HowTo Make Good Use Of Social Media
In this day and age it is increasingly harder to grab a journalists attention. Whether it is sending a press release through email or simply directing them through twitter to an important piece of information, with all the spam going around and the hundreds of daily press releases, “grabbing” someones attention is a ‘mission’ in itself. If you are one of those people who knows people in the right place, then you are good to go spread your message as wide and as far as possible, but if you are not, then follow studyPR’s guide and your chances of getting seen and heard will increase exponentially.
PR professionals and PR students alike are using social media on a day to day basis as means to communicate a message to their clients, costumers or even answering questions or problems relating to that message.
As a PR student you will need to understand the way social media behaves, understand the different types of audiences out there, and the different effects of words and what role they play in convincing your audience. Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and many more social sites have quickly become part of every PR’s “PR toolkit”. It is imperative to master the ‘art of social media’ if you aspire to be a future PR practitioner.
Here is a “quick” step by step guide on HowTo make good use of Twitter when delivering a press release through Twitter:
Find out who your audience is, whether it is journalists or students, it is crucial that your message is viewed by people that matter to your message. There is a lot of ‘dark cloud’ or ‘grey matter’, as we here at studyPR like to call it. Important information that contains an important message which in turn becomes useless information that gets sent into the digital world, to no particular audience. Once that happens, you lose that information by becoming old, seen and trashed. You do not have to target a lot of people. In fact, we here at studyPR recommend that you do not, but make sure you do have their names, email adresses, telephone numbers, twitter, youtube and facebook accounts, so that you know who they are and how to best contact them.
Choose which social site is best for your audience. There are dozens of good social platforms and it is only a matter of where your audience is situated. If it is pitching a press release to a journalist, then twitter is probably your best option. There are other platforms which journalist use but in general, Twitter is where all journalists get their pick of the stories. Study where your audience is positioned and only then you can decide to move forward to step three.
Now that you have found where your target audience is situated, move on to observe and understand their behaviour. If we look at journalists on Twitter, see what they tweet about, to who and try to understand why. Anticipate their next move, what would they be interested in? I bet, its your story! Do not rush this process, think carefully. This could make or break your story. As mentioned earlier, focus on your target audience and learn who they are. Where do they eat? Hang out? Preach even?? It is a bit of an exaggeration, but make sure you know your audience really well and only then you can move on to step four.
Now that you know who your target audience is, what platform they use to communicate and how they choose to do so, you can start by writing to them.
Make sure you use your twitter account or a more professional (company) twitter account. This will add more credibility to your message and your chances of retweeting and sharing increase.
Make sure you have an impressive list of influential followers and that you also follow key people, whether they be your target audience or people of general interest.
Make sure you expand your network and link your twitter to other social media sites, such as LinkedIn or Facebook or Youtube, etc. It will get you a relevant audience for your PR message.
Remember too much is too much. Less is better, but less is only 140 characters on Twitter, so make sure you pack your message into as little words and characters as possible but without losing your key message. Facebook does seem like the obvious choice; 1 billion users, lots of people that can see your message. Yes, you can do that, but be careful. Twitter is where most journalists gather and Twitter is where most stories break out nowadays, so Facebook is more of a “relaxed social platform”.
You want your story to evolve, transform and move from person to person and platform to platform so as to reach as many of your intended target audiences.
Hey, no one said PR was going to be easy, but do not panic, studyPR is here to help you.
In order to first tweet, think of all the angles possible associated with your story/message. Instead of simply tweeting your headline, tweet an angle, a finding. By doing so and promoting different storylines to your audience, you will broaden the appeal of the content which you are promoting. A journalist or influential blogger, might find one tweet boring and unimportant, whereas another tweet might surface and provide them exactly with what they need.
Turn quotes into @mentions and others into #hashtags. What I have learned from my experience at Sooqini.com is that PR works better if it is ‘third-party endorsement’. Include those @mentions with the angle to your story and spread the word. One retweet from one @mention or #hashtag is a point for you.
One other important thing is spreading your tweets across time. We here at studyPR do not like to do that, but it is seemingly better than crashing twitter with your information. Tweet for a couple of days, then leave it for a week and return back. As crazy at that sounds, it does take time and effort and patience is required. Search engines also surface tweets, and they look for timeliness of the content. Spreading tweets out, especially if they are all pointing to the same URL, can help give you a little lift in search results.
Let us know if this was helpful to you in any way. We here at studyPR look forward to hearing from you even if it is, just to say hello.