Promptness & Relevance: PR mantra on social media

Time and again this amazing micro-blogging platform, Twitter has stumped me with its aura. I simply keep on falling in love with it every other day for being so informative and agile. Really the agility of the platform keeps you on your toes, more so if you are an entrepreneur trying hard to make your mark through this platform. Here, I share an example of promptness and relevance, which I call the PR mantra to be successful on Twitter. This morning I came across a tweet that shared a news item which said that according to a research conducted at Stanford University, organic food wasn’t found to be healthier than that food grown in a conventional manner. Now, that was a shocking research results, though I am used to face such counter-intuitive research results in my research career.

I do not consume any organic food, but have heard through various sources that it does make a difference to health. So, I wondered how the research results differ from the common notion about organic food. I thought to check with two organic food e-commerce players I was aware of – @foodmandi and @farm2kitchen and made a tweet with mention to both at 10.25 am.

I didn’t receive any reply from either of them for couple of hours. I wondered if these brands considered Twitter to be a key platform, it’s a sin for them not to reach on such tweet where you are directly put on spot. If I were the brand manager of the brand, I would grab this opportunity to educate my audience and strengthen top of the mind recall for my brand. Guess what, within few hours I receive this tweet from Farm2Kitchen.  

 

They attempted a blogpost, where they clearly explained the contextual differences of US and India and why the research results highlighted by Stanford University couldn’t be relevant in Indian context. They went on further to share some stats about the amount of pesticides that were used in India and the ill-effects of them that were experienced.

If you are a brand trying to build your mark with social media; here are few key takeaways:

  • Keep your eyes open. Though simple and often repeatedly advised, it does take an effort to practice it with due diligence. For e.g. the last tweet (as of 1530 hours of 5th Sept) from @Foodmandi was at 1304 hrs on 3rd Sept. Now, one could say, its their choice to be responsive or not, but in that case they are mis-leveraging the strengths of the medium.
  • Respect social media users who mention you. It is an opportunity to converse with your audience when they mention you. It is always advisable to respond promptly. In this case, though Farm2Kitchen started working on the blogpost, an immediate response to my tweet that they will get back soon would have been appreciable.
  • Leverage every opportunity to educate target audience. Educating target audience should be ideally a proactive measure. However, when a controversial situation arises in your product category / service, it could be an ideal opportunity to strike the chord with your command on the category and help educate the target audience; as, in this case Farm2Kitchen has done exceptionally well (You got to read their blogpost, to understand why I have made such a strong comment!).
  • Ensure you maintain a top of the mind recall. When you answer such controversies in a convincing manner, this creates a substantial chance for the brand to remain in the top of the mind recall state for the users.

Gone are the days when PR exercises were meant to be just shining on traditional media where brands had ample time. Today it is an era of real-time media. So brands, -“Be Prompt & Relevant”, to build your PR in an effective manner with judicious use of social media platforms. As in this case, Farm2Kitchen created relevance through their educational blogpost and made prompt use of Twitter to disseminate the message further.

Anandan

I am presently employed as Associate Director (Paid Media) at Performics.Resultrix, a Publicis Groupe company. Prior to this role I was employed with HCL Technologies as Senior Manger (Digital Marketing). My earlier digital marketing assignments were with ZenithOptimediaIndia (Publicis Groupe) and AdGlobal360. You can follow me on Twitter @anandan22 for all conversations on digital marketing.

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