By Lisa Froeling

Public relations and social media marketing are no longer individual entities and should not be treated as so. Companies that are looking to make the most of their online presence need to look into ways on how to best integrate the efforts usually made through various platforms in order to not only save money from the company but also to provide cohesive experience for the customers. By integrating these usually two separate efforts together, you can enhance your small business in several ways unimaginable.

Instead of waiting for the media to write a story on the achievements of your company, many small businesses step their games up by choosing to share those stories via the social media and the main stream media is then forced to take it up from there.

Let’s take a look at some of the effective PR strategies for social media to enhance your public relations and get those to two together since most small businesses don’t usually have separate departments to handle those:

Optimize your press briefings with social media releases

Support your press release by ensuring the social media sharing features are enabled. When picking a platform that sends your press releases, make sure to choose the one that enables the sharing function.

These days, most journalists rely on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking channels when listening to sentiments as well as information gathering.

When doing the public relations internally, companies could look into HARO where reporters usually solicit for expert sources about the topics they’re writing about, giving you an opportunity to share your industry insights and get coverage in the process.

Create and sustain social media campaigns around customer case studies

An important PR strategy is to create customer case studies to highlight the achievements and successes and build an aura of credibility around your organization.

Customer stories and experiences make an extremely good story and write up although people are not really willing to spend a lot of time to read such long articles. Sharing the highlights of the customer testimonials on social media sites can help a lot by just picking out the key facts. However it is important that the testimonials should appear unbiased and honest to help establish authenticity and trust with your customers. People generally do not value propaganda material passed off as customer testimonials.

Utilize Linked In to its maximum potential

Whenever higher level executives engage and interact with professional colleagues and customers, it plays an important role in building and establishing trust with the key stakeholders.

CEOs that are active on social media improve their company’s credibility a lot and also earn respect and dearness with their customers. Apart from LinkedIn, Twitter is also a nice way to establish interaction with your consumers and be able to get deeper insights about your industry.

Traditional public relations are on the brink of a huge make over. It is high time to breathe new life into these old fashioned strategies and make way for incorporating social media in the strategies. By merging both your public relations and social media efforts, it gives you an opportunity of direct communication with your consumers and stakeholders.

Social media PR strategy is important in two aspects: one, the external view by your clients and other the prospects and the internal view by your employees. To develop a coherent social Media strategy, it is crucial to communicate, convince and most importantly convert the social media attention into action.

In the end, it all boils down into 3 important aspects: awareness, sales and loyalty. By combining both, you can accomplish your efforts more efficiently without necessarily spending lots of money on them.

Lisa Froeling is a business and productivity consultant with over 4 years of experience in human resources working for a major retailer in the country before she decided to build her own business. Her interests include technology, mindfulness as well as time management. You may connect with her on @LisaFroelings.