Is Organic Reach a Thing of the Past? Here’s How Paid Posts Are Changing the Game

Those who think social media is an easy way to attract a crowd likely have never attempted to mount a digital PR campaign. As PR pros know, such efforts require several steps, including finding your audience members and deciding the platform or platforms where they live, if indeed they are social media consumers.

Then you need to determine the best time or times to speak to them on their platform of choice. You might also need to find and recruit influencers in your sector whom your audience members are following.

Read more at PR News.

7 Ways to Manage the Press Release Approval Process

Press releases remain an important tool for communicators, which means the stress of managing edits from senior leaders and clients is not going away anytime soon.

Here are some tips from Elizabeth Hillman, SVP, communications for Discovery Education, and Dan Ronan, senior director of communications for the American Bus Association, on managing this sometimes fraught process.

1. Clarify your deadlines and communicate those deadlines to all parties. If a release has a scheduled day to go out, make sure you can get it approved long before then, 24 to 48 hours in advance. If you’re responsible for writing the press release, the deadline for publishing it is going to mean a lot more to you than to anyone else involved in the approval process. Do not be shy about insisting on deadlines for feedback from senior leaders. If deadlines are missed, fingers will be pointed at you regardless of the true cause of the delay.

2. Know ahead of time how many people need to approve the press release. Anticipate delays. Not everyone likes to write first drafts of anything, but almost everyone loves to chime in after the fact and second-guess someone else’s work. It’s possible that more people will insert themselves into the approval process at the last minute.

Read more at PR News.

Small Business: Here are 3 Perks of Public Relations that Increase Your Visibility

 

Many smalls businesses may think creating marketing plans is all about advertisement and not public relations. However, PR is a great way for a small business to gain brand awareness. For those of you who are not familiar with PR, it is the relationship between a consumer and a company, brand or product. In a nutshell, publicists bring forth engagement and awareness about a brand to the public.

Public relations campaigns play a driving role in any company, product or brand and the benefits outweigh traditional advertising by far. Think about it. A person is more likely to buy a product if they have been informed about it via social media rather than just the news. PR can achieve results much faster and is less expensive than your traditional advertising campaign.

Perk 1

Having a PR specialist in tune with your audience and brand is key to having a successful campaign.  By building a relationship with your audience and having outlined goals and solid marketing plans, your brand is sure to gain public awareness and consumer loyalty.

Perk 2

Another perk of having a PR specialist is to build relationships with the media/press. A PR specialist is there to make sure the company is sending out trust and news worthy information.

Having this foundation in place will definitely build publicity whether its from press releases, having an event, creating affiliates or brand ambassadors, and even sponsoring events within your industry.

Perk 3

A PR specialist is there to provide newsworthy information that resonates with your audience whether it is on TV, in a magazine/newspaper, social media and/or a blog/website.

So what are you waiting for small business, brands, or products? Stop your traditional advertising techniques and hire a PR specialist. It will only benefit your business in the long run.

3 Innovative Ways Social Media is Used to Build a Stellar PR Campaign

When launching a new service or product, it is important to have a strong marketing and PR campaign behind it. Successful campaigns, however, require knowledge of social media, branding, and public relations skills to attract consumers. Developing a strategy is key to reaching your audience. Many businesses neglect this, which is one reason their consumer or brand awareness is slim to none.

Through social media, consumers are vocal about their opinions on particular brands, services, or products. Collecting this social data will help with creating a strategic marketing/PR campaign. Researching this data will allow the brand to become familiar with its audience, learn trends, and effectively increase revenue. Here are 3 ways your company can use social media to build a stellar brand.

  1. Get familiar with your audience.

It is essential to understand what your potential consumers want. Your overall message and content must resonate with your target market, but also in relation to your brand. If you are not listening to the wants of consumers, your brand will not prevail. Collecting data as far as the common likes and dislikes will allow you have a great return not only in engagement through social media, but also your cash flow. When creating a campaign, it is important to remember your services or products need to fit into the lifestyles of your consumers.

  1. Set future goals.

Using the exceptional social media tools, there are so many ways to track data using real-time convo’s between consumers. These tools allow you to track preferences, engagement, and consumer habits. Tracking this information allows you to predict campaign strategies to help your brand stay ahead of the game. Analysis of social data will help improve the brands services or products. It will also allow the brand to set realistic goals based off of the collected data.

  1. Measure Your Tactics

Don’t waste time or money on strategies that aren’t working. As your PR campaign grows, you must know how to stay up-to-date and maximize your reach. This will allow you to gain brand awareness and exposure. As stated previously, social media helps track the growth of your campaign. Measuring these metrics will allow you to throw away the tactics put in place that did not work and continue to feed your consumer with the tactics that do work. While measuring your tactics, encourage your customers to share your content, products, and services.

3 Foolproof Steps to Manage Any Social Media Crisis

It’s every company’s worst nightmare: Your business is in the news, and not for something good. Maybe it’s the departure of a high-profile executive, an accusation of racism, sexism or homophobia or simply a misunderstanding that escalated quickly. The public eye can turn on you in a flash, and it’s important to have a calm, calculated approach to crises, especially when they occur on—or are gaining traction due to—social media.

You don’t need to look too far to see an abundance of social media crises. Take Chipotle, for example. Allegations of everyone’s favorite fast-casual burrito spot engaging in unsafe food practices that led to an outbreak of E. coli have caused a massive national PR crisis that picked up remarkable steam on social media. Now the brand is attempting to rectify the situation by offering potentially millions of dollars of free food, and has held highly publicized food safety meetings for all staff.

Public perception is everything. The odds that your business will face a massively publicized social media firestorm are slim, but crisis management skills are essential for problems big and small that can affect you in the short term or even permanently. With clients across dozens of industries, we’ve dealt with social media crisis situations all across the board.

In these situations, it’s important to prepare both proactively and reactively. In more detail, a reactive response is what you might use if someone of influence engages with your brand on social media regarding your less-than-perfect health inspection score. At this point, you should decide the reach of the news. You may want to prepare a reactive social media comment, and decide the length to which you want to go to remediate the situation offline. Remember, in these very public times, the customer is always right, but your best move is to take this communication offline. You should also prepare statements for people within the business themselves, such as servers, cashiers and other hourly employees who might face abrupt, in-person questions from customers and the media. Nobody within the organization should be commenting on social media, except for the appointed “speaker of the house.”

Read more at PR News for “three guidelines to crafting social media crisis statements worth sharing. Staying relatively neutral without igniting further social media discussion is the key.”

Small Business? No Website? Say It Ain’t So!

If you are in business then you will have a website, right? Not so, according to recent research from B2B research firm Clutch which found that nearly half of small businesses in the U.S. do not have a website.

by Helen Leggatt

Of the 352 small business owners or managers surveyed by Clutch from across the U.S. from firms with less than 10 employees and less than $1 million in annual revenue, 46% were found to not have a website.

The top excuse for not having a website was that it was not relevant to their business. However, when Clutch asked industry experts in which industries a website would be irrelevant they could think of none.

“No matter what type of business you run, if you have customers, it’s necessary to have some sort of information online, at least a page describing who you are and offering contact information,” says Max Elman, founder of Razorfrog Web Design. “It’s essential to have this information indexed and shown to those looking for you, otherwise you’re relying on third parties. Even if you only have a few clients a year, or think that people won’t search for your type of services, there will be someone looking for you, and you should try and make their process easier.”

Read more here at Biz Report.

Top 5 Social Media Platforms for Small Businesses

Okay. So, we’ll keep this one pretty straightforward. If you are a small business with any hopes of staying afloat, much less growing, there are five social media must haves you need to start using right away. While there are a plethera of social media outlets, these five get you in the game and keep you there for the long haul. Enjoy!

  1. LinkedIn

Many people aren’t aware that LinkedIn is one of the older social networks. Today, LinkedIn is the top network for business professionals with a total of 414 million users. This social site is the perfect place to network with business people in your field; it is basically an online resume. Keeping your profile up to date and posting good content is key to gaining exposure. Doing these things will help your brand exponentially.

  1. Facebook

With nearly 1.4 billion users, Facebook is continuing to grow day by day. Not only is Facebook the most used social network, it also connects different cultures in real time, which is a great platform for any brand. This platform is a must have for any brand, service, product or company. Yes, I said a must. Facebook has many features that will allow your brand to get the ultimate exposure. Using the promoted post options allow your brand to be seen by thousands of people many of whom may well become consumers. If your company does not have a Facebook business page, you should create one as soon as possible.

  1. Instagram

Within the past few years Instagram has become one of the most dominant social sites. This social site is great for visuals and hash tags. This tool is also great for driving traffic to your Facebook and Twitter accounts as you can post to Instagram and also these two social sites. Posting at least one to two times daily is key to keeping your followers engaged. Posting more than this may result in a loss of engagement.

  1. Pinterest

Pinterest is great for increasing traffic to your website. It is not just for the crafty people and stay at home moms. In fact, many companies and brands reach their consumers and also potential affiliates through this platform. The best part about Pinterest is that you can post more frequently than other social sites.

  1. Twitter

According to a study, Twitter is more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol, making it easier for a brand to reach a larger audience. This platform is vital to social engagement for any brand. It’s also a great platform to meet people you want to know.

There you have it. So, whether you start them all at once, or you saddle up one at a time, strap on your social media handles and get growing!