Create sharable content in 4 easy steps

Transforming your press release into a social media powerhouse isn’t that difficult. Here’s what to do.

The rise of social media has created all sorts of new opportunities for small business marketers to get the word out, but it has presented challenges too.

The days of sending press releases to media outlets with the hopes of being lucky enough to get some coverage are long gone, morphing into constant opportunities to catch the next social media sharing phenomenon.

Today, it’s not enough to hit just those traditional media outlets.

You need to create a social media survival kit to help your business’ content fly on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and countless niche sites across the digital horizon.

Take heart, shareable content is not as rare (or hard to create) as you might think. With just a few tweaks, your content could be the talk of the sharing community.

Try these four tips to help make your press releases more social media friendly:

1. Understand your audiences. You’ve heard it before: make sure you are writing content geared toward your audience. Before you can write for them, you must understand who makes up that group. It’s more than just the specific prospects you are trying to appeal to—search engines are your readers, too. This is where search engine optimization comes in. Make your content includes optimized keywords and phrases to increase its ranking. The computerized audiences will love them, but don’t forget your primary readers are still human.

2. Provide opportunities for sharing. Incorporate buttons that will allow readers to share on a number of networks. You may have thought of Facebook, Twitter and good-old-fashioned email, but you should also include sites such as:

  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • Reddit

Making your content easy and compelling to share is just one more way to motivate readers to spread your word.

3. Tap into viral trends. All those videos, photographs and jingles floating across the Web are making the rounds for a reason. Take a look at the top memes (virally spread ideas) and ask yourself, what can I do to make my content more playful, provocative or just plain different?

You may find that a simple video aimed at a niche site is the crux to a viral campaign that spreads to networks everywhere.

4. Use your press release as a palette. Don’t think of your press release solely as a way to get out information. Put creativity into every element of your template by adding videos and photos to make the complete piece better positioned for social media marketing success.

  • Experiment with quirky or bold headlines
  • Use subtitles that ask questions or identify different takes on your topic
  • Use links, multimedia and photos to tell your story

Stay away from PR speaks; nobody has the time or interest to read it. Write like a storyteller and remember, there are millions of speed-readers on the net who skim content to determine readability.

Find a way to appeal to these scanners in an instant so they won’t just finish your press release, they’ll want to share it as well.

Think about the content you’ve been motivated to share. What about it drives you to let others in on the treasure you’ve found?

Translate that to your press release. If it’s important, interesting and valuable, then with a few touch-ups you can make it eminently shareable too.

Stacey Acevero is the social media community manager of PRWeb. Connect with her on Twitter at @SaceVero. A version of this post originally ran on Danny Brown’s blog.

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