Fish where the fish are! We can’t deny that. When people need information, they are going online to look for it. This means businesses need to enhance their presence online through website, social media pages, e- commerce platforms, blogging to mention but a few. Companies are picking up the online trend quickly. They are taking advantage of the internet which has made it easier for a business to market and also reach other potential clients and conduct business online. It is essential for every company to have an online presence.
Let’s take for instance how blogging has successfully thrived. In 2019 alone, over 500 million blogs were already in place and new ones are propping up each new day. Blogging is going so viral globally that Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, envision a day in the near future when companies that don’t blog will be held suspect to some degree, with people wondering whether they are hiding something or whether the owners are worried about what the people who work for them have to say.
The society is seeking information, and when it comes to online content, companies have it…there are no accidents. For instance, most videos or pieces of content that go ‘’viral’’ follow a formula intentionally or unintentionally. Perhaps a great example is the ‘’Double Rainbow’’ video that was filmed in his front yard shows his ecstatic reaction to a double rainbow. As of April 2014, the video had accumulated more than 39.5 million views on youtube. Of course, not every video or piece of content follows such an exact or linear path but there are common elements. While content can thrive digitally, traditional media is still a beneficial tool to reach the masses.
If digital content benefits from traditional media, then that means it requires having relationships with decision makers at various media outlets. That’s public relations. Social media is not a billboard, it’s a conversation. Public relations is about leveraging relationships to frame and position that conversation.
Pretend you are an editor or news director. You are given two pitches. One story is a press release from a trusted source. The other one is a link to a story that shows 1.5million people are already talking about. Traction leads to action. It makes sense to cover the story with widespread buzz, apparent value. Traditional media’s bottom lines is to go where the eyeballs are. Demonstrate that and you will get all the coverage you want and more.
While keeping all of this in mind, the formula has started to fall in place. The last thing to consider is influencers. Social media is not this magical, wonderful place where everyone views everything and cats do amazing things. Okay, that second part is true but I have gone off the point. Creating shareable content for social media is not complicated. Don’t let gurus, ninjas, and other people with ridiculous titles tell you otherwise. Know your release date. Determine what the trending conversation of that time will be – listen. Read. Follow chats. Honestly, you have to be ridiculously knowledgeable to almost get it right. This is never exact but if you are releasing something the day before the actual launch date of a major event, it has much better chance of being successful.
Keep your content flexible. Leave open the possibility to capitalize on other trending topics of the moment. This is where being a creative writer in under 140 characters is key. The fact you are able to creatively coin your information according to the trending topic of the day constantly already attracts a following.
Involve influencers – these are the people with large followings that can kick start the sharing of content. In prior projects I have made a point to either put them in the actual content or give them exclusive access to products or content first. It’s about creating value and giving them an incentive to share the content. Simply tweeting someone to share something usually doesn’t work. We have all been there. Most of the time we say ‘’cool story’’ and lump it in with being asked to join someone’s online farming community.
Finally, have a compelling story that is designed for news coverage. Create a hook. Tie it with good timing, flexible content and plenty of influencers and you will create the social traction necessary to yield traditional media coverage. Once it reaches traditional media coverage, you should have additional content ready. The best time to launch new content is when existing coverage is getting a ton of coverage.
This is not everything but it is a start, a frame of reference when looking to apply social media to public relations. When done effectively this method produces massive return on investment and creates stronger relationships with traditional media sources.