Traditionally, public relations was very expensive and not interactive in the slightest. More recently, companies are finding that promoting their business through social media is one of the best public relations techniques they can use. In fact, it is rapidly becoming the preferred method of interacting with potential clients and the media.
Here are a few ways you can start incorporating social media into your PR campaigns:
1. @replies or direct messages to media. Most big names are on Twitter these days, so direct a message at the media person you are interested in. Chances are far more likely that they will respond to a short 140 character message than an email.
2. Make valuable connections. It’s not always about making pitches. Really befriending people and getting to know them on a personal level can be a great way to make some great contacts for the future.
3. Create customer surveys. Whether you post the link to a longer survey or just ask questions one at a time via Twitter or another network, this can be a great way to gather information.
4. Get reviews. Ask for testimonials or get creative. Some businesses have great success getting people to submit videos of themselves using a product. Videos rapidly become viral, spreading your message everywhere.
5. Let people know what you’re up to. Social media can be a powerful way to build a buzz around a new product or service, particularly if you have others in your network who will promote it for you (your influencers).
6. Give something away. Freebies almost always go viral. Everyone wants to promote them, so if you are giving something away, you can be sure that people will spread the message around the net.
7. Arrange for interviews. Social media gives you access to a number of journalists and if you play your cards right, you can interest them in interviews for added publicity. Often, requests will go out on sites like Twitter when someone needs help with a news story and if your company fits, you could get extra exposure.
8. Offer videos. While text messages are great and articles can be an effective way to get your point across, there is a definite interest in video these days. A huge number of Internet users prefer video to any other medium, so reach out to them.
9. Respond to concerns and compliments. When someone says something about your business on social media, you should know and be able to respond to them. If they are having a problem with your product, solve it. They’ll be impressed with your customer service.
10. Arrange offline meetings. Social media is great, but sometimes you need to meet up with others in the business or even clients in real life, as well. You can use the sites to invite your networks to join you at a restaurant for an evening of talking or a more formal event.
Whether you choose to use one or two of these methods, or all ten, you’ll find that your PR campaigns have much better success when you use a little interactivity. People love companies that are accessible and making it easier to contact you is the best thing you can do to increase respect and interest.
What ways are you using social media for public relations?