Will the new public relations please stand up? Hello, social PR!
In a time of social media evolution and revolution, public relations professionals have a unique opportunity to reinvent themselves to ultimately deliver better results. The strategy: using social media-flavored PR to influence the search marketing ecosystem.
First, let's look at today's journalist, one of the PR professional's primary targets. According to a recent survey by TEKGROUP International:
- More than 77 percent of journalists think it's important to be able to access a company's social media networks from its online newsroom.
- 45 percent of reporters say they use a corporate blog when researching a story.
- 25 percent of journalists visit a company's Facebook Page (up 10 percent from a year ago).
- 40 percent are looking to receive news or updates via Twitter.
- Almost 99 percent of journalists expect a company to have an online newsroom, and 75 percent said they prefer it to be organized by news category.
- 95 percent want access to photos, company background, and product information within the online newsroom. Sixty-five percent want digital assets and 53 percent consider video and audio files useful.
Here are 10 ways a business can capitalize on the social PR opportunity right now.
1. Give Your Press Release, Posts & Tweets an SEO Makeover!
Like in website writing, press releases and all social media content should be optimized with keywords and links.
2. Think and Write Like a Reporter
The best results come when content is delivered in a journalistic style. Only include important information that is most relevant to the audience. Forget the fluff and keep it to the point.
3. Research and Optimize Like an SEO Pro
Keyword research is necessary when writing for PR and social media. Sometimes a quick way to find out what works best is to compare notes with the PPC campaign and apply those best performing keywords to the PR and social media efforts.
4. Mingle Like a Socialite
Churning out news is only half the battle. Remember to interact, engage, and participate. This could be in the form of retweeting other news, "Liking" other posts besides your own, or @replying to reporters to engage in a conversation even when it doesn't benefit you.
5. Ride the Trending Topics in Advance or in Real Time
Whether it's a predictable holiday or breaking news like the Tiger Woods scandal, find a connection to the news and create your own angle. For example: #PR Tips for Tiger Woods or The Best Social Media Valentine's Day Gifts.
6. Publish a Daily Paper
Made especially for Twitter and Facebook on Paper.li, this is an excellent way to position your business as a thought leader and a source for news. If you're a boutique shopping website, your daily paper could be called The Fashion Daily, or check out the Search Engine Strategies branded SES Search and Social Daily.
7. Newsroom and Pitch Feeds for Social PR
Your newsroom might need a social media makeover. If you're reading this and realize your company doesn't have an online newsroom, this should be a priority.
If you have an online newsroom, check out how social media friendly it is. There are solutions like PitchEngine's embedded newsroom that can give a business an instant social media friendly newsroom packed with SEO power. Take the PR "Like" test.
8. Strong Visuals and Microblogging
A picture is worth a thousand words and websites like Tumblr prove it! The social media darling of New York Fashion Week is the microblogging website Tumblr. They made it easy to share and report virtual runway fashion straight from designers and fashion bloggers in real-time.
Tumblr offers simple ways to spread the PR word using images, videos, links, and posts that can be easily connected to Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. People are using and sharing beautiful visuals on Tumblr, posting things they think are inspirational.
In addition, use strong visuals to match your story -- infographics, images and videos to capture the attention.
9. The Facebook Page News Feeds and Newsrooms
Treating business Facebook Pages much like a website is the trend in today's online marketing world. For posts, report the news via your Facebook Page wall and break it up with some third party sourced info so it is not all "me, me, me."
A customized Facebook newsroom tab is also a noteworthy consideration with the growing number of Facebook users spending more time in the Facebook community (and less time on corporate websites or in Google).
10. Build and Measure the Referring Links
Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn, and company blogs all show up in analytic programs such as Bit.ly and Google Analytics as referring links. Check out and benchmark before starting a campaign and watch the referring link traffic quality grow. This is a perfect line item a PR professional can include in client progress reports.
Optimizing and blending your online public relations strategy with social media and SEO strategies has never had so many robust options. But, there is a blur now between social media and PR. Rising through the dust is social PR, defining a whole new world of delivering news and interacting with the audience most important to our business.
Lisa Buyer will speak during the Search, PR and the Social Butterfly session on Day 3 of SES London.