In this digital age, it’s nearly impossible to miss local, national and world news in real-time. No matter where you are or what you’re doing chances are you most likely have breaking news in the palm of your hand via your smartphone. In fact, 30% of American adults get their news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center.
Surely your heartstrings (and attention) have been tugged by all those feel good people and pet stories in your News Feeds. If you dig deep enough, you’ll discover similar stories within your own business or nonprofit. It’s just a matter of being open to listening and discovering the human-interest and news pieces that attract today’s busy editors, reporters, and producers.
After you write your story and take some high-quality images and possibly some video, you’re ready to post and share your news on social. Review these three ways to tell your story on social media:
1. Tweet to meet and engage media sources.
In addition to emailing a release, engage in dialog on social media to build your media network. According to ING’s 2014 Social Media Impact survey, 57% of journalists consider social media to be ideal for contacting PR professionals and vice versa. Use social media to build relationships with journalists and bloggers to gain a better understanding of what they write about, when they need resources, and how they prefer to work with you.
According to a 2014 report from the Indiana University School of Journalism, 40% of journalists said social media networks are very important to their work. Over a third said they spent between 30 and 60 minutes each day on social networking sites. Twitter was the most popular type of social media used by journalists, and over half of those surveyed said they regularly use the platform for gathering information and reporting stories.
Use your website blog as a home for your story, images and video to live and use a tool like Hashtags.org to incorporate trending hashtags into your tweets for greater visibility.
2. Be in the know about Facebook’s new tools for media publishers.
Facebook recently introduced new and exciting ways for news accounts to target posts, remove posts that are no longer relevant and identify popular links that they haven’t shared. One widely anticipated and requested change is Facebook’s Smart Publishing tool, which identifies and publishes stories that are popular with people on Facebook. Once the setting is enabled, frequently shared links will appear more in the News Feed for people who like a publisher’s Page. Make sure to like news sites covering your industry and region to get a sense of the news stories being shared on their sites and thus popping up more in your News Feed.
Once you understand and follow how the media will be using the new tools, you can deliver producers and editors the type of content that’s being shared on social media. Facebook will regularly share announcements and tips on its News Feed FYI.
It’s wise to learn firsthand from Facebook and its content creators what’s trending in the news. Your research will give you a better chance of securing media coverage when pitching a story.
3. Proofread your social media story teasers.
Make sure to proofread your tweets and posts for accuracy and working links. Check the spelling of key names (brands, people, etc.) as well as contact information. Editors may use your release or blog post for the facts and as a potential resource for larger features. If you spell a name two ways or a phone number is wrong by one digit, this will frustrate the contact who has to get ahold of you to double check.
Here’s an example of a tweet with a typo from Grub Street, a blog about the New York City restaurant scene from New York magazine. Their fans were pretty accepting of the typo and appreciated the afternoon chuckle. I’m sure the editors, however, were pretty crabby about the error ;).
Start engaging with the media on social and best of luck on your PR efforts in the New Year.Have any questions, please feel free to comment on this blog or contact us. Subscribe to inBLOOM’s blog alerts, and you’ll get Social Media Marketing and Public Relations tips for success emailed to you weekly.
Pew Research Center: How Social Media is Reshaping News
The American Journalist in the Digital Age: Key Findings from Indiana University.