Think visually, says Kris Ruby of PR and social media marketing firm Ruby Media Group.
“The future of social media marketing is more visual storytelling,” she adds. “As we have seen with the popularity of Instagram and the changes with the Facebook timeline for brand pages, there is an increased shift to tell the story through compelling graphics and not text.”
We recently checked in with Kris to get her take on how to use social media to effectively leverage your brand.
What should we know about you?
My name is Kris Ruby and I am the president of Ruby Media Group, a public relations and social media company in Westchester, Greenwich and Manhattan. I graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication with a degree in PR and started my company shortly after graduating. I have been in the business for more than five years. We have clients in a variety of industries. I am also a frequent TV contributor on all things social media and tech trend related on FOX, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and countless other networks.
Tell us about Ruby Media Group. When and why did you start the company?
I started the company because I wanted to help business owners expand their social media presence. A few years into the business, I was hired to do PR for the launch of a new retail store in Westchester County. Shortly after, many other businesses began coming to Ruby Media Group for PR services. I realized I had a great penchant for PR as well as social media and wanted to help companies publicize themselves in integrated ways utilizing new media.
What sets you apart from other PR and social media agencies?
What sets Ruby Media Group apart is our integration of PR and social media. We use social media as a tool for PR, rather than as a vehicle for it. There is a big difference. We believe that by leveraging a client’s social media, we can help them get more PR hits for the right stories to get the word out.
We see social media as an integrative part of a client’s PR strategy. Every time our clients get press hits, for example, we share their press hits in a custom PRESS album we created for them on their Facebook pages.
The other big difference from a social media perspective is the creation of customized content for our clients’ marketing strategies. We spend a great deal of time every month creating custom editorial content calendars for our clients.
How did you get to be such an expert on social media?
By the time I graduated, I had 13 internships in the communications field at some of the top companies including E! Entertainment, CBS Domestic Television Distribution, Morgan Stanley, Sirius Radio and countless others.
While I was a student at BU, the PR curriculum was changing to integrate social media. My case studies in the field when I started my company helped me to become an expert. I like to think that we continue to become experts on a daily basis in whatever field we are in, and that this is a process that continues to grow as the industry changes.
An “expert” is not a status to aspire to, rather, it is a journey in your field that you grow with as the industry changes. I think there are a lot of people out there who throw this term around loosely without truly achieving “expert” status at any one thing, only the next “hot thing.” I was behind the social media revolution from the beginning. I understand the technology and am also part of the digital revolution.
What excites you about using social media to grow business?
What excites me is leveraging social media to help build a business’s brand presence. I get excited when my clients get press hits. Nothing in this world excites me more than getting a Google alert with my client’s name in it. I immediately start pasting up the press clipping for them and share the press hit. I love the feeling!
What do you think are the most common mistakes business owners make when it comes to social media marketing?
I think one of the most common mistakes business owners make when it comes to social media is they make it all about themselves or their company. They forget to make the content engaging and make it too self-promotional.
I also think business owners are not careful enough about what they post. For example, I have seen one company post a photo of a whiteboard where if you zoom in you can actually see a client’s name and the cost next to it. I have also seen a company boast on Twitter about how much their revenues grew this year. I don’t think that’s good marketing. Client confidentiality should be kept intact, and certain things are not meant to be posted.
The tool is very powerful, but when there is little humility and a lot of ego involved, I think it has a reverse effect on the message you are trying to share.
At minimum, what should every business owner be doing with social media marketing?
Every business owner should have a digital strategy in 2014 and custom content creation. And if they can’t do that, they should outsource to a company like Ruby Media Group that can do it for them.
What brands do you follow for inspiration for social media marketing? Who do you think is doing it right?
NYCPRGirls is a blog that I think is doing it right. I love all of their content and always read everything that comes in from the brand. I find it helpful and often pass it on to my colleagues for useful reading. They are doing it right because they put out interesting content that is easy to read and is visually appealing.
Social media marketing gets most of the buzz these days, but what types of traditional PR/Marketing do you think is still effective and still important for businesses to try?
I think traditional PR will be getting more of the buzz in 2014. There will be a renaissance of traditional PR as brands look to adapt their PR strategies in the New Year. PR creates the content for the social media strategy to share and repackage. The most effective PR is crafting a compelling story that is actually newsworthy and connecting it to the right reporters to share it.
How do you advise clients on protecting their online reputations?
- Watch what you post.
- Check your writing three times before you post anything.
- If you wouldn’t want it plastered across the cover of the New York Times, don’t post it!
Follow Kris Ruby on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+.