Social media has changed the way public relations professionals do their jobs and while editors have varying preferences when it comes to if, and how, PR people should contact them via social media, there are a number of ways to leverage social media to improve your PR campaigns.
Fill in gaps in your media lists
While a media database (or the PR Couture media lists) are a great place to start when building a new media list, sometimes the pace of the media industry moves faster than a database can be updated. Before pitching editors, double check their LinkedIn profile and/or Twitter and Instagram bios to make sure they are still the best contact for your pitch. Maybe they’ve moved on to a new beat, a new publication or have left the media industry all together.
See what an editor has recently covered
Many media outlets now encourage or sometimes even require that their employees promote their stories via their personal social media channels. Checking editors’ social media profiles is a shortcut to finding some of the recent stories they’ve worked on to see if your story is a good fit for them. You can also easily reference a recent article in a pitch, strengthening your ability to quickly build rapport by demonstrating you have done your research.
Make your gifting/seeding campaign more successful
If you want to create some buzz for a new product launch through a seeding or gifting campaign, social media research can help you hone your target list. Instagram is especially helpful because it usually provides a glimpse into an editor or influencer’s personal style and/or interests. Search for brand hashtags as well as related keywords, and pay attention to who influencers are tagging ni their posts. Select individuals that genuinely seem like they would be likely to use or enjoy your client’s product.
Track your competitors
Following your competitors’ social media accounts will keep you up-to-date on their events, marketing campaigns and partnerships. Studying best practices of your competitors can help inspire you to come up with ideas for your own clients. If you see an editor or influencer posting about a competitor’s event and/or campaign and there’s a dedicated hashtag, track the hashtag and see who else is posting about it.
Track ROI of an event or campaign
Whether it’s an influencer dinner or a press trip, make sure you’re checking up on the social media accounts of all of your guests to see if, and what, they’re posting about your event. Use a hashtag to create a trackable metric you can use to measure the success (both in terms of number of social mentions as well as content) of your event. If there wasn’t a lot of social media engagement for your event or campaign, think about how you can improve next time. It’s a great practice to hand out cards printed with all of your client’s social media accounts and/or any relevant hashtags for the event to help encourage social media engagement right from the start. You can also include the Wifi password for the venue if there isn’t an open network available.
Photo Credit: Didriks