Promoting your business these days takes more than the old school, conventional tools of public relations like press releases. You must extend your reach further and use the new breed of social media tools. Aside from press releases, you can now leverage other media such as images, videos, posts, social networking (Facebook and others), micro-blogs (Twitter style) and blogs. Location-based social media site, Foursquare is also on the rise.
The Social Media Opportunity
Many of the old school PR guys believe social media is destroying public relations, others believe otherwise. For the new school, social media is an opportunity to generate additional reach for marketers and entrepreneurs. The general population are becoming savvy social beasts online and when it comes to search, social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are beginning to be used like search engines. For example if you were planning to hire a new service provider it would be very common to dig through social media to see what you can find out about your potential new supplier.
Integrating PR, Social Media and SEO
If you are a marketer, you will quickly go broke if you just use social media for promoting your business or your brand. Yes, you should beef up your public relation strategy by utilising social media however, you should continue with other (old school) distribution channels and PR strategies. You also need a strategy for social media posting. Share upcoming events, fresh news and additional services or products that will interest and engage your audience.
Posts, status updates, tweets and blogs Arrrhhh… it can all become overwhelming and time consuming. Here’s the good news, you do not need to do it all yourself. You can outsource the whole strategy, just make sure you know what they are doing for you, it’s your brand at stake.
If it’s you, or an outsourcing partner implementing your strategy, make sure you keep the social in social media and you can’t go too far wrong. That way you will develop conversations and relationships with potential customers and other marketers.
Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great ways to increase your exposure and web traffic. Bookmark all press releases, blog posts and any other content that presents your business in a positive light. Tweet about it and put in on Facebook. Everything you do should intersect and cross promote each other to leverage your successes.
Make your social media effort more effective by adding the links of all your social media accounts to your press releases. Flogging your new service or product will not get you very far in social media however, it may be okay in a press release. That’s where the old school PR guys get it wrong. The idea in social media is to get others to share your information with their contacts. It is gold, if you can get a high profile blogger from your industry to give you a leg up by giving you a positive mention. This kind of promotion can send your web traffic and sales through the roof.