If I ‘follow’ you will you ‘follow’ me?

Can you believe that social media has been around for a decade?  It still feels very new to me.

Technology is rapidly changing and PR professionals have to jump on the bandwagon or risk falling behind.  The Monday Morning Motivator nailed the reason why companies need to adapt social media; If people can’t find you online — especially in social-media channels — you are invisible. If you do not acclimate yourself to social media now, you will soon fall far behind your competitors.”1[1]

 I’m hoping to build on my social media skills (albeit, they are somewhat limited at the moment).   I want to understand the intricacies around social media and how I can create a strategy that engages my audience.

I think back to Grunig’s Four Models of PR2[2], social media falls into the two-way symmetrical communications that involves a participatory audience.   Gone are the days of one-way asymmetrical communications where corporations push messages to their audiences – we are in a world of knowledge sharing, where everyone has an opinion.

So, what’s the fuss all about?  I thought by now PR professionals would have this social media thing all worked out, but that’s not necessarily true.  Many articles, courses, and workshops are offered to professionals on how to use web 2.0, so it’s still somewhat of a grey area – you just have to jump in.

My curiosity has led me to take action and sign up for the Social Media Research and Techniques course at McMaster University.  But my mind reels with questions!

  • How do I attract new ‘likes’ and ‘followers’?
  • What is the best way to keep my audience engaged?
  • What if someone posts something negative on my company’s social media page?

Stay tuned . . .


[2] The Importance of the Four Models of Public Relations, accessed May 12, 2012.  http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall99/westbrook/models.htm


7 thoughts on “If I ‘follow’ you will you ‘follow’ me?

  1. I just learned about Grunig’s models of PR recently – good call citing that! It must be difficult for some companies to adjust their communication to make it two-way, and allowing feedback from social media channels, where that wasn’t an option before.

  2. I think you pose some very good questions. With regards to your first question, I share the same sentiments. Being new to the blogging world myself, I’m finding that it’s easy to get a lot of views on a page yet hard to get viewers to follow and like.

      1. Well, there are many advantages, but wouldn’t you want to develop an objective first so that you attract your targeted audience? That’s what puzzles me at times. As far as advantages go, I would think, promoting your brand or company would be a primary aspect of being “liked”.

      2. @dcavasin: Good thinking regarding goals and target audiences.

        Don’t get me wrong: Being “liked” can be a good indication that people find your posts valuable, and on some platforms there might be other advantages too. I just want us to think more about what we’re trying to accomplish, instead of trying to get “likes” for “likes'” sake. (Does that make sense?)

  3. Very good question regarding what to do if someone posts a negative comment on your companies webpage. I guess it would depend on how they deal with other issues. I definitely think that if it isn’t a rude or derogatory comment, and written in a professional manner, it would be best to answer the question directly and honestly.

    1. Good question and good shot at the answer too! Honesty and transparency are important when you’re participating in two-way communication online. Dealing with negative feedback (instead of trying to sweep it under the rug) is a necessary part of representing a company (or yourself) on social media channels. We’ll be talking about this more in class.

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