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Importance of Social Media & SEO for Public Relations

Posted on May 2nd, 2011
Written by Lee Odden
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    Social SEO PRMany would call the age we’re in, “Information Overload“.

    Consider: Facebook is approaching 700 million users and Google handles over 11 billion queries per month. World-wide there are over 5 billion mobile subscribers (9 out of 10 in the U.S.) and every two days there is more information created than between the dawn of civilization and 2003. The age of communications and digital relationships between brands, the media and consumers has changed faster and in ways few could have anticipated.

    With an ever increasing universe of data and ways to connect, PR and communications professionals are in a compelling position to master the new rules for consumer information discovery, consumption and sharing. As participants and content creators savvy about the search and social web, PR professionals can directly impact online brand visibility, customer engagement and acquisition.

    A big part of how Public Relations pros can show more value for their efforts is to understand how the intersection of search and social media provides a powerful means to reach and engage media and consumers that inspires interaction, sharing and meaningful business outcomes.

    Some of the fundamentals online PR and communications practitioners should seek to understand in the world of Social Media and SEO include:

    • Stay on top of future trends in search, social media and content marketing for PR
    • Gain insight into how social and search strategy can amplify media and public relations outcomes
    • Understand how to develop search & social personas – think like your customer’s customer
    • Be able to conduct strategic and on-demand research for keywords and topics relevant to search and/or the social web
    • Know best practices of SEO for Blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and any other digital media produced for news distribution
    • High level of expertise with tools to improve quality, efficiency and scale

    Call it convergence or consolidation, but no matter how you look at it, marketing and public relations expertise is unifying to bring brand messages and influence to the new search and social web.  It’s a compelling thing for PR professionals to gain an understanding of how search and social media channels can improve reach and placements. It’s even more impressive to step into the shoes of their customer’s customer as a marketer would and really understand how news is discovered, consumed and shared.

    If you’re a public relations professional, have you begun implementing search and social media optimization into your news content strategy? How are you educating yourself and your teams on these best practices?

    Later today I’ll be speaking to a soon to graduate class at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN about these topics and I’m also giving a 1-hour presentation at the upcoming Vocus User’s conference in Baltimore to a group of experienced PR professionals on Integrated Social SEO & PR.

    While I have a few ideas and expertise to share, I’m most looking forward to the discussion and questions unique to each group.  If you have questions about incorporating Social SEO into your news content, leave a comment below.