10-point checklist to do PR better with social media

From Paper.Li and microblogs to SEO makeovers, here what you should be doing right now to up your game.

In a time of social media evolution and revolution, public relations professionals have an opportunity to reinvent themselves and deliver better results. The strategy: using social media-flavored PR to influence the search marketing ecosystem. Here’s how.

1. Give your press release, posts and tweets an SEO makeover

Like website writing, press releases and social media content should be optimized with keywords and links.

2. Think and write like a reporter

The best results come when content is delivered as a journalist would. Only include information that is most relevant to your audience. Forget the fluff and stick to the point.

3. Research and optimize like an SEO pro

Keyword research is necessary when writing for PR and social media. Sometimes a quick way to find out what works best is to compare notes with a pay-per-click campaign and apply the best performing keywords to your PR and social media efforts.

4. Mingle like a socialite

Churning out news is only half the battle. Remember to interact, engage and participate. This could be in the form of retweeting other news, “liking” other posts, or @replying to reporters to engage in a conversation even when it doesn’t benefit you.

5. Ride the trending topics in advance or real time

Whether it’s a holiday or breaking news like the Tiger Woods scandal, find a connection and create your own angle. For example: #PR Tips for Tiger Woods or The Best Social Media Father’s Day Gifts.

6. Publish a daily paper

Made especially for Twitter and Facebook on Paper.li, this is an excellent way to position your business as a thought leader and news source. If you’re a boutique shopping website, your daily paper could be called The Fashion Daily, or check out the Search Engine Strategies branded SES Search and Social Daily.

7. Newsroom and pitch feeds for social PR

Your newsroom might need a social media makeover. If you’re reading this and realize your company doesn’t have an online newsroom, that should be a priority.

If you have an online newsroom, check out how social media friendly it is. There are solutions like PitchEngine‘s embedded newsroom that can give businesses an instant social media friendly newsroom packed with SEO power. Take the PR “like” test.

8. Strong visuals and microblogging

A picture is worth a thousand words and websites like Tumblr prove it. The social media darling of New York Fashion Week is the microblogging website Tumblr. They made it easy to share and report virtual runway fashion straight from designers and fashion bloggers in real-time.

Tumblr offers simple ways to spread the PR word using images, videos, links, and posts that can be easily connected to Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. People are using and sharing beautiful visuals on Tumblr, posting things they think are inspirational.

In addition, use strong visuals to match your story such as infographics, images and videos to capture the attention.

9. The Facebook Page news feeds and newsrooms

Treating business Facebook Pages much like a website is the trend in today’s online marketing world. For posts, report the news via your Facebook Page wall and break it up with some third party sourced info so it is not all “me, me, me.”

A customized Facebook newsroom tab is also a noteworthy consideration with the growing number of Facebook users spending more time in the Facebook community (and less time on corporate websites or Google).

10. Build and measure the referring links

Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn and company blogs all show up in analytic programs such as Bit.ly and Google Analytics as referring links. Check out and benchmark before starting a campaign and watch the referring link traffic quality grow. This is a perfect line item a PR professional can include in client progress reports.

Optimizing and blending your online public relations strategy with social media and SEO strategies has never had so many robust options. But, there is a blur now between social media and PR. Rising through the dust is social PR, defining a whole new world of delivering news and interacting with the audience most important to our business.

Lisa Buyer is the founder of three media companies and CEO of The Buyer Group. This article originally ran on Search Engine Watch. Follow Lisa on Twitter @lisabuyer.

Topics: PR

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