5 Killer Social Media Tips for PR Pros
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So you’ve got the social PR basics down, and you’re following and engaging with relevant media and influencers. Maybe you’ve even developed a few social media campaigns for your company or clients. What are some other ways you can give your PR efforts an added social boost?
Here are five social media tips for PR professionals.
1. Anticipate and Join Twitter Conversations
While you can’t always predict what news or events will become a #hashtag that people will follow, it’s a pretty safe bet that events like the #Oscars or #adtech will have a large group of people following the hashtag before, during and shortly after each event. PR pros should consider timing news or relevant content around these events so they have an immediately engaged audience for tweets about this content.
One thing to note: You can certainly drop your tweet into the fray and hope people will retweet it, but to truly participate in the conversation, you should actively engage — retweeting good content, following interesting people, replying to questions and posting more than just links to your brand content — so the community recognizes you and values your contribution.
2. Write Tweetable Press Release Headlines
When you use a news distribution service such as PR Newswire or PRWeb to issue a press release, you typically see a large number of tweets that feature your press release headline once your news hits the wire. Writing your release headline with “tweetability” in mind can impact the number of tweets and retweets of your release.
This is not only a great opportunity to get your company, product or client’s name out to the social community, but also to drive views of your release. According to data from Crowd Factory, whose technology powers social sharing functionality on PRNewswire.com, press releases that are shared bring an average of six people back to the site to view the release.
Four key things to ask yourself when writing a tweetable press headline are:
- Is it short enough to fit into a tweet that also includes a Twitter handle and a link?
- Is the company or product name in the beginning so it won’t get cut off?
- Does it contain relevant keywords to make it searchable?
- Is it punchy enough to generate retweets based on the headline alone?
3. Turn Your Blog Into a Social News Wire
Blogs have become very powerful tools for sharing news and multimedia content that doesn’t necessarily warrant a press release, but still may be of interest to the media.
For example, the New York Public Library (NYPL) uses Tumblr as a makeshift “news wire,” sharing stories about NYPL continuously. According to Angela Montefinise, public relations director at NYPL, “Many of our followers are reporters, and we’ll often find stories we posted on Tumblr in news outlets. For example,Gothamist often uses photos we blog, and it has picked up stories we’ve run. A short, fun piece we ran on Keith Richards ‘killing’ an employee’s orchid while he was at the Library got picked up by The NY Daily News, and then eventually around the world.”
4. Develop Social News Backgrounders
When pitching a story, it can often be tough to pack all of the background information into a single email or touch on everything over the phone. Reporters also have less time than ever to conduct thorough research into a topic and will appreciate content that makes their job easier. So consider creating a “social news backgrounder” to accompany your pitch, using a site such as Delicious.
Serena Matter, social media account manager at Peak Communicators, says that she uses Delicious to create social news backgrounders that consist of links to current articles and information on the topic she plans to pitch to media.
“I provide this resource to reporters I’m pitching so they can familiarize themselves with the topic and cut down on their research time,” notes Matter. “They can also refer to the backgrounder in the future in the event that they are writing another article on the subject.”
5. Use News Aggregation Services
If your PR program involves keeping Facebook and Twitter feeds updated with relevant industry news, you know how time-consuming it can be scour the social feeds and run news searches looking for daily content. Matter recommends using a blog aggregation tool such as Netvibes to create a dashboard of relevant content sources.
“I use Netvibes as a tool for updating clients’ social profiles by creating custom dashboards to amalgamate relevant content sources,” says Matter. “The dashboards allow me to easily find industry-specific information which I can then post to a client’s Facebook Page or Twitter feed. Updating my clients’ social profiles with the latest news and information helps to establish them as a reliable go-to source for industry intelligence, which in turn builds their reputation as an industry thought leader.”
Series Supported by Vocus
The Social PR Series is supported by Vocus, the software that helps businesses get heard and talked about on social media and beyond. It brings you all the conversations that matter, without information overload, and lets you find influencers fast. Take a quick online demo and and see what it can do. Follow Vocus on Twitter.