If you don’t get the point of social media, you can’t do it well.
If tackled strategically, social media (SM) can be a biz’s headline news operation and therefore a key addition to a company’s public relations strategy.
As a 21st century form of PR, SM should be approached as “extreme short-form journalism.”
What does that mean?
Think of it this way: magazine articles — which range on average from 1000 to 6000 words — are extreme long-form journalism; newspaper articles — 500 to 1000 words — are long-form journalism; and, radio reports — 200 to 500 words — are short-form journalism; so, social media is extreme short-form journalism — 50 to 200 words. But the best part: with SM, you don’t need to convince the media that you are worthy of a mention(that is write the article, interview you for a TV news piece). With SM, you can mention yourself, yourself!
If you understand that social media is a journalistic opportunity wrapped up in self-PR (promotion) then, you’ll get over that “bad attitude” approach to SM that has (and may still be) plaguing your strategy. You know the attitude about which I’m speaking. The one that sounds like this: “I don’t understand social media, but everyone is talking about it, so I guess it’s something we ‘just need to do’.”
It’s not a Nike, “just do it,” moment.
How social media comments are written is key.
Posts should be…
- headline-driven with added-value verbal commentary that is newsworthy.
- important to your business’ platform, industry and companies with which you want to work (and with which you currently work)
- provide interesting information to the reader who may be a potential or current client/customer.
- promotional only 20% of the time. Don’t be overly “salesy.” Make 80% of your posts informative to the reader.
There should be a strategic angle to the “stories” that are written. In other words, why are you writing what you are writing?
- work within your company/industry’s business cycle
- reference seasonal cycles (back-to-school, first day of winter, etc.).
- play off the “Hallmark” calendar, everything from major holidays — i.e., holidays upon which the news media will focus (e.g., Valentine’s Day), to minor holidays that could trend (e.g., #AuthorDay).
Of course, choosing “subjects” from the Hallmark holiday of events must be applicable to your business platform as well as your target market. If you are a dentist, do not post “Happy Pizza Day,” unless you write a post, for example, about why calcium is important for strong teeth and the cheese in pizza is a good source of said calcium. Merely writing, “Happy #PizzaDay” because the hashtag trended last year isn’t strategic; it’s actually pointless and, quite frankly, embarrassing!
Like a website, social media is a “corner store” moment to showcase your expertise and knowledge.
Social media is…
- a 21st Century venue upon which a business can build brand presence and talking-head status.
- The tool on which to message potential customers through strategically written comments and follow-up engagement.
- 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.
- a tool for everything from SEO to research (hashtags).
Go forth and post. But, please make it strategic.