Social media is extreme short-form journalism wrapped up in an opportunity for self-PR.
Therefore, social media must be approached as a journalistic opportunity, not as “something we just need to do.” How it’s written is key. Social media is should be headline-driven with a verbal commentary that is newsworthy, i.e., important to a business’ platform, industry and companies with which the business works or wants to work while providing interesting information to the reader.
If tackled strategically, social media can be a business’ headline news operation and therefore a key venue for self-PR (promotion).
There should be a strategic angle to the “stories” that are written and commentaries should work within the company/industry’s business cycle, seasonal cycles (back-to-school, first day of winter, etc.) as well as the “Hallmark” calendar of events (everything from major holidays — i.e., holidays upon which the news media will focus, such as Valentine’s Day — to minor holidays that could trend, such as #AuthorDay).
By providing expertise and knowledge, social media is a 21st Century venue upon which a business can build visibility, brand presence and talking-head status. The tool on which to message potential customers through strategically written comments and follow-up engagement, social media is a venue through which biz’s can share information, distribute content/messaging to target-markets about product(s), interact and connect with potential customers and clients as well as a tool for everything from SEO to research (hashtags). Social media should include the three V’s of communication:
VISUAL: Drawing in the reader with images that engage and may included added content.
VIDEO: Generating greater interest — 64% of on-line users are more likely to buy a product after watching a video on a website or social media venue. Videos create engaging content that, as a method of crowd sourcing, viewers can share with their friends.
A digital marketing strategy cannot exist without social media as its anchor. Let me reiterate: Social media is extreme short-form journalism wrapped up in an opportunity for self-PR.