By: Hope Salyer
We’ve all seen the meme, YouTube video, Kardashian GIF or tweet that went viral. With the new age of social media continuously growing, you never know what or who is going to be the next ruler of the internet. From Justin Bieber and Tori Kelly’s singing videos to singing dogs and cats, the world is at our fingertips every time we post something online. But how can someone with 62 followers become the next viral sensation? The answer is simple. It’s your social sphere.
What is a social sphere?
It’s basically a giant web of connected people, and you are the center of that web. Let me explain what I mean. In the center, we have Kenzie. Kenzie shares a video with her 62 followers of her sister dancing. Of those 62 followers, five of them retweet the video. Not only has her original 62 followers seen the video, but so have all of the followers of those other five people. Now let’s say that out of the five people who shared the original tweet, each of them has 10 followers who retweeted the video. Now, the video is up to 55 retweets, and anyone who follows those 55 other people has seen the video. This cycle continuously repeats itself.
This web of never-ending people is your social sphere.
How can PR practitioners use their social sphere to their advantage?
PR is all about building relationships, and social media is no different. By PR practitioners taking the time to build relationships with journalists, vendors, other PR practitioners, and anyone in their industry, they are able to fine-tune their social spheres.
Say you work for the Detroit Tigers PR team, and you spend time building a relationship with Jason Beck, a Tiger’s beat writer. You’ve maintained a relationship with Beck for years, and you each have a mutually-beneficial relationship to help each other out.
Now let’s say you take a new job with the Denver Broncos. You don’t know any journalists in the area, and you need to get a press release out on your very first day. You tweet about needing a new contact in the Denver area, and Beck sees the tweet. Now your social sphere comes into play. It just so happens that Beck’s high school friend knows Nicki Jhabvala, a beat writer for the Denver Broncos. When Beck retweets your need for a Denver beat writer and Beck’s friend sees it, he contacts Jhabvala, and now you have a new contact and your press release is covered!
How important is your social sphere?
Your social sphere is critical to your professional life. By building and maintaining relationships online, you are able to utilize your social sphere, allowing you to have better professional contacts, development, and resources you might not have had otherwise.
Hope Salyer is a junior public relations major and journalism and communication double minor. Hope is serving as the Chief Financial Officer of EMU PRSSA. This is Hope’s first semester serving for the PRSSA E-board. A Michigan native, she hopes to start her career working for an agency in the Detroit area. Her dream is to become the public relations coordinator for the Detroit Tigers. Contact Hope on Twitter @hsalyer01 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.