When I think about how I've met most of my "business friends," I'm amazed that many of them have come through social media! Heck, I even met my business partner by commenting on her blog. We became partners before we had even met in person.
Social media has proven itself to be a wonderful way to connect with others and build relationships — regardless of borders. As many have found, it is also an excellent business building tool, a great way to personalize your business and allow customers and followers to get to know you on a different level.
Because of this, social media is a natural partner for publicity and PR. After all, public relations is all about relating to the public and communicating to your customer base. Here some unique ways that you can leverage social media to bring more publicity to you and your business:
1) Twitter: If you've recently published an article or blog post, released a study, won an award or are hosting a contest, be sure to post that news on your Twitter feed. Better yet, publish a press release online and then link to it on Twitter. You've already built a following of loyal readers — be sure they are up to date on the latest happening in your business! Remember, Twitter feeds move fast. Posting your news announcement once isn't enough. You'll get a stronger response if you post your link several times over 3-4 days.
2) Facebook: This social media platform is excellent for sharing news! Because links often showcase a thumbnail image, be sure your published press release includes a catchy photo (preferably of a person — people like to look at photos of other people!) Similar to Twitter, when you've done something newsworthy, publish a press release and then link to it on Facebook.
Because Facebook feeds move slower than Twitter, you can take advantage of this by 'teasing' your upcoming announcement. Let your readers know that you're working on something special and you're excited about it. Be sure you also link to anything you've published — videos, articles, blogs, etc… so that your followers can find all of your content.
3) Pinterest: It's a great idea to create a "News" board on Pinterest and use it to categorize your news announcements. This social media network is all about awesome images and videos — proving yet again that excellent content gets rewarded. Think about the images and videos you use in your news announcements and then let them shine on Pinterest!
On the flip side, you can use a Pinterest contest as a reason to write a press release! Create a 'Pin it to Win it' contest and then publicize it with a news release.
4) LinkedIn: Obviously, LinkedIn is yet another social network that you can use to link to your published news announcements. Beyond that, however, you can also use LinkedIn in a more traditional public relations sense. Research forums and answer questions pertaining to your industry. Listen to what people are talking about and asking about — then find ways that your business can answer those questions for them.
All social networks provide opportunities for you to connect with the public and listen to the questions that they are asking. This leaves you with an incredible opportunity to answer them and provide products and services that they can use. This is the ultimate definition of public relations!
Tara Geissinger is Co-Founder of the online publicity firm, Online PR Media, and Co-Owner of content marketing firm, SEO Content Solutions. She is passionate about helping business owners get visibility online through content marketing and publicity.