A great public relations campaign can be quickly undermined by different messaging on your social media platforms. Kathryn Van Kuyk and Anthony Caruana, co-founders of Media-Wize, share their top tips for aligning your socials to reinforce, not hinder, your PR campaigns.
In the battle to stand out and be noticed by your target customers and stakeholders, it’s important that small businesses use every tool available to reinforce brand awareness.
When approaching communications and promoting your business, it is essential to take a holistic view of all marketing, advertising, PR, web and social to ensure a consistent message is delivered across all platforms, customer channels and touch points.
Share the learnings across channels
Social media is an affordable way to reach your target audience, but it does take time and a regular commitment to ensuring you build a presence and maintain it with regular posts.
One of the big pitfalls many businesses make is to hand over different platforms and activities and manage them in silos. For instance, the social media team may have zero awareness of what the PR team is working on, and hence the messaging and emphasis can be very different and not always complementary.
It is important that all people working on marketing, advertising, digital, social and PR share insights and learnings and collaborate.
The reason for this is simple, the customer only sees your business as one brand. They don’t see channels. Whether they walk into a store, view your website, read about you on social media or read a newspaper article about your business, to them it is all one brand.
Therefore, all communications about your business need to be complementary and work to further the customers’ understanding about what you offer, why you’re different, and how you’re special.
5 top tips to align your social media with PR
1. Post on more than one platform
We are often baffled when we see companies we work with achieve an amazing piece of media coverage, but then fail to share it on social media. Or if they share it, they might only share it on one platform.
When we’ve asked startups and small businesses we work with why it was only shared onc Instagram and not Facebook, or on LinkedIn and not Twitter, we often hear that it is a resourcing and time issue.
There are social media tools that are free or at minimal expense that enable all businesses to load one post up and immediately send it to all social media platforms instantly, at the click of a button. Investing in using Hootsuite or Loomly, for instance, can help overcome these roadblocks.
2. Reinforce the theme of your PR
When you do share media coverage on social media, we caution you though to never thank the journalist. By all means, tag the media outlet and the journalist who wrote the piece, but for many journalists being thanked is irritating as they are there to cover the news and don’t want to be positioned as writing stories that promote a business – they want to cover stories on merit, because they are newsworthy.
So be mindful of this and instead of thanking them for writing about you, reinforce the theme of the article and why it is topical – why it was important that they cover it.
3. Share more than once!
Another common pitfall we see often is that businesses think they can only share a piece of media coverage once. This is false, a lot of work went into securing a great media story, written by an independent media outlet on merit, so it is an enormous proof point that your business is newsworthy, topical and interesting. It should be leveraged multiple times over a year to reinforce the message on social media.
Techniques to do this include posting with a different emphasis, highlighting quotes from the article or linking its relevance to a similar issue that might be flaring again at another time.
For instance, if your business is run by a female founder then an article about them might be relevant to share again when it is International Women’s Day.
4. Press or media section on your website
If you have a website then all your media coverage should be added to an ‘In the Press’ section to hero the coverage and make sure potential customers are aware of what’s being written about you.
The article shared on your website is then the link you want to share on social so that the SEO works in your favour and leads the customer back to your website, where they might explore more what products and services your business offers.
5. Highlight PR themes with mini-posts
Another great trick to leverage to bolster your social media content, is to extract content that is prepared for PR campaigns. You can extract messages from media releases, media pitches and bylines, and design mini posts to highlight these themes and further ensure market awareness.
Any piece of content written about your business has the potential to be repackaged for social media.
When all your communications are ‘on message’ and amplified across all customer touchpoints, the magic starts to happen.
Customers can more easily identify what you offer and what you stand for, and with the building of a consistent, easily recognisable and understandable presence they may align, resonate and feel a stronger pull towards you than your competitors.
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