Syndicating Your Press Releases on Social Media…The Right Way!
Posted on June 16, 2014
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, LinkedIn, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building
In 2014, public relations are as much about conversing with customers on a one-on-one basis as it is about releasing press releases. Companies have traditionally relied on this form of media to give them a face, or public image.
Today, however, social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest provide a platform with which you can interact directly with your customers. This is an extraordinary opportunity, as it gives you the chance to show consumers that you’re more than a faceless corporation. Now more than ever, consumers want to know that they can reach you at a moment’s notice, and more importantly, they expect to be able to.
When you speak to your consumers, remember that you’re speaking to your audience. Your message isn’t buffered by the media. Be germane and up front at all times. Keep your messages concise, but friendly, and always address customer questions directly. Consumers are extremely sensitive to “the run around.” Additionally, when you engage with your customers via social media, your consumers expect the Who, What, Where and How, but they crave to be given this information by a familiar face.
One of the main advantages of supplementing your normal PR efforts with a consistent social media presence is that the interest you generate can help feed traffic created by your normal press releases. With this in mind, you should avoid bombarding your audience with a constant barrage of messages. Create a posting schedule, and plan to release more messages when you post your press releases. This will help you avoid exhausting your audience. This is especially important for businesses, as consumers will already assume that they’re trying to drum up business.
Embrace Brand Journalism
According to Roper Public Affairs, a series of articles can be more effective than a press release or any number of advertisements. In fact, 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to learn more about a product or service through articles than through advertisements. While the press release will always be an important PR tool, you shouldn’t overlook the power of brand journalism, or content marketing, as marketers call it.
Brand journalism, put simply, is the practice of cutting out the middle man—the press—and instead speaking directly to customers. A risky venture, for sure, but if done correctly, you can generate massive brand awareness and trust. One powerful strategy entails creating a series of articles that expound on the content within a planned press release, and then promoting them via social media as the press release goes live. It’s important to note, however, that these articles should be information oriented. Don’t use them to hard-promote your product or service. Instead, use them to illustrate to your readers that you’re an authority in your niche.
Niche authority is one of the most powerful assets that you can possess, and unfortunately, you can’t create it with a press release alone. When consumers consider you an authority in your niche, they’ll be more willing to expose themselves to your products. This in turn, gives you a much higher chance of snagging the conversion. Being an authority renders PR much easier, as well. A strong blog and social media presence gives you the opportunity to tackle rumors and slurs head on. Early adopters of brand journalism include P&G, Cisco Systems, John Deere and Microsoft. These companies have brought on journalists to power their own websites, and they’re reaching customers directly with stories that blur the line between ad and news story.
Optimize your Message
With the advent and rapid adoption of social media, there’s more competition out there than ever before. Even if you reach out to consumers directly, you’ll still have to craft a mean press release. Here are a few essentials to keep you in fine form:
• Ensure that your press release has a concise, catchy title. Set it up as a news story, and pre-sell the idea that your audience will want to take action.
• Summarize your main points. Make it easy for the press to tweet your information.
• Use links in each paragraph. This will ensure that you give your readers every opportunity to click through to your main content in case your press release is edited for space.
• List your social media accounts in the media contact block. Including your Facebook and Twitter accounts in the media content block will allow the press to follow you on social networks and contact you quickly if need be. This is never a bad thing.
• Write for broad appeal. These days, your messages should appeal to the media, bloggers and consumers alike.
• Make it visual. Sites like PRWeb and PitchEngine allow you to upload video and image galleries with your release. Videos and images have been proven to drive engagement better than text alone.
• Include a call to action in your closing paragraph. This should go without saying, but it’s often overlooked. A call to action primes your prospects to convert.
Keep these tips in mind as you craft your messages, and you’ll be met by a receptive, eager audience. Remember: consumers want to find companies that present a human face, and they’re eager to engage with companies that appear trustworthy. Use social media to your advantage by maintaining a robust presence on the largest networks.