Beauty PR Essentials: How Social Media and PR Work Together
July 3, 2023

Beauty PR Essentials: How Social Media and PR Work Together

social media calendar

Author: Julia Kendrick

Today, most brands in the aesthetics, beauty, and wellness industries have a presence on social media, because that is where their target audiences are spending their time. However, many brand owners and marketers are unaware of the value that social media can add within their PR strategy. For example, when social media and PR strategies are aligned, brands can reach bigger audiences, build a deeper level of trust, and make stronger connections with customers, the media and influencers.

In this article, I explain the impact that social media has had on traditional PR and share practical advice and tips to help brands get social media and PR working together to drive bigger and better results.

What does PR mean in social media?

Since the early 2000s, social media has become a significant channel of communication between brands and their target audiences, both through organic posts with their “communities” and via advertising. When we discuss PR and social media, we refer to organic posts (also known as owned media) – such as when a brand announces a new product launch on its own Instagram channel or website.When a brand’s social media content is shared by a third party, or they are proactively mentioned in a third party’s social media post, this is known as “earned media” aka publicity or PR.

When we think about how PR and social media work together, we first need to clarify the goal of each type of activity:

  • PR wants to increase awareness of a brand among target audiences and influence what they say or think about it.
  • Social Media wants target audiences to notice, share, and communicate with the brand – and secure media coverage.

As you can see, the goals of each channel overlap which is why they work really well together and activities should align as much as possible.

Four ways social media has impacted PR

The Internet and social media have vastly changed the landscape for PR professionals, journalists, and wider brand marketing teams. Broadcasting a press release to a list of media contacts and intimate lunches still holds value in the world of PR, but there are now many more ways in which media relationships can be effectively built and nurtured to deliver results for brand awareness and sales. Below are the main ways that social media has impacted PR:

  1. Communication: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have created a new and more conversational channel of communication between brands, consumers, and the media. Aesthetics, beauty, and wellness brands can now build a personality on social media and interact on a deeper level with their target audiences. This is a stark contrast to how a press release communicates with audiences by making a statement or announcement (via the media) with little opportunity for direct feedback from the end customer.
  2. Influence: If you’re creative, knowledgeable, and engaging you may have what it takes to become a social media influencer! Thanks to social media it is not just celebrities who have the power to influence which brands and products audiences will covet. Seemingly ordinary or everyday people have built up significant followings who trust their advice. Brands now aim to collaborate with the most credible and trusted influencers to promote their products. Social media influencers can provide endorsement for your brand, service, or product in an authentic way and help you to build trust with your target audiences.
  3. Reach: Every time a brand’s content is shared on a social media platform, either by the brand, or by a third party such as a customer, influencer, journalist, or retailer, they are reaching multiple users and increasing their brand reach. With millions of users online daily, the potential to reach huge audiences is very real and brands are no longer limited by readerships figures (and timelines) of print titles.
  4. Always on: The Internet and social media are available 24/7, all around the world – meaning your brand can reach and engage audiences wherever and whenever they are online. PR news can be published at anytime or when you know your target audiences are most receptive to new messages. However, the need for newness is constant and PR messages can become old quickly.

The key difference between social media and traditional PR

In traditional PR, the media representative or journalist decides how to relay the message from the brand to the consumer and this in turn may influence their buying behaviour. Social media has brought more direct conversation to the world of PR between brands, consumers, and the media. For example, a journalist may post about a new product on Instagram and their followers may comment on the post to share their opinions and then receive responses from the journalist, the brand, other users, and so a conversation begins which provides valuable insight, brand reach, and relationship building for the brand.

The benefits of aligning social media and PR

Within your business it’s important to encourage collaboration between your PR and social media teams – whether they are in-house or agency based. Social media and PR share similar goals, so when both activities are aligned, brands can expect to achieve better results! Below are the key benefits brands can expect from aligning social media and PR:

  • Improved social media presence: incorporating brand PR messages and press features into your content strategy can further establish your brand position and help engage target audiences.
  • Bigger reach: social media can help your brand PR messages reach new audiences (including consumers, journalists, and influencers) at scale, ensure your content is engaging and shareable to watch your views grow.
  • Build trust: just like traditional PR, social media content should be used to build and maintain trust with your target audiences, always communicating a consistent and clear brand image.
  • Better insight: encourage and welcome feedback from your social media community to feed into and optimise your future brand and PR strategy.
  • Generate sales/enquiries/bookings: all of the above should work together to stimulate demand and drives incremental sales for your business.

6 ways social media can support your PR activity

Social media channels can be a huge support within your PR strategy; their potential audience reach and power to nurture meaningful connections should always be considered. We recommend brands utilise social media to:

  1. Make announcements, including exclusive content
  2. Amplify and share PR messages
  3. Support influencer marketing collaborations (paid or unpaid)
  4. Understand conversations amongst target audiences
  5. Build relations with journalists, influencers, VIPs, and KOLs
  6. Proactively manage negative press or other crises

How to incorporate social media into your PR strategy

Getting started with social media is easy and you will start seeing results such as reach and impressions straight away. Below are a few effective ways to support your PR strategy with social media:

  • Build a brand presence on the same social media channels as your target audience
  • Publish key messages and engaging content across social media in a consistent and timely manner
  • Utilise hashtags in every post, story, and reel to boost your discoverability and reach
  • Add social share buttons to your website, blog, and online press releases
  • Collaborate with influencers in an authentic and creative way  

Kendrick PR specialise in winning PR strategies

An effective PR strategy can raise brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, increase sales and, so much more – trust us, we know what works! At Kendrick PR, we consistently create winning formulas of strategic and tactical PR support for premium beauty, lifestyle and wellness brands and aesthetic businesses with clear ambitions for growth. If that sounds like you, let’s talk about creating your winning PR formula. Please do get in touch and schedule your complimentary discovery call with one of our accomplished PR experts.