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Is Public Relations aware of social advertising nitty-gritty

It has been observed that PR agencies leverage the popular combination of Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned media (also famously known as the PESO model) to run campaigns for clients.

While there is evidence that social advertising is treated as a separate function within a company, PR pros are still waking up to its relevance despite being leveraged by all. Like it or not, the social domain for marketers is a space where no hard and fast rule applies. Treating social channels as a key part of PR or marketing assumes importance as it transforms the implications of the interactions and the results derived out of it.

It has been observed that many companies consider the social efforts being taken as part of PR due to the dynamic nature of the interaction between a brand and its consumers. But as the objectives of social media have evolved from buzz-building to delivering return, it is crucial to understand that your social media efforts rely heavily on what you aim to achieve.

Many PR agencies argue that social media is the open dialogue between enterprise and clients that occurs in real-time. The situation is fast changing as social platforms have matured a lot since inception. They are proficient enough to enact multiple roles (for example – sell, inform audiences, etc). Audiences now prefer to follow companies on social channels to stay updated about recent developments.

In recent times, interactions have been based on sweepstakes and promotions that boost activation. When different social channels are an integral part of the ‘shared’ piece, it is important to consider a PR strategy that includes a paid component as well.

Growth in online advertising expenditure

Research shows that by 2017, the online advertising spending will surpass TV advertising expenditure and touch $75 billion. It further stated that online ad expenditure will be driven by mobile advertising with mobile videos expected to post handsome growth figures.

With the online advertising domain expected to reap heavy profit and the demand for paid media becoming an essential part of the overall messaging strategy, the question that assumes relevance is which social channels are best positioned to maximise the impact?

  • Facebook AdsFacebook with the broadest audience base

Selection of a social channel is dependent on the audience you are targeting. But, the most obvious platform that is commonly leveraged by all is Facebook. The social network has strong influencer base and hence creating a strategy that works keeping the nitty-gritty in mind is important. In fact, in this regard, considering a paid strategy can come in handy to create a quick impression on the audiences.

Developing social ads that can resonate with the audiences isn’t an easy task. Despite being able to strengthen engagement and creation of long-term value, social advertisements should be handled with utmost care as the content gets amplified across the consumer’s networks. When businesses choose to spend on social advertising, connecting with those consumers who drive ROI and traffic becomes attainable.

  • Twitter AdsTwitter’s innovative use of emojis

Twitter, the most commonly used social channel for sharing, has initiated the use of emoji-based ad targeting. This variant of advertising allows brands to implement emoji-specific relevant ads. For instance, a user who tweets out a makeup emoji will lead to a display of  local ads related to makeup. This type of micro-targeting using emoji instead of content (words or phrases) is capable of transforming the way social advertising is being initiated and implemented.

Across the micro-blogging platform, food emojis are the most commonly used. But the marketing experts who understand emoji usage are capable of creating advertising targets across a variety of products.

  • Snapping with Snapchat API

It is believed that the launch of Snapchat Partners, its advertising API, can revolutionise the social advertising domain. Snapchat Partners, which connects 20 large tech companies, makes it possible for brands to purchase ads and communicate stories. Since advertising quality is of utmost relevance to Snapchat, the platform wants to ensure that today’s tech-savvy audiences leverage the platform to its maximum potential, something that was beyond anticipation until some years back.

Moreover, the program has been divided into separate categories – creative partners and ad partners – with the aim to ensure that Snapchat marketing is used as the preferred tool for connecting with the consumers.

As Snapchat is committed to developing a sustainable business model, the recent updates are expected to help the marketing pros and PR firms by offering dynamic storytelling formats.

  • Youtube SharingVideo sharing on YouTube

The PR argument is based on simple logic. Two-way communication lies at the heart of public relations. The onus lies on PR companies to create awareness about their clients’ business/brand leveraging the traditional and new media sources. In this regard, a video sharing platform like YouTube enacts multiple roles – initiate/implement campaigns, respond to crisis, brand extension, etc.

Closing words

Social media has modified the conventional PR approach. While in the past, Public Relations companies emphasised upon controlling the message, the advent of social talks about embracing the conversation with customers as they are.

With the increasing use of social channels and changing advertising expenditure, PR agencies should garner knowledge of using paid media to connect with their consumers. The changes are expected to continue in the coming months as well as social channels are rampantly using their user bases for the purpose of business monetisation.

Want to add your insight? Share it in the comments section below.

Also Read: Leveraging Social Media to ensure Public Relations success

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