship-building tool between you and your current and prospective customer, business, press and community relationships. Yes, tweeting new content is important – Twitter is indeed, first and foremost, an informational news feed. Spending the time to proactively engage with others, however, is crucial to building your community and increasing followership.

So, if you haven’t had a significant increase in new followers for a while, or you’re simply looking for a more influential role in the Twittersphere, here’s how to step up your game:

Connect with local businesses. Twitter serves as an easy platform to connect with your local community. Maintaining a relationship with the businesses around you is an easy way to build up your followership and nurture those relationships for potential referrals. Think of your favorite restaurants, coffee shops, fitness studios, or even the businesses in your office building. Once they see that you are following them, they’ll want to return the favor. Don’t just leave it at that, though – keep the conversations going. Retweet, reply to and favorite what they are saying to keep tabs on what they’re up to (and they’ll do the same).

Get to know your customers. On the note of business relationships, don’t forget to reach out to your customers too! Did they rave about your service? Thank them. Do they have suggestions? Hear them out. Great pictures of your product? Retweet it. The most successful social media programs typically involve a direct conversation with their customer base, no matter how large.

Build press relationships. No matter what type of industry you’re in, having a handful of press contacts in your back pocket is important. Whether you’re pitching a new product or announcing new company updates, establishing connections with local and national press, editors and bloggers on Twitter is essential. Maximize this opportunity by actively reaching out and engaging with those individuals who could potentially help promote your brand.

Monitor the latest trends. Like other social media outlets are beginning to copycat, Twitter gives you the ability to keep tabs on what’s trending via hashtags. Use them to your advantage by staying up to date on what’s going on in your industry. With the ability to view live, real-time trending feeds, you can fully maximize your chance to join in on the most current conversations and draw the attention of others to your business.

Being proactive takes time, but schedule at least twenty minutes to login and interact daily, and we promise you’ll be an influential twitter maven in no time!

Making The Most Out Of LinkedIn

It’s no secret that social media has become a hotbed for marketing.  We’ve talked a lot about how to leverage your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram/Vine, Pinterest and even on social review sites. But what about LinkedIn?

Although it may not be the obvious choice when looking for social media sites that will enhance engagement, it’s definitely one you should be part of. In fact, 50% of LinkedIn members have stated that they are more likely to purchase from companies that they engage with on the site. So if your company doesn’t have a LinkedIn page, you better open an account now! Here are a few tips to help your company make the most out of engaging:

Update Your Company Profile
Don’t be shy when filling out your company’s page. Describe your products and services, post informative videos, and let people know about your company’s culture. Posting content regularly will not only help your SEO position, but it will also provide a great way to drive traffic back to your brand’s site.

Keep It Relevant.
As with any social network, marketing success on LinkedIn comes down to relevancy. Given LinkedIn’s user base, it’s important to post professional content, such as sharing articles pertaining to your particular industry, announcing company updates, or posting relevant blog posts. And if you really want to stand out, try focusing on images and eye-grabbing headlines. You can even get creative in your outreach – check out this effort by Hanes!

Use Groups For Good.
Groups are a great way to market your brand’s message while connecting to consumers directly. Explore the different groups that are currently out there – you might find a few that pertain to your business. It’s also a good idea to create your own industry-related group to establish your company as a thought leader. Build your following by targeting your own employees first. If your member base needs an additional boost, utilize LinkedIn’s business ads to promote your group to outside users. Once they’re there, get to talking!

If used correctly, LinkedIn can be a great way for businesses to get social with professionals. As the network continues to grow, we can’t wait to see the creative ways that brands use it next. So, what do you have to lose? Jump in and watch your business thrive!

Twitter Engagement

As a business owner, you understand the impact that social media can have on your company. After all, it’s called social media for a reason – you have to be, well, social! However, simply updating your Facebook every couple of days, or retweeting articles every now and then on Twitter is not enough. Effectively engaging on social media, specifically on Twitter, is what makes your company shine above your competitors. It takes time, but it’s definitely manageable. Here are some tips that will help make your Twitter engagement a breeze:

Establish Your Audience
The first step to engaging is identifying who your business is appealing to. You want to publish tweets that will solidify your client base and attract potential clients. Your audience will also include other businesses who are in your industry and local businesses. Pinpointing your target audience will ensure that you’re making the best connections that will help your company grow. 

Have genuine human characteristics
Building a conversation sounds easy enough, right? The important aspect is that you build long lasting relationships with your customers. It’s exciting for a customer to get a retweet or mention from a company because they feel special for being noticed. When talking (or typing), you want to engage with your customer as you would if you were talking face-to-face. It’s essential for brands to embrace human characteristics and not be robotic when engaging. 

Here’s a great example from Austin-based Whole Foods Market. They are a social media powerhouse that’s known for going above and beyond when engaging with their customers.

Whole Foods Social Media

Respond to positive and negative feedback
As a business owner, you know that not all customers will always sing your praises. It’s important for your company to step up to the plate and respond to both positive and negative feedback. You never want to delete the negative comments – this will not only make the situation worse, but it will reflect poorly on your company, causing customers to think that you are dismissing their issues. 

An example of how to appropriately respond to negative feedback is one provided by JetBlue’s social media customer service team.

JetBlue Social Media

Increasing your Twitter engagement can take your business to the next level and differentiate you from your competitors.  Looking for more ways to increase your Twitter engagement? Check out our previous post on how Twitter is quickly surpassing traditional news outlets.