Monthly Archives: September 2015

Take It To The Street

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Radio stations have long used “street teams” of interns or volunteers to post flyers, stuff mailboxes and raise buzz about upcoming events and new artists. You can create your own street team and leverage the social media power of your most avid online friends and followers by offering them the opportunity to promote a cause or product they believe in.

This works especially well for products that have a highly targeted niche audience, passionate users and a sense of mission. For example, authors and bands often recruit street teams to help spread the word about a new book or CD. Nonprofits and cause-related organizations frequently recruit street teams in the context of grassroots-level fundraisers, whether they are 5K races, cookie sales or jump rope marathons.

Street team success requires you to have a highly developed knowledge of your core audience and most devoted fans, and to know what motivates them. Meaningful motivation can be surprisingly inexpensive, and can include recognition, coupons, t-shirts, photos posted online, or the ability to contribute content or input. Authors have sometimes rewarded dedicated street team members by using their name for a character in an upcoming book. Bands give away t-shirts and CDs, or special song or video downloads.

Street teams can be especially effective when their members have credibility within an audience that may be distrustful of traditional advertising or are too small to reach effectively through normal advertising channels. The effectiveness of the street team lies in its members being bona fide members of the target audience or having credibility within the audience as informal leaders and trendsetters. For example, a company selling to college students could recruit street teams who would be able to pass out coupons and promotional items on campus and in dormitories, where traditional advertising might not penetrate. Jewelers or clothing manufacturers who sell to an ethnic minority or recent immigrant audience could leverage the credibility of street team members within a difficult-to-reach audience where relationships and word of mouth have high value.

Social media becomes a key component in keeping touch with your street team members and recruiting new members. It’s important to remember that street teamers only participate for as long as being part of the team is fun and personally rewarding. Turnover is high, and street teams should be handled gently to avoid burnout. Always remember that they are doing you a huge favor by passing along your information for free, and treat them graciously. Be lavish with praise, recognition and whatever freebies you can offer. Make it fun and easy for them to share your message without compromising their credibility or integrity.

With today’s growing variety of social media choices, your sales promotion possibilities are limited only by your imagination. When you involve customers in creating the promotion, they’re eager to pass it along to their friends.

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Social Media and Sales Promotion

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

All sales take place within a community of some kind. That may be a small town, a big city, a region, a country or the global marketplace, but the community is an essential part of the sales process.

Sales occur because the buyer perceives an urgent need. Sales promotion can’t create that need, but it can stoke the sense of urgency, and it can overcome objections by making it easy to buy under very favorable terms.

    Social media offers powerful new ways to provide unique promotions to your friends, fans and followers. You can create special sales or packages just for your social media audience, and get feedback from customers and prospects on what kinds of sales or promotional offers they’d most like to receive. You can also use social media to create incentives for your online friends, fans and followers to become your virtual sales force and help you spread the word.

The power of promotion

Everyone loves to be “in the know.” People are attracted by the opportunity to be a VIP and to be inside the inner circle, receiving special benefits not available to everyone. Social media creates a new way to offer coupons, discounts and advance information on sales and specials to the people who have become your online friends, fans and followers. By combining the best features of opt-in email marketing and direct response mailings (without the cost of postage), social media promotion can augment your existing promotional strategy and win a loyal following.

One form of social media sales promotion is the rise of web sites (with internal social media components like blogging and Tweeting) that help customers shop for bargains by maximizing their use of coupons. Sites like teach shoppers how to get the best value for their grocery dollar while sharing coupons and strategies to reduce costs. These sites create loyal followings and also provide rich territory for marketers to find out sales and product preferences.

If you offer daily or weekly specials, use social media to let your friends and followers know. Tweet about your flavor of the day or about special pricing on limited-quantity items. Blog about upcoming sales with an insider’s eye toward getting maximum shopping value. Provide real user benefit by helping shoppers learn how to get better value and stretch their dollars by sharing savvy shopping strategies.

Build on the tried-and-true idea of a VIP membership with social media. Create a Facebook or Twitter page around your VIP specials. Sure, everyone can read the page, but only your VIPs get the specials, creating “results envy” and encouraging non-members to join the club. Or, create your own membership site for your VIPs with a .Ning site. If you have a VIP area on your web site, add a blog, photos and web video. You can even encourage your members to send photos or video of themselves as testimonials.

If you sell from your web site, Tweet, blog and post to your social media site as soon as new items are uploaded to your online store. Offer special deals for buyers who shop within the first few hours after a new product is put online. Create early-bird specials that you publicize only on social media to increase the interest in being your social media friend.

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by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Everyone wants results from marketing and social media. In my experience over the last 25+ years, there’s a recipe for results that separates the winners from the losers. Just like in the kitchen, it’s a recipe you need to follow in order to get the outcome you expect. Leave out an ingredient and it won’t work as well. Skip a few steps, and you’ll be disappointed.

Here’s my list of ‘secret’ ingredients:

The RESULTS™ approach stands for:

R = Recommit to marketing

E = Expect success

S = Seek partners

U = Understand your audience

L = Look for win-win scenarios

T = Take strategic action

S = Stay visible

In the next 30 days, you can see your social media marketing go from zero to full speed by applying the RESULTS™ formula.

Recommit to set aside at least 30 minutes each day (yes, weekends, too) to devote to developing your social media marketing strategy for the next 30 days. (Thirty minutes is a minimum. Once you get started, you’ll want to spend an hour, so block out the time now.)

Expect success by throwing yourself whole-heartedly into this 30 day commitment. If the little voice in the back of your head keeps saying, “this is ridiculous. This isn’t going to work,” you are programming yourself for failure. Program yourself for success by writing down 30 things you would like to achieve from your social media strategy. Some ideas include:

  • Reconnect with old colleagues, friends, neighbors and contacts to broaden your active circle of contacts.
  • Attend the world’s biggest 24/7 business networking event with a global audience and put your best foot forward
  • Take advantage of all the free information, education and competitive intelligence at your fingertips

Now that you’ve seen those three examples, come up with your own list of 30 Success

Expectations and keep them handy to check back on.

Seek partners. Social media is “social.” You can meet amazing people on sites like Facebook, and get access to experts you might not be able to reach any other way. Sites like LinkedIn are particularly good for finding out what friends and colleagues are currently doing, and who they know. Make a list of 30 friends, colleagues and associates whom you’ve lost track of, and commit to finding them and touching base via social media.

Understand your audience in more profitable detail than ever before with the exercises in chapter three. Make a list of 30 things you wished you knew about your best customers—and create 30 questions you can use for quizzes, surveys and social media discussions.

Look for win-win scenarios by posting valuable content on the right social media sites to attract more of your best prospects. You offer solutions, and they become your best clients. It’s a win-win. Write down 30 ideas for useful tips, articles, videos or other content you could post right away by re-using information you already have.

Take strategic action by putting what you learn in this book to work for you. As you read, be sure to do the exercises at the end of each chapter. Complete all 30 chapter exercises in the next 30 days and watch your social media soar!

Stay visible by keeping your social media sites fresh and relevant. Create a list of 30 upcoming events, newsworthy items or announcements you could make to your new social media audience to get them talking, create a dialogue and demonstrate your credibility.

Most people put off doing marketing because they think it’s too difficult or too time-consuming. By using the principles in this book, you’ll do more in 30 minutes a day for 30 days than most business owners do all year. That’s the “Get Results” secret weapon—strategic, consistent effort in pursuit of clear, measurable results.

Remember: Planning + Effort + Consistency = Results

Here’s a key question to ask yourself: How many times are your messages “touching” prospects prior to making the sale? How close is that number to 30? That answer will give you a good idea of what you need to do to move your marketing forward successfully!




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Why Most Marketing Fails

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Marketing horror stories. You’ve probably heard them. You may have one yourself. These are the stories about how someone tried a marketing technique, sent out a press release or ran an ad and “it didn’t work.”

I’ve heard plenty of these stories. And as with most urban legends, there’s usually more to the story than meets the eye. If you’re reading this book, you’re a coach, consultant, speaker, author or owner of a small business and you want more from your marketing than you’re currently getting. You may not be marketing at all because your business is new, or because you’re afraid to fail. Or it may be that your marketing is chugging along with mediocre returns or muddled measurement.

Take heart. Marketing isn’t mysterious, and once you understand how the pieces fit together, you’ll be in a better position to market your own company or to oversee someone to handle marketing for you. Take the first step in the RESULTS™ model and Recommit to marketing. Let’s start by looking at the seven most common reasons that marketing plans fail.

  • No Planning. This is true in both large and small businesses. Many marketing efforts fail because there is no link between the marketing actions and the bottom-line business plan goals that drive revenue. This happens because decision makers get caught up with a vivid, creative idea that isn’t accountable to the bottom line, or because they take a “great deal” offered by a salesperson for a media buy. Marketing without a plan is a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Inappropriate Actions. If there is no plan, then whatever marketing actions that are taken may conflict with each other. It’s unlikely they’ll reinforce each other or support a business plan goal. Disappointing results come about because of a “ready-fire-aim” approach where actions aren’t anchored to business objectives and target audiences. Attempts to copy what a successful competitor is doing without understanding why (or whether) the action is working for them is also a dangerous approach.
  • Lack of Clarity about the Target Market. Mass marketing is dead. Blasting out marketing without a clear target is wasteful and unsuccessful. You can’t hit a target if you haven’t identified it. There is a “sweet spot” of potential customers who could become your ideal clients. You’ll need to get to know them to win them.
  • Lack of Clear Goals. If you don’t have an upfront understanding of what success will look like, you won’t know when you achieve it. Not only do your marketing actions need to be linked to specific business goals, but each marketing action should be measurable. Build in measurability up front so expectations are clear.
  • Unreasonable Expectations. A single press release isn’t likely to create a big spike in sales. One ad probably won’t save your company. Many people become disillusioned with marketing because they don’t understand the benchmarks for successful programs. For example, most direct mail professionals are thrilled to get a 1% response rate. One percent! Yet many small businesses send out a postcard mailing and quit in disgust, expecting a response of 20%, 30% or more. It’s important to have realistic expectations so you recognize success when you see it.
  • Unclear on How Marketing Works. For many people, marketing is a lot like a DVD player. They don’t know (and don’t care) how it works. Your odds of creating successful marketing are slim without some knowledge of how the pieces function and the process required to pull the pieces together. With the Internet, new tools are emerging almost daily. You’ll need to know how to blend New Media and Web 2.0 tools with traditional marketing to succeed in today’s marketplace. Understanding what makes marketing tick is essential whether you’re doing it yourself or delegating it to someone else.
  • Insufficient Patience. “We ran an ad once and nothing happened.” We’ve all heard that. But did you know that marketing research shows that it takes between seven to 30 “touches” to make a sale? Customers won’t buy until they have an urgent need. Until then, all you can do is create name recognition and a good reputation. That’s the value of the Rule of 30™. Marketing has a lot in common with farming. You wouldn’t plant seeds one day and go out the next and dig them up in disgust because full grown plants hadn’t sprouted overnight. Seeds take time and you can’t hurry that. Marketing seeds also take time to grow.






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How Much Marketing Is Enough?

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

I’ve seen all kinds of estimates on how much a marketing budget should be. Usually, the estimate is just enough to cover the products or services the person doing the estimate wants to sell.

An industry standard that’s been around for a long time is 5% of revenue. The idea behind making your marketing budget a percentage of your revenue is that marketing costs are funds you are reinvesting into the company, and should be tied to how well the company is doing. In the real world, I’ve seen companies spend far less and far more than 5% and get results that met their definition of success. What matters most is that you spend the budget you do have wisely.

A zero budget won’t keep you in business long, and it certainly won’t help you grow. If you truly have no cash, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and put sweat equity to work. If this describes your situation, how many hours can you put into doing marketing? Write it down, and put a dollar estimate of your hourly rate next to it. That’s what you’re really spending.

If you’re already spending money and you’re comfortable with that level of investment, make sure that you’ve prioritized your budget in line with your prioritized goals. Put the biggest chunk of money where you’ll get the best return or achieve the biggest goal. (This becomes a great way to say “no” without guilt to one of those “fabulous” marketing opportunities a salesman presents to you.)

If you’re willing to invest more to achieve your goals faster, or because you know that growth requires more resources, then determine a dollar amount you can spend and divide it among your prioritized goals. Budgeting money doesn’t obligate you to spend it, but it does give you a tool to prioritize new opportunities and it may free you to investigate options you might not have considered before you knew what was available to spend.

Remember that your marketing efforts must be accounted for in your budget either in dollars or in time spent. As you budget your time to complete other projects, be sure to allow for your marketing investment.

Setting a budget also creates one way to measure effectiveness. Over time, you’ll want to ask yourself whether a particular marketing method is earning its keep. Knowing what you’ve budgeted for it compared to the value of how it contributes to achieving your goal comes in handy when you need to decide what to keep and what to change.

The “Irresistible Difference”

Before we leave the nitty-gritty if your business plan, there’s one item left we need to talk about, your “Irresistible Difference.”

What I call your Transformational Value is how you address your prospect’s Problem/Pain/Fear and overcome his Ego/Money objection. Your Irresistible Difference is what draws a prospect to you and your company as opposed to your competitors.

Your Irresistible Difference should tap directly into who your best prospect/customer is. It should fit that customer like their favorite pair of jeans, not only covering what’s necessary, but making them feel wonderful as well.

Think about your best customer’s qualities. What can you provide in your service, package or delivery that will meet their need as well as their unspoken desire? For some customers, convenience is king. For others, it’s value, or reliability, or exceptional knowledge. Not only will you gain some good insights into powerful marketing copy by looking for the Irresistible Difference, but you’ll also get some great ideas for where to find your best prospects and how to reach them.

For example, customers who prize value may join online communities dedicated to saving money. Those could be great places for you to participate through chat, forum posts and blogs because your audience is already there. A brand-conscious customer may place more than the usual value in being a member of professional and alumni associations and participating at a higher-than-average level. You might find those groups particularly useful to your marketing strategy because they tap into qualities the prospect prizes.

Your Irresistible Difference demonstrates how well you understand the quality the prospect values through where you market (including your choice of social media sites and the type of content you share), how you structure your product/service, how you deliver your product, and how you position your company in the marketplace.

As you become aware of the Irresistible Difference you offer to your different target audiences, make a note of it so you won’t forget to put its power to work for you.


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Mining Gems From The Business Plan

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Successful marketing takes either cash or a “cash equivalent.” A “cash equivalent” is what you use instead of cash. That could be time that you barter, but more often than not, it’s old-fashioned elbow grease. Marketing requires time, and it also requires some money. If you have more time, you can save money. If you have less time, you can get the same work done by hiring help. One way or another, good marketing is going to cost you.

I’ve heard business owners say that they had such a great location or product that they could “do business by accident.” And I’ve driven past their location when it went up for sale after they went out of business. Success happens because of hard work, strategy and yes, a little “optimized luck.” It doesn’t happen by accident.

What do I mean by “optimized luck?” “Optimized luck” is what happens when you’ve done your homework, worked as hard as you can, and a great opportunity opens up in front of you. If you hadn’t prepared yourself, you wouldn’t be ready to make the most of the opportunity, or you might not even notice it. But you also didn’t just get lucky. You prepared and trained so that you’d recognize luck when it showed up and so you would be ready to maximize your big break. It’s definitely not “doing business by accident.”

Make a list of your prioritized goals/target audiences/current marketing actions. If you’ve made a table, add another column for “cost.” Write down what you think your current marketing actions are costing you to reach that target audience and achieve that goal is costing you. The cost could be in time, or it could be in real money. It could be the cost of hiring someone to update your web site or design your brochure, or it could include printing, postage, advertising or other fees. You could include membership dues for the groups you’ve joined to mingle with your target audience. Make the best estimates you can and then look at the results.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How much are you currently spending for each goal?
  • Are you spending the most to achieve your top goal?
  • Is what you’re spending worth the potential new revenue that goal could provide?
  • Could you spend more if it would achieve your goal faster?

You may see some opportunities to make a few course corrections. If you are spending more to achieve your third priority than you are for your top priority, you’ve got a problem. If you’re spending more to achieve a goal with smaller revenue potential than for a goal with larger revenue potential, it’s time to reconsider. If you’re not spending anything, hoping to “do business by accident,” then you’re on thin ice.

Social media is “free” in terms of not costing money to sign up for sites like Facebook and Twitter, but it’s certainly not “free” in terms of the time it takes to put a social media marketing strategy into action. You won’t “do business by accident” just because you slap together a Facebook page or set up a Twitter account. If you don’t have time, you’ll need the cash to hire someone who can put the time into it for you. And if you have the time to put your social media marketing strategy into action, you’ll still need some cash to bring all the pieces of your marketing plan together so that your marketing works harder than ever to achieve your goals.

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Social Media Touch Strategy

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Where does social media come in? Social media offers a conversational, low-pressure way to remain in the forefront of a prospect’s awareness with “touches” on a subject where there’s interest but no trigger for an immediate purchase. It can also keep your company in touch with current customers so that when add-ons or upgrades become necessary, you’re first in line for the business.

The key here is not to view social media as a way to provide a barrage of “buy now” messages. Instead, think of how you can engage the prospect in a conversation about whatever product or service you sell, with the immediate focus on offering helpful information related to the Problem/Pain/Fear.

Some great examples of this are tips, how-to videos, short audios, links to interesting resources like articles, white papers, blog posts or longer videos, interviews and Question/Answer sessions. Social media sites like Facebook make it easy for you to share multi-media content and have a two-way conversation about the topic in a format that reveals your company’s personality and lets you share your Real Story in a no-pressure environment. Twitter is a great way to provide tips, ask questions, share links to related resources, comment on headlines related to your product or service and even do surveys.

While you usually can’t close a sale before the customer has experienced a trigger point, once you’ve established a relationship, you have the chance to educate the prospect about that trigger point. Perhaps the best time to buy a new piece of equipment isn’t when the old equipment falls apart. Perhaps there are trade-in advantages or depreciation advantages to buying on a shorter purchase cycle. Maybe you can point out benefits that deal so much better with the Problem/Pain/Fear than the old product that the prospect decides to buy sooner rather than later. You’ve altered the trigger point through education, and because your company provided the information in an ongoing relationship, you’re likely to be first in line to get the sale.

When someone subscribes to your blog, Facebook page update, Twitter feed, they’re agreeing to get updates (information) from you on a regular basis. If you share information that speaks to his or her needs, every update does double duty; it reminds the prospect about you (a touch) while it provides useful information (deepening your relationship). Social media makes it easier and less expensive (and less intrusive) than ever before to stay in contact as touches prepare for a trigger.

Using a “touch” strategy keeps you visible by providing useful information your targeted audience wants and needs without sales pressure. What content can you offer to provide 30 valuable touches?


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Touches to Transactions

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Modern marketing wisdom holds that in today’s advertising-saturated world, it takes at least seven to 30 “touches” or reminders before a consumer takes action. Although that may seem like a lot when you first hear it, if you think about how you act when you’re the consumer, it begins to make sense.

Your social media sites can account for several of those 30 touches. But to be effective, you need to think about how touches become transactions.

Touches and trigger points

We manage to ignore tens of thousands of advertising messages every day, mostly because they promote products we aren’t currently interested in buying. The key phrase there is “currently.” When you realize you need a product or service, all of a sudden, you tune into the messages related to the product/service that you had been screening out.

The situation that changes everything is a trigger point. It’s an event that moves you from someone who hasn’t thought about making a purchase or who has been casually window shopping to someone who needs to buy right now. The seller usually can’t change the trigger point (although they try to influence it with sales and specials), but you can make sure you’re making enough touches so that when a triggering event moves a prospect from looker to buyer, he or she thinks about your company.

Let’s use a car purchase as an example. If your car is reasonably new and in good working order, you may not be thinking at all about buying a new car. You probably tune out car ads, emails from dealerships, or radio commercials about great specials. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about buying a new car—sometime. You might be casually reading car ads, going out to dealer web sites, paying some attention to commercials, even slowing down when you pass the dealer’s lot for a good look. But for now, it’s all still window shopping.

Then a triggering event occurs. Your existing car is in an accident, and it will cost more to fix it than it’s worth. All of a sudden, you’re in the market for a new car, and you need it right now.

Until that triggering event happened, there wasn’t much the car dealers could do to hurry up your purchase. You bought the car based on your schedule of when you needed one, not on the dealer’s schedule of when he wanted to sell one. Business owners often forget that it’s the customers’ need that drives the purchase cycle more than it is driven by sales and specials. But there’s a very important thing to remember: When a customer moves from shopper to buyer, the company that has made the most marketing touches is first in line to get his business.

Go back to the car example. When that prospect was window shopping, the dealership with the best web site, or the showroom that was polite about a test drive without a commitment is likely to be the first place that prospect goes when he or she moves from shopper to buyer. Those “touches” pay off in top of mind awareness.

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News or Social Media?

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

            Should you send out your press release to news sites or post it on social media? The answer is: both. Social media is just a new vehicle for the oldest form of news—word of mouth. The difference lies in the style of the communication and the relationship with the audience.

Although their influence has waned, traditional news outlets remain important for publicity-seekers. But where it used to require mailing, emailing or calling a reporter, now it’s possible to find a reporter’s social media sites and strike up a conversation in a less formal and more accessible setting. Reporters and TV/radio hosts now blog, Tweet and post Facebook pages, all of which make it possible to comment or connect outside of traditional channels. The key difference is that connections made via social media should be conversational, while the real pitch should be made via traditional channels such as email or phone.

Today’s corporate press pages often include blogs, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos and web audio, and offer reporters the chance to subscribe via an RSS feed. You can create a similar one-stop media (and consumer) page on your web site and incorporate your social media sites to provide a content-rich introduction to you and your products or services.

Online press distribution sites (whether they are pay-for-placement or free posting) are a great way to increase traffic to both your web site and your social media sites. The last paragraph of a press release is called the “boilerplate;” it’s copy that stays the same from release to release and it includes a brief company description and your contact information. When you write releases that are designed to catch the interest of both reporters and consumers, you can steer them to visit your other sites for more information or for immediate sales. Press releases that you post online do two very valuable things: they increase your brand’s search engine visibility and they improve your site’s rankings through increased traffic and in-bound links.

The biggest difference between news and social media is in the context and style of the communication. Most newspapers and magazines (whether online or traditional paper) write in a third-person narrative form. This is ideal for the traditional press release. Social media sites, however, are conversation and informal. As a general rule, bloggers and social media site owners don’t appreciate getting press releases. They would rather be approached with a personal email or a direct message and a conversational inquiry to see whether the topic would be of interest. News sites tend to cover events, products and announcements in a detached, impersonal style, which is ideally as unbiased as possible. Social media sites revel in their quirky personality and imbue everything with the voice and perspective of the site owner. Traditional news sites also tend to show more restraint in terms of emotion and avoid the use of profanity. Social media sites are wide-open forums that can range from restrained to no-holds-barred.

When a story, image or video goes “viral” it means that it so captures the imagination that people begin to send it to their friends without prompting. Sometimes, a viral story or image will also make it only the traditional news if it gains enough popularity. It’s important to remember that all PR, viral or not, occurs with a complete lack of control on the part of the originator after the “send” button has been pressed. You may not like what a reporter or blogger says about your company or your product, and you may not approve of the contexts in which your viral image or story is relayed. Too bad. That’s how the game is played.

Leveraging PR and social media

When you use traditional PR and social media to reinforce each other, utilizing the unique strengths of both vehicles, your publicity can take a huge step forward.

Before you pitch a reporter, check out his or her social media sites. Make thoughtful comments that include a good signature block and reference your company/product/book in a non-sales way. If there are a few key reporters you want to target, you can begin this process long before your release is ready to go live.

Create a blog just for your press releases, and use RSS to feed it to your web site and social media pages so that your news is both easily updated and archived. A news blog also provides the option for interested reporters or citizen journalists to subscribe for future updates. Remember to include your videos and audios as well as your standard press releases.

When you post a press release to an online distribution site, make sure the headlines and copy are keyword-rich for optimum searchability, and have good links to your web site and social media pages. Take readers directly to the appropriate page for the topic, not just to the home page of your site. Don’t forget to fill in the “tags” section where you can increase searchability even further. When your press release posts online, be sure to add it to the Social Bookmarking sites for increased visibility.

When you have an article, radio interview or guest blog posted online, Tweet the link and let your Facebook and LinkedIn friends know by updating your “status” line. Blog about the experience of being interviewed, or augment the article or interview with additional information you didn’t have a chance to share and be sure to include the link. Add the link to your online press kit with a tag that shows the name of the publication/blog/station and the date. Be sure to submit article/interview links to the Social Bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, too.

Create news by blogging live from industry events and creating on-site videos and uploading them. Run polls or surveys on your social media sites, and report the results with a press release to traditional and online news sites. Friend and follow the reporters and bloggers you hope to pitch, and pay attention to the kinds of topics they discuss and cover on their social media sites as well as in their articles, shows or blogs. Become part of the news by launching your own newsworthy podcast or blog and post solid, non-sales content that attracts the attention of traditional and online media.

While the lines between news and social media have blurred, consumers benefit from a windfall of information, while companies seeking publicity have more opportunities than ever before. Social media can not only increase the effectiveness of your publicity; it can create a powerful, interconnected and global PR platform for you and your business. Remember to entertain and inform and keep the focus of releases on “what’s in it for the reader” to get maximum impact.


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