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Social Media: Advertising or PR?

Social Media: Advertising or PR?

Every business wants something different from Social Media. Every business REQUIRES something different from Social Media. It is key for your business to establish what is required. It is also key to set REASONABLE targets. The majority of agencies will not be able to make your wedding video a “viral sensation”. I am not saying that it is impossible but the odds of your wedding video being successful without you looking like a fool, will be low.

It’s always hard to know what to expect when investing in Social Media management for your business; the social landscape for marketers is still a place where rules are yet to be written. Some companies view their Social Media as a form of PR because of the convenient, fast paced interaction between brand and customer. Social Media is a real-time, open dialog between company and customers. This environment requires the kind of rapid turnaround and message controls that PR groups excel at. This means, you wouldn’t be wrong in saying Social Media is, in fact, PR. It is important to be VERY careful when playing with real time response and reaction. It is also very important to not be a complete fool, like our friends Kmart.


Sending condolences: Fine. Adding your promotional Hashtag: #NotFine

“I am very sorry for your loss. BUY MY PRODUCT!”.

Let’s not just focus on the negative and see how well it can be done.


Great job, Seamless. The food was still late but you can’t win them all. Let’s hope that Amy’s food arrived and was worth the wait.

On the other hand, Social Media also allows you to build a large following, sell and inform people. Social doesn’t have to be used to ensure that existing customers are happy, it can be used to attract new customers. If you’re pushing out information about your brand and what you offer as a company to a large number of people then that is, of course, advertising, So…In simple terms, Social Media can be used for PR and Advertising. It depends on what you’re expectations are and what you are looking to achieve from the use of Social Media and what goals you use to define success.

If you want to engage in conversation, build and maintain a healthy relationship with your customers and post information about the company then your effort on Social are probably going to be PR orientated.

If you want to build a large following, tap into real-time conversations in your area of business and make sales through Social then your efforts are going to be predominantly sales orientated.

Essentially, Social Media is both but you should put more emphasis on what suits your company without losing track of the other. Is it a cop out to start the blog asking if Social Media is PR or Advertising and end the piece with the answer being both? Yes. Definitely. Send your complaints to @CHCDigital and our customer service team will look after you.

Does your business require digital advertising & PR? What a coincidence! That’s exactly what we specialise in. Get in touch!

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