Using Social Networks To Get Publicity

by Shonali Burke on July 19, 2010

It’s no secret

that I think the media is the best channel for getting the word out about your business. It takes a lot of work, a lot of digging in, research, dealing with rejection — you name it — but it all boils down to one thing:

Delivering your message to the world.

Image: popculturegeek.com‘s Flickrstream, Creative Commons

Today, the media use the Internet as their primary tool for finding experts, so having a strategic online presence is an essential vehicle in the delivery process.

Luckily with social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, it’s much easier to deliver your message than ever before.

Remember, social media is a two-way street — not only can the media and potential clients find you; you can use it to find out what trending topics are grabbing hold of your target market’s — and media’s — attention.

Tailor your pitches to what’s hot so journalists can see how indispensable you are.

Here’s a run down of a few popular social media sites and how you can use them to boost your PR campaign:

Twitter is a great way to learn sound bites because you’re forced to communicate to others with no more than 140 characters.

The best way to use this tool in your media outreach is to monitor breaking news from CNN, USA Today and trade media. They’re always tweeting, so see what they’re talking about and craft your pitches from that.

LinkedIn is primarily a social media tool for business, and the best feature on it is the conversation.

Once you update your status, browse the professional conversations and groups in your industry and see what they’re talking about.

Watch the hottest topics. Pluck one idea from the conversations, add your own opinion/tips and voila, instant media pitch!

Facebook is what most people use for personal updates and networking.

That’s great, but don’t forget to join the fan clubs of your favorite media. Plus, create your own page so others can become fans of your business.

Constantly add videos, updates and photos and invite media to join you on Facebook, too.

YouTube is one of the best ways for search engines to find you online.

Start your own channel and remember to keep your branding consistent with your online press kit, public website and all your social media profiles.

Take the content from your pitches, by-lined articles and online press kit and turn them into short videos and upload them. Soon, the media will find you because these videos will deliver your message online in ways words alone just can’t.

Take special care crafting the video titles and the descriptions so they include all important search words connected to your brand.

That way, when media use search engines with the search terms you’re using, they’ll find you “by accident” much more often.

And then there are all the other new sites we don’t even know about yet.

Every day new tools arrive online and it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest innovations, but keep your eye on the tech trends in the news.

If there is a new Facebook, Twitter or YouTube you’ll want to be one of the first with your profile there. New sites work very hard to promote their members, so updating your social networking sites or blogging for other sites are all good ways to keep your Internet profile searchable and thus, make it easier to use the Internet and social media sites to gain publicity.

More from:

20-year PR Veteran and Chief Creative Officer of Wasabi Publicity, Michelle Tennant Nicholson’s seen PR transition from typewriters to Twitter. Called a five-star publicist by Good Morning America’s Mable Chan, Michelle specializes in international PR working regularly with the likes of Oprah, Larry King, BBC, The Today Show and all major media. Recently she secured a Dr. Phil placement for a client within eight hours of signing the contract. Contact her at Storyteller to the Media where she teaches tips from the trade.

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