Brian Solis: PR Industry Not Ready for Niche Social Networks
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Brian Solis: PR Industry Not Ready for Niche Social Networks

High-profile digital comms expert Brian Solis believes that Twitter's new promoted tweets function is set to rapidly shift the way organisations can engage with their consumers online, but has warned that the PR industry is not ready for the changes ahead.

Paul Holmes

By Arun Sudhaman

High-profile digital comms expert Brian Solis believes that Twitter's new promoted tweets function is set to rapidly shift the way organisations can engage with their consumers online, but has warned that the PR industry is not ready for the changes ahead.

Solis spoke to the Holmes Report after addressing the World Public Relations Forum in Stockholm earlier this week. He is due to present via a live video-link at tomorrow's Social Media Marketing 2010 event in London.

The American pointed to Twitter's new promoted tweets capability as an ideal way for brands to "eliminate noise" and find consumers that are truly interested in their communication.

"If you look at how Twitter is going to start include promoted tweets into the stream, they are going to find the context and then introduce this tweet to a very curated network of individuals," said Solis.

"They are able to use the technology to identify all of the people that are interested in a niche through their own words," added Solis, pointing out that Facebook's 'Like' button could achieve a similar effect.

By focusing on these "nicheworks", said Solis, organisations can create a "social database of interested individuals."

Solis used Starbucks as an example of brand that has already started experimenting in this area. Not only is the iconic coffee chain using promoted tweets, it is also, said Solis, employing software service Klout to identify influencers by topic.

"I'm definitely reinvigorated," said Solis, who heads Silicon Valley agency FutureWorks. "The idea of a social database is powerful."

However, Solis said that few brands were experimenting enough and also voiced his belief that the PR industry is not getting to grips with social media. "That’s why I spend so much of my time focusing on other disciplines," he said. "Whether it’s marketing or advertising."

Solis, who has written several books on social media, added that his next area of focus would look at how digital innovation is changing how companies are structured.

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