While Twitter represents a form of social media tool for the communication of short messages or concerns, public relations denote the management of communication between an organization and the public. Given its expediency when compared to other kinds of social media platforms, Twitter has progressively been utilized for public relations by countless organizations around the world. Twitter is being increasingly utilized by companies in offering insights and responses to inquiries presented by customers and other interested people. Because many people across the globe can comprehend the numerous updates on a company’s Twitter account, it is apparent to assert that Twitter provides a more extensive reach when compared to every form of traditional media. The use of Twitter for public relations has evidently created a global village in terms of business undertakings and fully transformed conversations with a company to enable the public, customers, and stakeholders stay informed of an organization’s progression.
Using Twitter for Public Relations
Twitter denotes a social media platform employed in micro-blogging or sharing of brief updates, remarks, or ideas (Lovejoy, Waters & Saxton, 2012). Public relations represent the process of managing conversations between a given company and the public who encompasses potential customers, clients, savers, shareholders, the government, workers, and other interested parties. Attributable to the fact that Twitter was created to be fully compatible with cellular phones via text messages; every update is restricted to 140 characters. Twitter could be employed as a bridge between instant messaging and chat rooms since it enables open forums where it could be restricted just to the individuals with whom one connects. The use of Twitter has progressively gained value in the contemporary times, particularly in marketing and public relations platforms. Social media acts as a commendable means of establishing communication with customers, creating and managing connections with would-be clients, in addition to influencing other stakeholders.
For business executives such as chief executive officers of big or international organizations, regular application of other forms of social media apart from Twitter, for instance, Facebook, may be difficult. Chief executive officers characteristically have very little free time that they can utilize for writing or responding to messages and friend requests on social media. Nevertheless, due to the brief messages in Twitter, Chief Executive Officers can have an easier time posting their updates or going through the posts from other people such as customers within a short time. Attributable to its convenience over other forms of social media, Twitter has been increasingly employed for public relations.
Significance of Social Media for Public Relations
Small organizations employ public relations as a section of the entire marketing plan to generate brand insight and consumer loyalty. In this regard, they can apply the interactivity aspects of Twitter to direct customer relations, interrelate with prominent persons and offer technological backing services to the clients. The use of Twitter and other forms of social media for public relations plays a key role in the establishment of competitive benefit. Businesses can make use of Twitter for the sharing of messages that complement their presentations and provision of answers to the questions posed by customers (Rybalko & Seltzer, 2010). By connecting Twitter to other social media platforms, for instance, blogs, organizations can share details regarding a particular product or forthcoming products to current and potential customers. Organizations can as well tap into emerging markets through interactions with customers on Twitter. Moreover, a positive description of the organization in a renowned blog may attract thousands of visitors, the majority of whom might ask for additional details through Twitter and ultimately become loyal customers.
The use of Twitter enables an organization to share information such as product captions, notices of open days or giveaways, and information about new products, in addition to links to pictures and blogs where customers can find more details. While using Twitter, successful microblogging advances encompass making brief headlines and sprucely involving people in conversations that could attract them to the products and services offered by a company (Schultz, Utz & Göritz, 2011). Attributable to the restrictions on the number of possible characters, organizations ought to come up with eye-catching headlines that encompass the products and name of the business and links to other sources of information. Moreover, an organization may seek information from customers regarding the improvement of products and means of bettering customer service.
Conversations on Twitter facilitate communication concerning product ideas and interactions with people around the world (Schultz et al., 2011). Public relations representatives in a company ought to pay attention to the ongoing conversations in relevant subject matters to study the purchase behaviors and ensure satisfaction of customers via meeting their interests and perhaps honoring their requests and recommendations. Effective use of Twitter can assist a company to develop of suitable messages, join the right groups, and generate loyal customers and partisans. Organizations ought to employ investigative tools in the assessment of the success of their public relations endeavors. On this note, companies can monitor Twitter conversations to note the concerns of customers and dispel any false rumors prior to their spreading swiftly and resulting in the loss of customers and reduction of profitability. For enhanced data security, organizations ought to permit a few individuals to operate the Twitter account and place limitations concerning what they are not supposed to share on the platform.
Using a Twitter Account
Twitter is being used for public relations by an increasing number of small, medium, and large organizations across a range of sectors (Saffer, Sommerfeldt & Taylor, 2013). From boutique vendors and manufacturing companies to hotels and bands of musicians, public relations services on Twitter may be contracted to assist in the dissemination of positive information regarding business operations and drawing the focus of the target markets and relevant media outlets. Public relations on Twitter may also seek to prevent the destructive press from ruining the reputation of a company and the brands represented. If an organization has professionals with excellent written and verbal communication proficiencies coupled with the willingness to assist businesses, people, and organizations to draw media attention, it can effectively use Twitter for public relations. Twitter offers aspiring business proprietors a tool for the creation of their networks by sharing information with prospective customers, media, fellow competitors, and business experts.
To use Twitter for public relations, an organization should start by signing up the account (Saffer et al., 2013). The representatives chosen to run the Twitter account ought to make sure that the profile strikingly identifies the business and links are available to direct people to the organizational website or blog where they can learn more about the business and its products. Since the Twitter account does not give room for much detail, the representatives should briefly outline the products and provide a link where customers can gain knowledge about every product in an attractive manner. The selected representatives should establish a remarkable headline on Twitter to draw the attention of the users. Furthermore, the use of a conspicuous photograph of the organization as the profile picture could assist potential customers to identify the business easily.
The representatives selected to run the Twitter account should use the organization’s email address book to add customers, past shoppers, and associates automatically as friends (Saffer et al., 2013). They may as well employ the guidance offered in the account to connect with influential people and other potential customers. While seeking the best people to connect with, the representatives should not leave out individuals who can assist in the creation of a strong network, for instance, the ones who provide corresponding services, connections, or lead to potential customers, who fit the depiction of ideal shoppers. After establishing as many connections as possible, the representatives may start sharing thoughts, tips, posts, details regarding the organization and its products, and germane links to other social media sites. The messages shared on the Twitter account should seek to boost public relations in an economical approach to draw the focus of media and would-be customers while presenting information concerning crisis management. Presentation of valuable information will go a long way in boosting reputation as a market leader and promoting the sharing of messages with clients and other interested parties.
The representatives managing the Twitter account ought to establish conversations with the people they follow and befriend through commenting on their posts and responding positively whenever they react to details posted or distributed (Sweetser & Kelleher, 2011). Connecting with friends in other social media accounts such as Facebook can assist in broadening the network, meeting a huge number of potential customers, and positioning the organization in a manner that the existing customers will refer their friends, who may, in turn, become loyal customers. Finally, the representatives ought to concentrate on establishing connections with members from other forms of media with whom they may require communicating in an effort of acquiring more customers.
After signing up the Twitter account and establishing vital connections, the representatives managing the platform should use and develop the proficiencies required for the management of a thriving public relations strategy through taking part in the required training and learning from interaction with other professionals. Training programs in business communication, effective writing, public relations, advertisement, and marketing are valuable for such representatives (Sweetser & Kelleher, 2011). Although a degree is not necessary, it can assist in equipping a person with the knowledge needed to successfully manage the account and professionally engage in public relations. It is vital for the representatives to work jointly with graphic and website creators to come up with a visual representation of the organization. Apart from the logo, marketing collateral, encompassing letterheads, booklets, and business cards are crucial. Links to the organization’s website and blogs help in the creation of an online appeal.
Twitter and Public Relations
For the majority of business people, the application of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter for public relations has turned out to be fundamental. Organizations that employ successful social media strategies have been found to reach a wide scope of clients, audiences, and similar businesses, and may be deemed technologically proficient for the approach of running and upholding Twitter accounts. One of the benefits of the use of Twitter for public relations lies in its unlimited scope since the moment an organization embarks on its application, it is able to connect with customers from every corner across the globe. Since individuals around the world can read the messages posted on an organization’s Twitter account, it offers a broader scope when judged against any traditional type of advertisement (Sweetser & Kelleher, 2011). Nevertheless, since an organization may not have markets in some nations around the world, it can connect with potential customers in such nations via the Twitter account and ship the goods after payment.
It is easy for organizations to create and maintain communication with potential and current customers on Twitter accounts since they are free (Sweetser & Kelleher, 2011). When necessary, organizations may be compelled to hire the services of social networking professionals or a group of staff to manage Twitter accounts, as well as other social media platforms. Contrary to traditional types of advertisements, for instance, print and broadcast media, organizations can use as many Tweets as possible with the purpose of inundating the market with Twitter posts at no cost. An important advantage of the application of Twitter for an organization’s public relations approach is that it offers the company the capacity to connect and interrelate with its clients frequently. Attributable to the effective interaction with an organization’s staff, customers can follow organizational operations and ask questions regarding products, staff, services, or location to mention a few. A representative of an organization may be assigned the duty of responding to the questions and concerns posted on social media platforms such as Twitter, which demonstrates to both the existing and would-be clients the extent to which a company upholds positive relations as a means of caring for its customers.
Although many organizations in different sectors employ Twitter and other social media platforms for public relations, the ones that do it successfully develop a powerful reputation, which gives them a competitive advantage (Sweetser & Kelleher, 2011). A high percentage of customers is knowledgeable and identify clearly the dissimilarity between organizations that have a savvy Twitter approach and the ones that just swing rashly into social media devoid of a strategic plan. Irrespective of an organization’s line of operation, valuable public relations through Twitter enhances the success of the company. Moreover, transparency acts as a vital attribute of every successful organizational public relations approach. In a case where rumors are propagated with the aim of ruining a given organization, for instance, it can employ its Twitter account to instantly substantiate or rebuff the claims. Rather than employing traditional forms of press release designs that may be issued through televisions and newspapers, organizations can distribute the needed messages to its customers quickly via Twitter. Furthermore, customers may pose their inquiries and requests on an organization’s Twitter account for them to be addressed by the assigned staff.
The Benefits of a Twitter Account
It is indubitable that public relations experts are busy people since they have to juggle numerous customers, daily duties, and seek to become updated on the latest developments in their field of operations (DiStaso, McCorkindale & Wright, 2011). In this regard, Twitter acts as a good platform for balancing the personal brand and the customer’s work. Indeed, it is evident that the development of personal brand may in reality assist in the daily public relations tasks. Twitter is amid the best platform that enables an organization to remain on top of instantaneous inclinations and news. Through following reporters, competitors, and other social media sites within the line of operation, public relations professionals can keep an eye on what is occurring in real-time. The application of Twitter enables public relations experts to notice new ideas and provide timely comments to the customers and other concerned parties.
It is apparent that public relations can arise through an organizational or personal account although interrelating with individuals through the company’s account builds interactions that are beneficial to the business (DiStaso et al., 2011). Nevertheless, when conversations are established on a personal level with the customers rather than taking a brand approach, there is room for a better and more adapted correlation. This is because the customers begin to understand that the company has hired competent personnel that can assist them in their areas of difficulty. Furthermore, such a valuable interaction results in the customers referring their friends since they believe that they will obtain the same positive treatment. Such a connection is not possible when communicating from the representative’s personal account.
Twitter and other forms of social media are making it easy for organizations to interrelate with the public. Human beings have at all times shared true and false rumors regarding different organizations and their products (DiStaso et al., 2011). With the emergence of Twitter and other types of social media and their gaining recognition, it is evident that public relations professionals have an effective way of sharing information regarding organizations and their products or services. The greatest dissimilarity between the traditional form of communication regarding a company and the contemporary means of conversation via Twitter lies in the viral attribute of the latter. When a person mentions the name of the organization on Twitter or Facebook, there is a likelihood of many other individuals noticing it, which means that it is considerably simpler for the shared posts to spread quickly and widely. Moreover, such communication has the possibility of getting to a broad scope of clients across the globe. For companies that are not actively using Twitter for public relations, they are missing a golden opportunity of spreading important messages and preventing valueless and even detrimental communication occurring concerning them and their products.
Many reporters, bloggers, and writers make their accounts identifiable on Twitter. The use of Twitter for public relations offers a beneficial means of introducing the organization, its operations, and products (DiStaso et al., 2011). Apart from establishing communication with customers and the public at large, Twitter helps in connecting with influential people who could boost the success of the company. One approach of doing this is by following people such as journalists and authors. Another way is through the provision of information being sought by journalists regarding the industry. This gives an opportunity for the public relations professionals to begin chatting with them while being careful not to oversell the company or its products. Initiating communication with journalists regarding a previous article or inquiring of their sentiments about a given subject attracts their attention to the business. In some cases, reporters could employ Twitter to affirm that they are in search of information concerning a given topic. If the public relations professionals in a company have such information, it would be crucial to respond to such tweets. Such approaches could lead to journalists or reporters deciding to write about the organization in a manner that will boost its reputation and profitability.
Twitter enables public relations professionals in a company to establish communication and share ideas, knowledge, and information with people of different caliber. It enables the users to be lively and choosy in their experience of marketing, media hype, and public relations. This explains why Twitter has turned out to be a valuable approach for public relations since it encourages dialogue between a company and its customers at a higher level when judged against traditional media. The task of public relations professionals is to connect the gap involving a company and the public through displaying the activities of the organization in a manner that is favorable and establishing the best approach of incorporating the responses provided. Nonetheless, the tools and platforms of sharing ideas with the public have differed considerably with the development of social media (DiStaso et al., 2011). For instance, Twitter offers organizations the opportunity to interrelate directly with the public in a platform where response is quickly provided.
The use of Twitter for public relations makes the professionals collaborate in the generation of content, proactive in finding the required details, and cautious in tackling social media aspects (DiStaso et al., 2011). In this regard, Twitter has obtained extensive consideration in studies for its reinforcement of public dealings. Attributable to the application of Twitter, public relations professionals are convinced that the Internet has enabled them to facilitate their roles and enhance organizational success. Twitter has definitely generated an eventual global village in the business world and totally changed organizational communication which allows potential and current customers, in addition to stakeholders to remain up to date with the occurrences in a company. Whilst newspapers and broadcast media such as TVs dominated the medium in the past, Twitter current provides equal access to information for everyone interested in knowing the progress of a given company.
Twitter compels organizations and government institutions to approach the course of communication with a novel sense of precision (DiStaso et al., 2011). After incorporating Twitter into the public relations crusade, representatives in a company ought to assess how it influences organizational success. Public relations experts ought to join hands with information technology (IT) specialists in the protection of an organization’s reputation while controlling and managing detrimental effects. If proper monitoring is not regularly conducted, numerous threats such as hackers who get hold of confidential information may ruin business operations. Building good relationship with the public through Twitter ensures that the identification of suspicious actions and information regarding a company is reported and the negative effects prevented before worsening of the situation.
With the application of twitter, public relations are no more a one-way progression but a consistent dialogue involving a company and every interested individual across the globe. Devoid of all its advantages, the Twitter has resulted in a number of difficulties for public relations professionals. Though it is easy to reach existing and would-be customers through Twitter, fragmentation, intricacy of developing extensive details, restricted number of characters and time limitations make it difficult to follow every detail and link provided on Twitter, which means that some vital information does not reach the intended audiences. Moreover, upholding the novel message structure has become difficult due to fragmentation of the audiences. To rise above the existing challenges, public relations practitioners have to develop innovative, resourceful, and striking communication that successfully represents the organization and its products irrespective of the anticipated audience (DiStaso et al., 2011).
The utilization of Twitter has gradually gained value in the modern era, particularly in marketing and public relations endeavors. Social media acts as a praiseworthy means of establishing communication with buyers, making and managing connections with clients, over and above influencing other stakeholders. For executive officials of big or intercontinental organizations, regular application of social media apart from Twitter, for example, Facebook, may be tricky. Such executives usually have very little spare time that they can use to write or react to messages on social media. Nevertheless, due to the concise messages in Twitter, the busy executives have an easier time placing their updates or reading the posts of other people such as clients within a short time. Twitter enables companies to share information such as product descriptions, information on open days or giveaways, and concerns of new products, as well as links to pictures and blogs where interested parties can find more details.
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