Tips on How PR Pros Can Create Social Media Success

When having established a well-planned social media presence and your business has connected with relevant media and influencers, you might consider whether it’s time to take the next step and give your PR efforts a social boost as well?

In the online sphere, we are beginning to see more and more of how people (especially journalists) are searching for news within social media. This is something that creates a good opportunity for businesses to utilize the online channels to communicate interesting and relevant information about their brand or product. And with a good relationship to the target audience, there’s also a much bigger chance that other media and influencers would actually like to help promote your brand.

For PR pros to obtain success through social media, I will here present some useful tips that PR professionals can keep in mind. I was inspired to share these tips by an article on Mashable, since I find them very useful. They go as follows:

Be alert and join conversations
Naturally, it’s not possible to predict what news that are waiting around the corner to break, but it’s possible to know that some events will gain attention within social media. Here, Twitter is an effective tool to connect with people following certain hashtags to engage in conversation with the online tribe. E.g. it’s almost a safe bet that events like the #Oscars or #SXSW will have a large group of people following the hashtag before, during and after the given event. This means there can be great value in timing news or relevant content around these popular events in order for them to have an engaged audience to spread the message. However, this is stated with a great emphasis on the word relevancy, since it by no means creates success to push out all sorts of information.

Get acquainted with news aggregation services
If you on a daily business update your Facebook and Twitter profiles with relevant news, you might be familiar with how much time it actually takes to go through all the different news sources that you find the most useful. Therefore, it can be a good idea to use a blog aggregation tool such as Netvibes to create a dashboard of relevant content sources. This is something that can really save you some time during a busy work day.

News aggregation

Utilize the PR potential of your blog
As many businesses have realized, there is great value in running a blog to share knowledge and show what your company is actually about. This also means that a business blog can be of interest to the media. Not necessarily because you have to share an actual press release here, but rather since it can take form of a great news source. Think about what you publish and write from a perspective that can be appealing to the media.

Develop social news backgrounders
When pitching a story, it can sometimes be hard to include all background information into one e-mail or touch on everything through the phone. Reporters also have less time than ever to make thorough research on a given topic and therefore they might appreciate content that makes their job easier. This means that it can be of great value to consider creating a social news backgrounder together with your pitch, using a site such as Delicious. Delicious can be useful as a kind of social news backgrounder, since it can hold different links to relevant articles and information on subjects that you would like to pitch to the media. It creates a great overview of different content.

Do you have some tips to share? Just remember: it’s about participating in the conversation, engaging actively and also retweeting good content that other social media users share. It’s good to give something back – and this will also make the community recognize and value your brand in a much more positive way.

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!