Our public relations clients are always looking for ways to leverage traditional media on social channels in a relevant, traffic-building way. We observed how well some organizations and businesses are using social media to amplify other efforts and want to pass on a few current tips.
Rethink the 70-30 rule. Many social media managers use the 70-30 rule when it comes to creating shareable content for sites like Twitter and Facebook. The guideline recommends that 70% of social content be non-brand focused and 30% brand-focused. We’re looking at packaging the percentages differently by incorporating a third category — more creative, original content, some created solely for social media channels. Recommendations include simple, inexpensive survey data owned by a brand but only tangentially related to its product or service as well as short articles drafted specifically for a particular outlet. Also recommended? Interactive games and quizzes.
(Self) publish or perish. Best practices have always included breathing new life into bylined content, speeches and panel discussion output via social channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter. With the continued combining of staffs (People and Entertainment Weekly) demise of print editions (Self Magazine is the latest casualty) and other media downturns, look to expand your self-publishing opportunities. There are those offered by social media platforms (Medium, LinkedIn) as well as those provided by online publishers from BuzzFeed to HuffPo and plenty of esoteric verticals in categories from medical to marketing.
Get personal. Think of the content you click on. While some of it may be cute animal pictures or provocative tweets, most of what people view is determined by its relevance. Think like your target audience and prepare content that speaks to them. For Crenshaw affordable housing client NHP Foundation, one target is philanthropically minded millennials. While they may be micro-donors today, we want to invest in them for tomorrow, so it’s important to show them what the foundation does through personal stories of NHPF residents who have been helped, or “sexy” data on housing trends in different jobs and cities.
Stay on top of top tools. Automated scheduling software like Hootsuite is nothing new, but there are other players in the sharing game that warrant a look. We’ve examined Hootsuite, Buffer and Everypost and found that while each boasts publishing and scheduling capability, sourcing of content, responding to followers and analytics, there are differences. For instance, Everypost is the only management tool with true music and video embedding capabilities – so important when you consider that by 2020, 75% of the world’s mobile traffic will be video, according to an ambitious estimate by Cisco. Buffer is known for its simplicity and analytics and many believe Hootsuite’s auto-scheduling is still the best. Look here for a side-by-side comparison to see which tools can up your game.
Rules of engagement. Finally, we find it invaluable to remember the following when using social media to enhance your PR programs, the most engaging posts:
- Give: offers, deals, and contests that everyone can benefit from
- Advise: tips, especially about problems everyone encounters
- Warn: dangers that everyone faces (scams and the like)
- Amuse: funny or entertaining pictures or quotes
- Inspire: quotes, videos, and images that make people feel good and valued for who they are
- Amaze: pictures, stories, and videos of amazing people and events