Welcome to our monthly feature The PR Desk! Written by PR professional Heather Travis, it guides bloggers on the ins and outs of navigating the world of PR agencies and brands. This month, Heather explores social media platform choices and telling your story.
A lot has been made of the recent updates to Instagram and its move towards more Snapchat-like stories. There have been arguments on the merits of each platform’s advantages and a good many bloggerati have planted their flag poles in the ground and declared their allegiances — as if there's a light side and dark side, a wrong choice or a right one.
All of this has been adding to existing confusion surrounding the multitude of platforms out there, and "which ones you should be on, NOW!" As bloggers, writers, content creators or — wait for it — just humans who enjoy interacting with others, we have a variety of choices to make when it comes to our participation in the online world; just like we do for our participation in the world IRL. Some of us are introverts and prefer smaller, quieter spaces. Others like it loud and seek out similar.
instead of focusing on which platforms to use, think about why you want to use the platform and how it can help you tell your story.
So when it comes to our choices on social media platforms and how we use them, the choice is yours. What makes you and your content shine? It’s not about what everyone else is doing; it’s about what story you want to tell. There's no light side or dark side, right or wrong. Snapchat and Instagram won’t be around forever; just like previous social media platforms they'll fade as our tastes and culture evolve.
I’ve always compared social media to a cocktail party, and again this analogy comes in handy. Parties, like social media platforms, are ubiquitous. It’s what type of party, how it’s organized, and what food is served that will change with the times. We as people, as participants, in these parties still seek out the same things though: connection and interaction. We used to mail out invitations, dress up and serve Jello molds at parties; now we send e-vites or texts, wear ripped denim and there’s sushi. Times have changed. Social media platforms change. How you use these platforms will change too, so instead of focusing on which platforms to use, think about why you want to use the platform and how it can help you tell your story.
Authenticity will always cut through the clutter. If you're true to yourself and your brand (the authenticity you curate online), you and the audience you seek out will find each other and you’ll have one heck of a party.
It’s your story to tell, the platforms are just there to help you. If you think about them this way you’ll do less of "keeping up with the Joneses" and more authentic brand building, which is always a great strategy.
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- PR Desk: Five Things to Do Before You Pitch
- PR Desk: Establishing a Relationship with PR Agencies
- PR Desk: How To Find the Right PR Contact
Need Help With Your Branding?
Heather will be running a session at FBC2016 on Key Messaging For Bloggers – How To Get Your Message out to Readers, Brands and PR Agencies. Brittany Stager will be running a session on Visual Branding for You and Your Blog. You’ll learn everything you need to know about getting your personality and message out to the people you want to reach!
Heather Travis is a PR professional and lover of all things creative. She has extensive experience developing and implementing integrated public relations and marketing programs for agricultural brands, producers and processors, as well as high end sporting goods. She’s a DIY junkie with a mean power tool addiction, and can often be found painting, refinishing, and scouring both junk yards and antique markets for her next fix … err, piece of content for her blog heatherinheels.com. Find Heather on Twitter @heathertravis and Instagram @heathertravis.