Many, maybe most, companies still don’t understand how to use social media to improve their business. There are many ways that social media can help:
- Customer service
- Identify and engage with prospects
- Generate prospects with social advertising
- Public Relations
Customer service is arguably the most important of these, but it doesn’t need to take much effort. Set up notifications in each social media platform that notify you at least daily when your company is mentioned and immediately when direct messaged on social media.
Whether you should prospect or advertise on social channels depends on your business growth strategy. But public relations should be part of every company’s social media presence.
Social Media is the New PR
There are many aspects of public relations. It includes internal communications, brand positioning, and earning media coverage to create brand awareness. PR plays a role in growing your business and can make hiring employees easier.
In her article PR Tips to Help You Land Media Coverage, PR consultant Michelle Garret states that Twitter is the preferred social media platform to reach journalists. Surprisingly, journalists rank Facebook a distant second ahead of LinkedIn.
Press releases are still part of an effective public relations strategy. You can use a service such as PR Web to get your press release distributed on newswires. This may cause your story to be automatically picked up on the news feed on websites such as Printing Impressions and Print Week, but it is unlikely that a reporter will mention your brand in an article or create a feature story based on newswire distribution.
Social media allows you to communicate directly with your customer audience as well as individual reporters and editors. You can read Social Media is the New PR for additional insights on the relationship between social media and public relations.
Social media allows direct-to-customer communications and helps you create relationships with relevant editors and reporters. A regular posting schedule that includes your own and other companies’ content that is useful and relevant to your desired audience creates brand awareness and positions your company as one that understands its audience. It helps build trust. But your most effective use of social media might be to build relationships with media outlets.
How to Engage with Reporters on Social Media
Follow these steps to establish mutually beneficial relationships with reporters and editors.
- Identify who is responsible for media relations
- Start before you have a need
- Find relevant reporters and follow them on all the social channels they are active
- Comment on their posts to join their online conversations
- Send a LinkedIn connection request when you’ve established a relationship
- When you have a newsworthy story to share, send a brief message on social media with two sentences that cover the:
- Story topic, and
- How it benefits the reporter
These steps seem like a lot of work, and they are. Most commercial printing companies, like small and most medium-sized businesses, do not need a full-time public relations person. But every company needs a person responsible for it. You can accomplish this by dedicating a few minutes daily or blocking out time a few days each week.
But if there isn’t somebody in your company capable and that has the time, outsource media relations to a PR agency or freelancer. Choose a PR professional to work with that has already done the first five steps with reporters that are relevant to your company.
Public Relations is Always On
PR isn’t an “every once in a while” activity. It’s continuously managing your brand’s perception to protect, position, and promote it without paid advertising. Visit this recent Print Media Centr PR strategy article to learn more about developing a comprehensive public relations strategy.
Read last month’s post from Todd: https://printmediacentr.com/is-this-the-decade-of-branding
See all of Tod’s posts here
Tod Cordill has worked in a variety of industries including software, manufacturing, printing, and eCommerce. He currently helps B2B companies integrate digital marketing channels into existing sales and marketing efforts by combining his P&L perspective with an engineering problem-solving structure. Get in touch and learn how Moderno Strategies can help you efficiently drive business growth. Connect with Tod: @todcordill on Twitter and on LinkedIn