If you think pushing your content out through social media channels is enough to get the message out there, think again! Press releases are needed to deliver your message through different avenues. In fact, they are the best way to deliver your message despite the ever-changing technology. Remember, social media press releases do not replace traditional press releases. Social media releases should complement your traditional press release. The reason is because conversations are happening rapidly on the social web and you must be proactive and engaging to evolve the conversation as it’s happening. If you chose to wait around, you may miss your opportunity to build a relationship with those who may add to your online community.
What is a Social Media Release?
Before we start, I just want to inform you, that if your content is not valuable or engaging enough for your target audience, then no matter how hard you try the release will never succeed. A social media release should include links and multimedia to make it more relevant. The faster and more creative you can get your message across your target audience the more likely it will be shared through various different social media channels. Remember to use keywords to help you with search engine optimization. PR professionals try to target journalists, but social media releases will target bloggers, journalists and consumers. Any content you decide to use in the social media press release must address people under these three categories. Ask yourself, “What is the point?” Remember, your target audience is thinking, “What does this social media press release have for me? Why do I want to read it?”
It is time to get creative!
Elements of a Social Media Press Release:
Now that you know what a social media press release is, let’s talk about the elements you need to incorporate in your release. If you have done traditional press releases before, then this should not be hard for you at all.
Headline: Use as few words as possible to make your point. Make this simple, yet mysterious enough for your target audience to be interested enough to read it.
Secondary Headline (optional): If your short and sweet headline didn’t make your point clear, then this can help you include important information to get the rest of your point included. If you were able to include your intent within your headline, then you can skip this part.
Overview: This is a brief overview on what you will be covering in your social media press release. You have the opportunity here to provide incentives for your reader to read the rest of the release. Limit this to two paragraphs and make sure to use keywords.
Body: This is the main part of your release and should cover the news. Don’t state your opinions here, just state the facts. Make sure you are able to answer: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
Facts: Remember to include statistics and research to prove your claim and make sure this information is sharable, so people can take it out of the release and share it with the other networks.
Company Info: Make sure to include a profile about your business, along with the Twitter and Facebook links to your pages.
Multimedia Links: Drum roll please! This is the social part of the release! This is how you will engage your audience. You can include videos on Youtube, images, RSS feeds, events, etc. Make sure you are not driving people away with too much. Make it just enough to be seen as a valuable resource.
Relevant Links: Add links to promote your company and to show your audience what you have done. If you have written more releases, include them. This allows your audience to check out your other products that are available if the one they are reading about is not working for them.
Tags: These include your sharing methods, such as bookmarking sites, Twitter, hashtags, or Facebook Fan pages.
Contact: Don’t forget to include your email, Twitter handle, and other contact info. These things add to your credibility and provide a call-to-action for your target audience.
Mistakes to Avoid:
Now that we’ve tackled the elements you need to include in your release, here are the elements that you need to avoid so your release won’t get into the junk mail.
- A. Avoid trying to make your release company-focused instead of product or service-focused. They can learn about your company through your social networks and website.
- B. Don’t try to sound like you are trying to sell something with the marketing lingo. You never want to sound like a marketer. Make sure your tone is conversational and shareable.
- C. When you write, try not to reach to a broad audience. You will fail if you try to make everyone happy. Just make it appealing to specific bloggers or consumers who are your target audience.
- D. Usually a traditional press release focuses on a product launch in order to get print coverage or even blog coverage. The social media release focuses on the same new product launch, but it adds a social component to it, which may come in the from of an instructional Youtube video, website, or an event. The more engaged your social media channels are, the more likely the consumer will want to try out your product.
How to Distribute the Press Release:
This distribution is based on your target audience and how you want to reach them. Are you trying to attract bloggers or journalists? Are you seeking local or national coverage? The truth about social media releases is that they cannot be distributed by wired services and most of them add content to your website. Because you cannot distribute them by traditional methods, make sure your release is sharable, tweetable and likable throughout the different social media avenues.
How do you measure the ROI?
After the release has been pushed out through your social media channels and posted on your website, you might wonder how you can track the ROI, right? This is necessary because it is impossible to measure its success without employing any kind of measurement. There are three types of measurement you can rely on: quantitative, qualitative, and the ROI.
For quantitative, you will know the number of Facebook likes you’re earning, Twitter share, and number of Google Buzzes.
For qualitative, you will find out people’s comments on your content. Are they saying your product is expensive or cheap? Remember after finding these results, you must engage your audience, otherwise there is no point in having the release. You want your target audience to share the product and come back for more of it so think of this like a two-way conversation. If someone is asking you questions, quickly respond to them, this will increase your customer service points miraculously. If they want more information, then direct them to your website. The 1-800 number calling is old school, no one wants to do that anymore. Everyone is expecting to have their questions answered via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks quickly. Make sure you make your consumers feel like they are important and give them the personal attention they want through your channels.
Social media campaigns can be less expensive than your traditional advertising, and it is a great way for small businesses to compete with larger brands. However, without engagement it is likely that you may lose your consumers. All of these things lead to the ROI. if you track the percentage of the prospects that you converted into clients through your website, then you will be able to find out the success of your social media campaign.
Good luck! I would love to hear your social media press release success stories. Please comment below.