Social media in 2015 is a long way away from the early days of MySpace and Friendster. The mainstream sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are becoming increasingly professionalised and monetised, with a host of newer platforms following in their footsteps every day.
In spite of this, many businesses are still failing to utilise social media as part of their wider PR strategies, so we thought we’d put together a helpful little guide. After all, your PR plan can only be improved upon by directly engaging with customers and press on a more personal level, and social media is a perfect tool for both!
Content is still king
Publish social media friendly content that you can get a lot of mileage out of and adapt for different platforms. Case studies are a great option since you can often find a human interest angle, create pictures, quotes and longer pieces of text all at the same time. Plus, offering your customers an insight into your business helps to develop a more personal relationship.
We already know that images are about 3x more likely to generate online engagement than text, so start thinking creatively about how you can build these into your social calendar. We’re talking high quality photos, infographics, videos, memes and inspirational quotes.
Seek blogger coverage
The blogosphere is a wonderful link between social media and PR. Bloggers and vloggers tend to be very active on social media and are often carefully watched by journalists looking to discover the ‘new thing’. If you’re looking to secure blogger coverage, you could:
- Become a contributor – guest posting to a well-known site is a good way to get coverage, much like writing a feature for print media.
- Provide you expertise – offering advice and insight into your specialist area is a great way to position yourself as an industry influencer at the top of their game. Your pearls of wisdom might even get picked up by journalists looking for quotes on a particular topic. You could consider posting your articles to a site like MyBlogU (http://myblogu.com/)
- Ask for product reviews – successful bloggers tend to have a loyal band of followers so good coverage can be priceless. A blogger’s success comes from their readers ‘buying in’ to their lifestyle and trusting what they say. Don’t expect any blogger worth their salt to jeopardise that loyalty by publishing a false review. If you want more control over what they say…
- Sponsor a post – or pay for an advert. These will probably be marked as paid for posts but it does mean that you can prevent negative coverage – if you don’t like what they have to say, don’t sponsor the post!
Connect with the press
The number of people who get their news from social media is growing and the media now picks up a huge amount of information from the web, so make sure you include social sharing buttons on your websites. Not only are they grabbing quotes or pictures of breaking news stories, they’re even mining sites like Reddit to find interesting stories and devoting pages to Twitter trends and hashtags.
You can also use social media to build relationships. Starting a Twitter conversation with a journalist you want to work with might be just the catalyst you need to get your press releases picked up and published in the future. Give it a try and let us know how you get on!