Social Media PR: Utilizing The World’s Largest Online Focus Group

PilmerPRIn years past, social media was viewed as a means for expressing oneself and saying whatever came to mind so others could hear. Sounds like something teenagers would latch onto, right? Phrases like “social media PR” were not even considered and that was just the way things were. Today social media is used as the same babbling platform on one front but a powerful business tool on another. In fact, the fastest growing demographic segment in social media consists of those that are over thirty-five. If that blew your mind, then the fact that teenagers are actually beginning to tire from social media, namely Facebook, will knock your socks off (source). So why is it so imperative that businesses even care about what is going on in social media? For those that think social media has no place in the corporate circle, here’s why:

  1. Social media offers anyone free use of the world’s largest focus group.

One great thing about social media is that people are inclined to be perfectly honest regarding products and services while using social media. This is mostly due to the anonymity that is afforded through not being face-to-face. Sure, the feedback may sting a little, but that provides more motivation to act on improving whatever your business provides. This makes research a lot easier in some respects because so many people are so willing to offer their opinion through this avenue.

  1. Effective social media PR has been proven to boost sales.

In a recent study, 48 percent of marketers noticed an improvement in sales due to social media campaigns (source). Why is that? Because, when an organization monitors its social media, it is strategically making the changes that the consumer wants, not just arbitrarily experimenting. This, in turn, will have a positive effect on things such as SEOmedia coverage and overall online PR success. It’s like trying to hit the bull’s eye from two feet away rather than ten feet.

  1. More ears and less mouth is a recipe for social media PR success.

Can you imagine being at a party and just barging into a conversation without any idea of what is being talked about? It is fair to say that all parties involved would think you are inconsiderate and would likely discount anything you say from then on. The same idea applies in a business’s social media PR. Listening to the conversation is essential before you step in and offer your two cents. If you listen to what is being said in social media and make well thought-out comments, your words will likely go a greater distance with consumers.

  1. Good social media PR entails turning knowledge capacity into knowledge transfer.

Great, you listened to what is being said out there and you have a pocket full of notes. Simply being able to take information away is not enough. Much like a beautiful marble sculpture, you must use what you know to refine and smooth your messaging in such a way that those you just listened to will, in turn, listen to you. Once this is accomplished you are well on your way growing your client base and getting your name out there.


In many ways, an organization’s social media strategy is an art that takes a lot of practice to perfect (that is why there’s a whole industry formed around it). Whether you use social media daily or find using a computer to be a hair-raising, white knuckle experience, hopefully these tips shed a little light on an area that can be improved upon in your sector of business.

About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.

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