Modern media has grown exponentially in the past few decades, via the internet. This has allowed far more consumers to obtain information much faster than ever before. One of the primary ways that today’s society is consuming media, i.e. information and entertainment, is through social media. When online businesses and media outlets had first begun to shape the world that we live in, they were primarily managed by smaller communities, which operated on a limited amount of social media sites, as well as other similar platforms. But through the expansion of available information, such businesses were able to expand their reach by building business relationships.
In the business world, the ‘relationship’ shared between people refers to the association of multiple individuals, companies, or entities, between one another. These relationships are usually solidified and later maintained through legal documents, contracts, and agreements. On the other hand, ‘reach’ refers to the amount of people who are exposed to a certain form of media at any given time. When we observe sites like Facebook, Amazon, and even YouTube, we can conclude that more companies are utilizing the power of ‘reach’ through individuals, while maintaining a ‘relationship’ with the social media platforms, which produce content for advertising and/or promoting products and services, for example. The ways in which public relations are becoming less focused on media relations, and more so on influencer relations include, but are not limited to:
- The profitability of individual influencers over media organizations and assets
- The influence that businesses can have on individual consumers, in comparison to their influence on other similar media organizations
- The ever-increasing ability that influencers have to market products and services to a target audience as efficiently, or even more efficiently, than modern media organizations
- The opportunities that businesses have to reach a wider audience by way of influencer ads, which can be targeted at specific groups of consumers, even if the relationship between the business being advertised and the consumer has not yet been established
When we look at the people, businesses, and entities that are shaping modern media the most, we can see that more often, this ability is being given to individual influencers, rather then communities. Businesses are paying more attention to influencer relations than ever before. This is because as it becomes easier to send and receive information, the ability to ‘reach’ more people, even without a pre-existing ‘relationship’ having been established, is becoming more and more prominent.
Since digital marketers are using social media with a plan to initially ‘reach’ consumers in order to develop a long-lasting business ‘relationship’, it is less common to see community management being utilized by digital marketers. Instead, they are starting to turn more to social business in order to obtain more potential consumers of their content, so that they can later become customers.
With social business being integrated into the daily online activities of consumers, such as social media platforms, we can observe how public relations are be maintained through the influencers, who are primarily used to ‘reach’ a wider audience. Since the influencer has an existing ‘relationship’ with the consumer, this makes influencer relations more effective, while social business is becoming more prevalent.