3 Ways to Make Your Social Media Release More Effective
Social media has changed almost every aspect of public relations. It has even changed one of the oldest pieces of PR, the press release. The traditional press release isn’t becoming extinct, but in some cases it is better for your business to use the social media release (SMR). SMRs are becoming more and more popular among small PR firms and even some of the biggest corporations. Unlike traditional press releases, the company is able to speak directly to their audience, cutting out the media middle man. Traditional press releases still hold their value for certain stories, such as a bank merger or new hospital opening. This news will most likely
make it into the business news section of the daily paper. But what about the small event your PR firm is throwing for a client? The SMR is perfect for situations like these. To get the most out of your SMR you should do the following:
1. Use it for Time Sensitive Announcements
The SMR is great when used for announcements for special events. You are able to feature embed links to have viewers sign up for the event on your website or learn more about a promotional contest. SMRs make it easier to have your audience engage and take action. You don’t want people to just read about your event, you want them to buy a ticket or tweet about it. I was promoting a garden makeover contest for a client and was having trouble getting media to pick up the story. We used Pitch Engine and got over 700
views on the release and immediately doubled the number of contest entries and the company’s website views. If we would have waited and crossed our fingers that media would have picked up the story or our audience would have seen a calendar posting, the contest would probably not have been as successful.
2. Create a Social Media Newsroom
The social media newsroom is a spin on the traditional newsroom where you simply upload your press releases that have been distributed. Make your newsroom a place where readers can find all of your releases in one place. Also, have links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. One of the great advantages of SMRs is that you are able to send out blasts to your Twitter followers and Facebook fans. Companies new to social media miss this key ingredient to being effective, connection! You have to connect all of your platforms and make them flow together. The SMR begins in the news room, is reduced to 140 characters, then ends up your Facebook page. Leave a trail for consumers to follow to each of your social media homes. These connections will help with search engine optimization.
3. Assess Your Campaign Objectives
PR Professionals try to come up with the best headline to make their press release seem important to the journalists they are pitching. Truth is, most of the content isn’t really newsworthy. Just because your content is not for the 5 o’clock news, doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t know about it. Take a moment and think who needs to know this information and why? Assess your objectives and see what the most effective tool will be to achieve those goals. Where are your users most likely to be reading, online or in a
newspaper. You need to also consider what kind of coverage you want for your story. Will blogger write-up be sufficient? If so, create a SMR because it will help get your information to bloggers quicker. There are several sites that will help you distribute your SMR such as Pich Engine and MarketWire. Research to see which site has the most companies and users that are geared towards your business or what you will be writing about.
Use these 3 rules to help guide your SMR use. If you really want to be effective, combine the traditional and new. Be optimistic and view the SMR as a companion that can only boost your story. Using social media releases with the traditional press release will help your client see more results and in some cases better results.