WordWrite Storytelling Blog

Stop stressing about the new Facebook algorithm

Posted by Louis Spanos

 

If you’re in the communications field in any way, shape or form, you’ve probably heard about the big change to Facebook’s algorithm.

Mark Zuckerberg is hoping these adjustments to the algorithm will be the first steps in correcting the less-than-perfect effects Facebook has had on our society. With this change, posts from friends will be given priority over those from business accounts. Instead of seeing an Old Navy carousel ad, you’ll be more likely to see what your roommate from college had for brunch. Facebook claims it wants you to connect with your friends again.

While this positioning sends a great message from Facebook, there’s another reason social media experts claim to be the true motivation behind the algorithm change: Facebook wants more ad dollars. With the update, advertisers will need to pay more to get the same impact while the organic reach of business pages will be decreased. There have been numerous opinion pieces published mourning the loss of organic social to Facebook’s pay-to-play system. Experts say as advertisers are forced to shell out more cash, the barrier to entry gets higher and higher

facebook-3-241232-editedThis announcement has been incredibly controversial, eliciting some strong reactions, but let’s all take a breath. While we love to use Facebook for ads, Mark Zuckerberg is right: Facebook has become less a place for friends and more a place to see new ads with each swipe on your phone. We also shouldn’t be shocked Facebook is making their advertising system more expensive; this change has been anticipated for years.

The good news for businesses? Organic social is not dead. Will it be harder to get the same impact you’re used to? Absolutely. However, if you’re already creating posts that follow best practices, you have nothing to worry about. Facebook is mainly targeting spam posts designed to cheat the algorithm or that don’t contribute to the conversation at large. The best way to protect your company is to create engaging content.

While I wish we could wave a wand and make your page audience like, comment and share your posts, we can’t. If we could, we’d do it ourselves. What we can do, however, is share a few strategies we’ve used to increase engagement.

  1. Have a set schedule for posts. If you consistently post between 1 and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, stick to those time frames to keep your audience.
  2. Engage with other accounts. If you’re sharing content that’s either about a company or from someone else, tag their page to encourage the page to engage with your post. This is a good way to “nudge” them to like or even share the post. Their audience will then see your account, amplifying your reach.
  3. Plan content your audience wants. To make it simple, every piece of content you post needs to have a purpose. Whether it be to establish your company as a thought leader or educate the audience on the benefits of your goods or services, don’t post content just to post content. Create quality content your audience wants.

Ignore the alarms about the world being turned upside down with the latest Facebook algorithm update. If you’re already creating quality content your audience enjoys, then you don’t need to worry. If your content isn’t up to par, consider this a wake-up call.Spanos Headshot

Need help crafting quality content for your business? Reach out to the WordWrite team today.

Louis Spanos is an assistant account executive at WordWrite Communications. You can reach him at louis.spanos@wordwritepr.comSpanos HeadshotLouis_Spanos_headshot

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: social media, B2B, facebook, content creation, algorithm change, B2C

Media relations: letting go of control

Posted by Hollie Geitner

As communicators, we have a natural tendency to want to control things – a message, a story, an interview, a planned event, etc. We’re also cynical by nature, not because we’re characteristically negative, but because we are trained to anticipate the “what-if’s” of any circumstance.

  • What if we get this question?
  • What if there is a fire?
  • What if production is halted?
  • What if someone is injured?
  • What if there is a natural disaster?
  • What if there is a lawsuit?
  • What if it fails?

AdobeStock_48659280 reducedThese are all things we’ve been faced with at one point or another in our combined nearly 150 years of working in crisis PR and media relations on behalf of our clients or employers. In general, we prefer to over-prepare rather than scramble because we haven’t thought things through thoroughly.

If there is one thing we’ve all learned through experience, it’s that being prepared is vitally important. So is being flexible and able to maneuver through unknowns. It's truly the key to success.

Recently, we were tested when we pitched a story on behalf of a client. We drafted a short pitch and sent it to a reporter with whom we’ve worked for many years and during his time at different publications. We know he’s seasoned and if he’s interested, he’ll let us know. He did almost sidebarimmediately.

Good news, right? Absolutely. But, we also know this reporter is very knowledgeable about the industry he covers and has a lot ofconnections for stories. Part of his interest was likely to add to his list of connections for future stories, which is smart on his part. For us, however, that meant we didn’t have any certainty he would indeed write a story, despite his interest in speaking with our client.

So, we worked with the client to get contact information and availability for the two company leaders, representatives of a company that had commissioned a survey related to the pitch and a supporter/board member and shared it all with the reporter. He promptly thanked us, but still, no confirmation of a story.  

At that point, we could only assist. Control was officially out of our hands.

About two weeks later on a cold Sunday morning, we saw it. Front page, Business section, a beautiful story about the company we’d pitched, complete with a photo. The next day, the same story was posted on the paper’s website.

The takeaway of this example? To steal from a well-known movie my daughter absolutely loves, sometimes you just have to let it go. Resist all urge to control and simply trust. Trust that you’ve done a good job in preparing and trust in the reporter doing his/her job to the best of their ability. There is no “secret media relations tip to guarantee coverage.” If we told you that, we’d be lying and that’s not who we are.

It’s quite simply a matter of knowing your audience, managing expectations and trusting that it will work out the way it’s supposed to. If the journalist had only spoken to the client and not written a story, that would have been a success too. At the end of the day, we work in media and public relations. We’re not scientists or doctors. If we make connections with people who may not have known each other prior to our introduction, that’s success. Click below to download our guide and learn more about how we develop meaningful media relationships at WordWrite.

Download my media relationship guide! 

Hollie Geitner is vice president, client services at WordWrite. Follow her on Twitter @JustHollieG

Hollie

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: media relations, public relations

Business goals and New Year resolutions: 4 tips to stay on track in 2018

Posted by Hollie Geitner

Serious question – did you set a resolution for 2018? Have you been successful so far? Be honest. According to Statistic Brain, 41 percent of Americans usually make a New Year’s resolution and of those 42.4 percent fail completely. In fact, only 8 percent of people actually succeed at all.

Every January, people flock to the gym hoping to lose weight, get fit and live healthier. By the end of the month, more than half of those gym-goers have thrown in the towel, reverting to their previous year’s habits. But, ready for the good news? Those who make a resolution are 10 times more likely to be successful than those who never commit at all.

A survey conducted by Statista revealed, not surprisingly, the most common 2018 aspirations are: lose weight, eat healthier and save more money. Sounds pretty admirable, right? As I sat down to write out my own goals and resolutions for the year, it occurred to me how much of what we do in PR and media relations is like a resolution for some companies. Oftentimes, there is a lofty goal (more media coverage, more attendance at an event, etc.), however, much less time or financial investment is devoted to achieving those goals. And, because of that, they fail.

So, let’s take a look at what makes resolutions successful and how those can translate to marketing and PR goals for the year.

AdobeStock_183669924.jpeg

1. Specific Goals

Whether it’s losing weight or connecting with influencers, you need to be specific in what you actually want to achieve and what you consider a success. If you have a product you’d like to get out in front of social influencers, your goal could be:

Connect with 12 bloggers and marketing influencers in [industry] who will review or write about [product name.]

2. Measurement

You may have heard the saying, “if you can measure it, you can change it.” And, that’s certainly true. Once you know what you want to achieve, figure out how you’re going to measure progress. Say you want to use social media to attract more potential clients. You might measure your success along the way in terms of forms filled out via a landing page, engagement from your audience on your social channels or tracking how people found out about your business.

3. Patience and Perseverance 

Depending upon your goal, it’s highly unlikely you’ll reach it overnight. If you want more earned media in 2018, understand that this takes time. It’s not like purchasing an ad and waiting for calls to come in, which hardly ever happens either. You have to craft your story and devise a plan to share it with those who matter while building relationships along the way. Sometimes, you’ll come across roadblocks or get frustrated because things don’t turn out exactly as you’d have liked. Persistence is key. Look at the bigger picture and make necessary changes. Maybe messaging needs tweaked or the timing needs to be adjusted. Small setbacks do not equal failure. It’s simply a part of the process and why we always encourage clients looking for earned media to have a long-term plan rather than focus on quick projects.

4. Reward Success

Celebrating small wins and victories is crucial to the process. Don’t wait until the end when the main goal has been achieved, chose critical points along the way and celebrate sticking to the plan. This can provide much-needed motivation when things get difficult – and they will.

In short, as you look ahead to your goals for 2018, keep these tips in mind to be in the elite 8 percent of people who keep their resolutions and make positive changes.         

Our friends at HubSpot created this marketing planning template to help you align your marketing efforts with SMART goals. Download it below!

Here’s to a great year!

Download your free SMART marketing goals template

 

Hollie Geitner is vice president, client services for WordWrite Communications.You can find her on Twitter @JustHollieGHollie.jpeg

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: public relations, marketing, goals

New year. New Facebook policy that affects you.

Posted by Noah Fleming

Facebook had an interesting year in 2017, from hitting 2 billion monthly users to having to testify at congressional hearings to explain how Russia was able to purchase Facebook ads in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Whether you have been following this story or not, Facebook has already begun taking the necessary steps to fix the spreading of “fake news” and made updates across the platform. You can read more about each of the updates in 2017 here.fullsizeoutput_78.jpg

The policy that’s the focus of this blog post is the new Domain Verification Policy that will be implemented in “early 2018” from what we’ve been told by Facebook. Now why does this matter to your Facebook content marketing strategy? Here’s the Facebook version.

“We’re always working to limit the spread of false news on Facebook in order to support a more informed community. Last month we shared an update on why we’re removing the ability to modify shared link previews on Facebook. Starting today non-publisher Pages will no longer be able to overwrite link metadata (i.e. headline, description, image) … This will help eliminate a channel that has been abused to post false news. Impacted Pages can still program and preview how their link attachments will appear on Facebook using Open Graph tags and our Sharing Debugger.” There’s more in this blog post.

The short version: when you are scheduling Facebook content that comes from your website or client’s website, you will no longer be able to update the preview link, header text, or the image associated with the content. Whatever pops up from the link will be what you have to post.

How do you fix this?

To reclaim your content freedom (and prove you’re not posting fake news), you will have to verify your domain. If you are an agency, you will have to verify the partnership between your client’s business manager account and your own account to continue to update these essential features moving forward.

You have two different options that you can share with your IT department, web developer or whoever may have access to your web host (say GoDaddy.com for example). Facebook provides a step-by-step process to complete this change. You can find it here.

fullsizeoutput_79.jpgIf you are a business and already have a business manager account, you are all set and will be able to continue posting great content!

However, if you are an agency posting on behalf of a client, you’ll have to take a few more steps to complete the process. If your client already has a business manager page, you will need to work with their team and have them “assign” you as a partner. If they don’t have one, you will need to work with them to create one and then follow the steps at the link.

Some key takeaways here:

  • Understand why Facebook is implementing this policy and when it will happen.
  • Be proactive and follow policy updates as we move into 2018. We suspect there will be more information early on in Q1.
  • Take the “sooner rather than later” approach through the domain verification process. It will save you the headache when it officially rolls out.

 

Noah Fleming is digital and inbound marketing specialist at WordWrite. You can reach him at noah.fleming@wordwritepr.com.Noah headshot photo.jpeg

 

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: facebook, content creation

Top lessons from the 2017 IABC Heritage Region Student Conference

Posted by Nicole Gittman

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the IABC Heritage Region Student Conference. The speakers covered a variety of topics to help me understand why I've made certain decisions so far in my life and how I can apply all that I’ve learned to the work world.

It can take years of trial and error to find out who you really are. When I was little, I dreamed of being a veterinarian, but here I am now as a college senior, majoring in public relations at Slippery Rock University. So, what changed? I did.

The real-world experience that the workplace provides enhances our skills so we can make an informed career decision. I learned that as much as I love animals, a medical field was not for me. My eagerness to make a difference still pushed me to pursue a career where I’d have the ability to do so via storytelling and working with the media. The IABC speakers explained how to stand out using skills like crisis management and how networking can positively impact your life and the world.

Standing out

Steve Radick, VP of Brunner, and Paul Furiga, CEO of WordWrite Communications, both explained the importance of differentiating yourself from the crowd. There is no other person with the same unique qualities and skills as you. You are your own brand that you’re trying to market to potential employers, so it is up to you to make sure these professionals see your value.

Paul explained how instead of focusing on asking for a job right away, you should engage in a casual conversation about the industry. Be sure to also ask “how” questions. This is the equivalent of asking the professional’s opinion, allowing your contact to be the expert. These questions give you the opportunity to add your own opinion and ideas to the conversation so you can stand out.

fullsizeoutput_21

Instead of immediately asking an employer if they’re hiring, send a message and connect with them on LinkedIn. If you enjoyed a recent blog post of theirs, include that in the message! For example, you can say,

“Hello Ms. Rectenwald. I read your blog post about how to share your nonprofit’s story with the media and loved it! How did you become involved with nonprofit PR?”

This not only compliments another professional’s work, but includes a “how” question to start a conversation with the connection.

During the session, Steve asked, “What makes you, you? What makes you different from everyone else out there? As I tell my clients, sometimes different is better than better."

It finally occurred to me that not only will my competition have a degree, they’ll also have extra-curricular activities, job experience and professional recommendations—so how can I prove to a potential employer that I’m different? By proving that I’m different from the other candidates.

Steve shared a story of how he interviewed one intern candidate that had “Student Jeopardy” on his resume. Did this have anything to do with public relations, marketing or advertising? No, but this told Steve about the interviewee’s interests. How many of you can say you were on “Student Jeopardy?” It’s a conversation starter, and from there can help the employer determine whether you’ll fit into the office culture.

When asked, “If you were only given 140-characters or less to differentiate yourself from everyone else, what would you say?”, I was completely puzzled. I had never thought about something like this before. What do I value? How could I possibly narrow down all these little facts about me to 140-characters? (And yes, I know, Twitter now offers 280-characters, but let’s pretend you still had to keep to 140.) Remember, less is more when it comes to social media.

Crisis Communications

Once you get that job that you’re absolutely in love with, you’ll have to learn to adapt to obstacles that come your way. For PR, you never know when a crisis will occur.

According to Dianne Chase, IABC International chair, there are 10 types of crises. These include industrial, criminal, environmental, financial, regulatory, legislative, natural, product, labor and corporate. One type of crisis can overlap with another at any point, possibly leading to multiple crises at one time. PR professionals must be flexible to cope with challenging circumstances. There are definitely a lot of different variables to juggle, but that’s the joy of PR.

When handling multiple crises, it's important to inform the employees first to make sure everyone stays updated. My guess was that the first step to handling a crisis is to make a statement and include an apology – wrong. As it turns out, employee relations come first. In PR, your staff is more than your team; they’re your family. You don’t let family handle a crisis alone, or even worse, find out via the news or social media. Everyone must be on the same page so you can work together to find a solution.

The importance of networking

Finding employment today is harder than ever. To get a job, you don’t just submit a resume online anymore; social media now allows us to build relationships with people who can connect you to where you need to be, all with the swipe of a finger.

Paul discussed that while networking should start out on social media, it still ends up being face-to-face. Be sure to ask open-ended questions – “yes” or “no” answers shorten your meeting with someone who could change your career.

Paul shared that, “When trying to stand out, keep the focus solely on letting the employer learn about you. Don’t ask for a job because, psychologically, it can frighten the potential employer away.” It’s kind of like when asking someone on a date – come on too strong, the relationship is ruined before it even had a chance.

Steve also added that students should be branching out and contacting different employers now. The first time you connect with someone shouldn’t be to ask for a job – make conversation. Build a relationship. Let future employers learn who you are before you apply for a full-time job. One connection could lead to another that could in turn lead you down a path you never even thought of.

Paul and Steve’s presentations provided my peers and me with invaluable advice for taking our first steps towards the real world, while Dianna taught me how to handle any crisis. Her tips can be utilized to assist with any situation that I might face in the future, either in my career or even in my personal life. I know planning ahead can be stressful, but the IABC Conference taught me that you can have control over your life and your future.

Now, are you ready to read my resume-tweet? “In the past ten years, Nicole has seen over five countries, rescued 16 animals and moved six hours away for school.”

Can you describe yourself in 140 characters or less? Comment below.

Nicole headshot.jpg

Nicole Gittman was the Fall 2017 Intern at WordWrite Communications, and will graduate from Slippery Rock University in Spring 2018. You can connect with her on LinkedIn (use as many characters as you'd like) here.

1 Comment | View Comments

Customer service = client service: PR lessons from a restaurant pioneer

Posted by Jeremy Church

The pioneering CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” might no longer be appointment viewing like it was during its first 25 years, when at least 20 million people tuned in each week.

But it’s still the gold standard in investigative reporting and the personality profiles are typically just as compelling.

Take, for instance, a segment on the Oct. 8 episode spotlighting Danny Meyer, a restaurant entrepreneur who has been the innovator behind many dining experiences we take for granted.

His company, Union Square Hospitality Group, oversees 15 different restaurants, including upscale eateries, casual bistros and a little burger chain you might have heard of called Shake Shack.

I was casually listening to Meyer speak while putting away dishes, but the parallels he started describing between the restaurant business and the world of strategic communications consulting made me pause, sit down and think.

In our experience, strong client relationships depend on identifying who we need to please within an organization’s hierarchy, doing whatever we can to make those people happy. This typically involves assisting them in driving forward initiatives they lack the internal resources to accomplish themselves. Because it’s often more than one person we need to portray as the hero, the strategies and tactics we employ vary, based in large part on the wide range of personalities we serve.

It’s no different in Meyer’s line of work and he had his own unique way of articulating the challenges associated with keeping his customers satisfied.AdobeStock_37865487.jpeg

“Everyone on Earth is walking around life wearing an invisible sign that says, ‘Make me feel important,’” Meyer said. “And your job is to understand the size of the font of this invisible sign and how brightly it's lit. So, make me feel important by leaving me alone. Make me feel important by letting me tell you everything I know about food. It's our job to read that sign and to deliver the experience that that person needs.”

These comments epitomize the significance of maintaining and growing existing client and customer relationships. In the world of business, everyone has an organizational or personal agenda. We’re naïve to believe otherwise.

In the restaurant world where profit margins are razor thin, diners expect the food to be good. If it’s not, they won’t come back. The same parallels hold true for the world of public relations and content creation. At WordWrite, if we can’t execute the organic social media, inbound marketing, paid search or media relations campaigns (among other services) we were hired to perform, then we’ll be out on the street quickly.

For us to be successful in the long term, for us to keep clients coming back and attract new clients, we must also constantly read and understand the audience – both internally in the organizations we serve and externally in the audiences we’re trying to reach. 

In Meyer’s world, it’s not just about the food. The expectation of good food gets diners in the door. He wants the experiences people have at his restaurants to create memories that keep them coming back.

Or as he puts it, you need to understand who the boss is at each table.

“There's no question in my mind that at every single table there's somebody who's got the biggest agenda,” Meyer said. “If it's two people doing business, there's someone who's trying to sell something to somebody else. And I think that if you can figure that out early on in the meal, and understand what is it going take for the boss to leave happy . . .  It could be making sure that someone else gets to pick the wine. You’ve just got to pick up on those cues.”

We’d like to know what you think in the comments section.

How does Meyer’s philosophy translate to your organization’s approach?

Feel free to click here to learn more about the way we prefer to engage with our clients.

 

Jeremy Church is a partner at WordWrite Communications and the vice president of media and content strategies. He can be reached at  jeremy.church@wordwritepr.com and on Twitter @churchjeremy.Jeremy.jpeg




Photo credit: Adobe Stock

 

 

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: client service, content creation, strategic communications, consulting

How to tell your nonprofit's story to the media

Posted by Robin Rectenwald

WordWrite Communications serves a variety of clients, but we also have a passion for helping local nonprofits tell their great, untold stories.  

In September, I was asked to speak to West Virginia University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter. While I shared information about the type of work we do for our clients, I focused on how we come up with compelling story ideas for our nonprofit clients. We thought we’d share those tips for other students interested in this topic or any nonprofits looking for ways to share their stories. 

Who is the hero of the story?

Too often, nonprofits rely on telling their stories by touting all of the great work they do for the community. While it’s important to communicate your organization’s impact, it does not always need to be the focus. When thinking of ways to tell your story to the media, think of who you’re helping.

NONPROFIT iStock-667128036.jpg

What is their story and how are you providing support to help them achieve their goals? The media is always looking for human interest stories, especially local ones.

Who is using your services?

Similarly, nonprofits should consider getting to know the people utilizing their services or visiting their space. Who is depending on the services and how are they using them? For example, we recently pitched a story to WPXI-TV about a local teenager utilizing the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s teen space and resources to publish a literacy journal to promote the outstanding poetry, fiction and nonfiction writing of teens in Allegheny County. Check out the news story here. 

In other words, if you have people coming to your space to utilize the facilities, such as a kitchen, computer room, donation room, etc., learning more about these people and how they are using these services is another way to tell your story to the media.

What makes the program unique?

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S, many of which offer similar services. For this reason, nonprofits must keep in mind how its program is unique, or how it differentiates from other nonprofits.  

Take the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh for example. Every summer, the nonprofit organization invites children to Camp Soles, a traditional summer camp similar to other camps found across the nation. So, how were we able to coordinate a story with an NBC affiliate in Johnstown?  We pitched, “Camp America,” a unique program that invites third culture kids, or American children growing up in foreign countries, to experience an American tradition. With this interesting angle, we were able to catch the attention of a reporter, who did a great story!  You can view it here.

Where is the nonprofit located?

Many nonprofit organizations serve specific communities and are looking for support from that community. For this reason, pitching to community newspapers is a great way to share its story with its target audience. Take a look at this story about the Ward Home, a nonprofit that serves at-risk foster teens. Because the nonprofit is based in Scott Township, we pitched The Almanac, a weekly community newspaper serving the South Hills.

Who are the subject matter experts?

Even if a nonprofit does serve a particular community, there are still ways to get your nonprofit quoted in national publications. How? By pitching your subject matter experts as thought leaders. For instance, we recently helped Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh get quoted in a Reader’s Digest article on parenting tips.

Erin Zambataro, an early learning librarian, works with families and children on a daily basis to ensure that every child in Pittsburgh who enters Kindergarten is ready to read and succeed in school. By sharing her knowledge and expertise with a national publication, she was quoted in this article: 50 Tiny (but Powerful!) Ways You Can Encourage Your Kids Every Day.

These are just a few ways to brainstorm unique story ideas to grab the attention of the media and ultimately tell memorable stories that will attract new donors and volunteers to your organization.

Interested in learning more about how WordWrite can help your business tell it’s story, let us know by emailing Paul Furiga at paul.furiga@wordwritepr.com

Robin Rectenwald is senior account executive for WordWrite Communicatons. You can reach her at robin.rectenwald@wordwritepr.com

robin_rechtenwald.png

 

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: media relations, story, public relations, non-profit

Smart Start to B2B Social

Posted by Louis Spanos

A Smart Start for your B2B’s Social Presence

Like any other Millennial, I’m obsessed with social media. I scroll through Facebook to see who’s engaged or expecting, Instagram to see who’s been to that new fusion restaurant and LinkedIn to keep tabs on my classmates’ professional ventures. While we’ve all been busy swiping and double tapping our way through life, someone realized they could make a ton of cash using these platforms for marketing. I mean a lot. Today, all companies list social media as an integral (if not the most important part) of their marketing and public relations operations.

Some companies have used social media to come back from the brink of obscurity (hello, Denny’s) while others have had bad situations go from bad to worse play out on social media (RIP, Fyre Festival). It’s tempting to experiment with a social media strategy that sees your account slinging out sassy comebacks like Wendy’s, but it’s not in the cards for everyone. Especially if you’re a business-facing company, or B2B. No one wants their accountant serving out sick burns, they just want their taxes done on time.

Why Use Social as a B2B?

So, we already know that a lot of companies use social media as a marketing tool. Is it a worthy investment for a B2B though? Survey says yes. According to HubSpot, 90 percent of marketers report that their social media efforts generated more exposure for their company and increased sales. By spending as little as six hours a week, 66 percent of those surveyed saw lead generation benefits from their social media activity and revenue increases nearing 25 percent.

Being a B2B on social media does not mean you can’t have fun and engage with your audience. If your company only posts sales pitch after sales pitch, you’ll alienate existing customers and push away potential leads. Whether your company already has a Facebook account or you’re just dipping your toes into the water, now is the time for you to invest in your social media efforts and tell your company’s story.

Consistency is Key

If you’re worried about your current social media presence, take a breath. Establishing a company’s social media account is quick and easy. The most important thing to social media is consistency in posting. If you’re planning a social media strategy where your company begins by posting on a frequent basis, you need to be prepared to maintain that frequency.

There’s been a million different studies for what day or time posts on a specific platform perform best, but the best advice I can give you is to create a schedule that you can stick to. What does this mean? If you want to launch an Instagram for your office furniture company, it’s better to start by posting less content consistently than it is to post more content inconsistently.

The Facebook login page on the screen of a mobile phone.

If you plan to start by posting several photos a day on Instagram, you need to be able to keep that momentum for the long-term future. Not just a week, or even a month—you should be planning for at least a year.

Every social media platform values consistency in their algorithm, and it’s in your best interest to keep this top of mind when developing your company’s social media strategy.

Which Channel is the Best Fit?

So now that we’ve got a posting strategy out of the way, the next step is to decide what channel or channels your company should be on. A good rule of thumb is to start with Facebook and add channels from there. Pew Research Center states that 79 percent of all adults use Facebook, and that number is only rising. That’s a lot of scrolling.

Is your company a professional services company with clients that tend to be other businesses? You should most likely have a LinkedIn account since a lot of your customers are already there. According to HubSpot, LinkedIn is the only platform with a user base that trends older rather than younger. These older users tend to be decision makers.

Similarly, if your company is more visual and generally public-facing, say hello to Instagram. In March 2017, over 120 million Instagram users interacted with a business based on viewing an Instagram ad, and more than 60 percent of users first learned about a product or service through Instagram.

Since there is so much competition, your company should consider launching only on channels that are vital to reaching your target audience. Instagram is a great platform, but only if you’re ready to invest the time into growing your account. If so, read on to learn how you can tell your company’s best story on Instagram.

To make a long story short, social media is a big deal today. It’s not just for Nike, Wendy’s or your mom’s Etsy store. Your B2B business needs to join the partyit’s easy to play catch up. Social media is a matter of finding your audience and determining how much time you can invest. Use your 140 characters wisely.

Want to learn more? Download our whitepaper.

Louis Spanos is an account coordinator at WordWrite Communications.
Photo credit: Pixabay.com

 Louis_Spanos_headshot.jpg

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: media relations, social media, public relations, B2B, LinkedIn, facebook, instagram, Twitter

How to effectively “newsjack” your media coverage

Posted by Erin O'Connor

Timeliness has long been a key component of any PR professional’s media relations toolbox. In fact, to a journalist, timeliness is one of the main qualifications in determining whether a pitch is newsworthy. But all too often we find that companies miss the mark in understanding the appropriate way to introduce their brand into the conversation, and the message either gets lost or sounds disingenuous.

In 2011, marketing-industry guru David Meerman Scott pioneered the idea of “newsjacking,” or the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story. His concept was fairly simple – when news breaks, journalists have a small window of time to search for relevant, credible sources to give them the who/what/where/when/why behind a story. According to Scott, the who/what/where/when are the easy questions, but the why is what reporters are really looking for. The meat of the story – why is this important to the reader? It’s the why that makes a story resonate.

Newsjacking is a great tool for brands – it helps establish thought leadership, credibility and let’s your audiences know that you’re at the forefront of emerging trends. But how do you know what types of stories are the right fit for your brand?

To help you navigate the wide world of newsjacking, here are a few tips to keep you ahead of the game:

Understand who you’re talking to

What’s the first rule in developing any marketing strategy, you say? Know your audience … exactly. Newsjacking is all about finding and reaching the right people, with the right message at the right time, but if you don’t know exactly who it is you’re trying to reach, it’s difficult to know what sort of stories or mediums you should be targeting. Before launching any media relations effort, take time to research your audience to better understand what types of content they’re looking for. Where do they go for information? What topics are they searching for?

Pay attention

It sounds so simple, but when you have a thousand deadlines and projects to work through on a daily basis, finding time to leisurely read the newspaper sounds more like a punishment than proactivity. Luckily, we live in a wonderful world where news can be accessed in an instant. Send push alerts to your phone, have the news on in the background while you work, check Twitter every 20-30 minutes – find a method that works for you and stick to it.iStock-469154673.jpg

Know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em

Did you know there was a total eclipse last week? You didn’t? That’s weird because it was covered by approximately 9 trillion different news outlets. Major events like this dominate the news cycle for weeks, creating a huge newsjacking opportunity for companies – but should you go for it? Sometimes, the most important rule in newsjacking is knowing when you should stay out of the spotlight.

Take for example, Spaghettios. On the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the social media team handling the Spaghettios Twitter account tried to capitalize on the occasion by posting a memorial Tweet that read: “Take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us.” Under the message was the company’s mascot, smiling and holding the American Flag … yeah, I know. This is a prime example of newsjacking gone horribly wrong, and teaches us that just because something is timely, doesn’t mean you need to be part of the conversation.

(P.S. – If you’re looking for more tips on acknowledging big events on social media, check out my colleague Hollie Geitner’s blog post here)

Newsjacking doesn’t always involve traditional mediums

Just as the internet has changed the way we receive our news, it’s also provided brands with a host of new platforms to help tell their story. When a story breaks, and you’re determining the best approach to capitalize on the news, consider how you think your audience might want to consume that news from you. Go back to the why we talked about earlier. If your pitch falls flat with a journalist, consider blogging about the topic instead. If you don’t feel you’re qualified to speak with authority on a certain topic, try devising a unique social media post that will resonate with your core audiences (avoiding Spaghettio-level fails, of course). Remember, the goal is to establish yourself as a thought leader, but that doesn’t always involve traditional media outlets. Use what you’ve got and share away!

Want to chat further about newsjacking? Send me your deets! erin.oconnor@wordwritepr.com

Erin O’Connor is an account supervisor at WordWrite Communications.

ErinWork.jpeg

 

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: media relations, social media, public relations, newsjacking

Is Facebook Live a precursor to Facebook TV?

Posted by Noah Fleming

facebooklive.jpg

Facebook’s Q2 earnings report indicates video is one of the mediums it is looking to maximize. The social media behemoth is moving rapidly down a path toward stealing major revenue from traditional television advertising budgets. According to Advertising Age, “Facebook essentially wants to be television on the internet.”

AB apology.pngFacebook Live videos are acting as the cash cow placeholder until the company shifts to a more television-like approach. Currently, users can’t get enough of it. Influencers, celebrities and even professional athletes are capitalizing on the trend and getting paid top dollar to use it and promote it.

It even garnered national attention in Pittsburgh after Antonio Brown, the Steelers star wide receiver, livestreamed from the locker room during a post-game win last season. He was paid a hefty sum to create content for Facebook live. That’s fortunate for Brown, because filming in the locker room is illegal under NFL policy and comes with a hefty fine.

While Brown took significant flack for his actions, eventually he and Facebook benefited from the situation. Facebook received mentions across national news outlets while more advertisers continued to spend money using the tool. And despite his misstep, Brown received a contract extension making him the highest paid receiver in the league.

Unfortunately, casual users and fans now know that Facebook is paying professional athletes and other influencers to create content. Brown received $244,000 to endorse Facebook Live, as reported by FoxBusiness.com. The endorsement was probably not meant to become public as Facebook wants fans to believe that Brown and other endorsers are posting videos because it’s the “hip and cool” thing to do. Therefore, you should use the video tool too.

Sadly, Facebook Live videos have a darker side. It has become an outlet for users to broadcast horrifying crimes. Murders, suicides, tortures and kidnappings, among other gruesome activities, have been broadcasted for the world to see. Just a few weeks ago, a sexual assault was broadcast on Facebook Live and hit major news outlets.

Businesses, organizations, ad agencies and others are spending more and more of their budget on video and now use it as an integrated marketing tool to connect with consumers. It also means all users have access to it, for better or worse.

According to CNET and in light of the recent criticism, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is trying to clean up the image of the brand and the video tool, which is currently unregulated. He’s even been on the campaign trail visiting people outside the Silicon Valley bubble in Michigan, Wisconsin and New Orleans to help these efforts.

Still, Facebook continues to rake in the cash and has more than 1 billion people active on the platform. Video now appears to be the priority for Facebook in its quest for social media dominance.

Do you use video on social media to tell your story? Share with us in the comments below! Want to know more about how to leverage social media? Download our guide below!

Download your social media tune-up guide

_______

Noah Fleming is the Digital and Inbound Marketing Specialist for WordWrite Communicatons. You can reach him at noah.fleming@wordwritepr.com

Noah photo.jpeg

0 Comments | View Comments

Topics: social media, facebook

Search Our Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts