Social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, are an integral part of today’s modern and technology-focused society. The main aspect of social media is giving people the ability to communicate and share their thoughts, views and life experiences. Essentially the same aim as PR.
Businesses can use PR to share their thoughts and views on current news stories, also to share their experiences of running a business and offering tips to others. So, why would you not marry the two?
At JournoLink we believe social media is a key tool to help and boost your small business PR. From connecting and building relationships with the media and small businesses alike, to presenting yourself as an expert and even sharing your success. Below we explore the different ways you can use social media as part of your PR strategy.
1. Contacting journalists and bloggers via your social media channels
Social media platforms, especially Twitter and LinkedIn, are highly used by journalists, bloggers and broadcasters to source content and spokespeople. Hashtags such as #journorequest and #prrequest are used daily to share upcoming features and editorial requests. Replying to these requests can gain your business coverage in a variety of outlets, as well as starting key relationships.
For example, a journalist may be looking to find an expert in your sector. By replying and sending them your comments - being helpful rather than selling - the journalist may then use your comment in their article while also adding your contact details to their little black book. By being on their radar they then may contact you for further comment in future articles.
Top Tip: Make sure you include your area of expertise in your Twitter and LinkedIn biographies, i.e. ‘cyber security expert’ as this will make it easier for the journalist to find you.
Furthermore, Twitter and LinkedIn will provide you with valuable information regarding the media contact you want to target. For example, in their biographies, they may have their job role, areas they write about or what content they’re interested in receiving, and maybe even their email address. Finding this out before you contact them means you can then tailor your press release or pitch to them. For more information take a look at our blog How a ‘light stalk’ can help your small business PR.
2. Building a community on your social media
When it comes to PR the main focus shouldn’t only be building relationships with the media, but also creating a community with business owners and influencers. Whether starting your own or joining an already established community it offers you a way to widen your audience, this can be especially helpful when your business is B2B.
Social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn are a great way to start conversations with fellow business owners and influencers, however, the most popular platform is Facebook. There are many communities already using Facebook to create private groups to share knowledge, editorial opportunities and collaborations.
Being part of these groups can grow your business through word and mouth, i.e. being part of a tight-knit community means those you’re speaking to are more likely to recommend your business to others. Maybe even recommending your business to a journalist who is looking for a case study or spokesperson.
Top Tip: Networking adds great value to your PR as you’ll never know who you’ll meet and what opportunities they’ll bring. Find out more about networking in our blog The Power Of The Network.
Sharing your success: posting your brand mentions, your press releases and articles talking about your brand
Social media is a brilliant tool to gain coverage for your small business but it is also a great way to share your success once you have been covered. The aim of gaining coverage is to put yourself and your business in front of your target audience. As many of your followers are more than likely to be your target audience it makes sense to share your feature or interview with them. This way they can find out more about you, your business or start a conversation surrounding your comments, furthermore creating a community.
Top Tip: Ask your Facebook community to share your coverage with their followers to put it in front of a wider audience.
In addition, sharing your coverage on social media displays to the media that you’re active in PR and open to being contacted for case studies and comments. For example, if you’ve described yourself as an expert in your field then sharing articles where you’ve displayed your knowledge backs up this claim. Therefore they may contact you if they’re writing a similar feature or discussing a similar topic.
To find out more information about to share your PR success take a look at our infographic How to showcase a piece of coverage you've got.
Written By: Camilla Holroyd