How to Build a Social Media Strategy That Works for Your Business

Some of you may be wondering what is a social media strategy and is it necessary for my business? To answer your first question, a social media strategy is simply an extension of a business’ overall marketing and public relations strategy. Built to support the achievement of company-wide goals, social media strategies should outline campaigns and tactics for key social media channels. As for the second question, YES! Every business, whether it’s a startup or a Fortune 500 company, should have a presence on social media.

 

Percent of U.S. adults who say they use the following social media sites online or on their cellphone – via Pew Research Center

With 68 percent of U.S. adults using the platform regularly, Facebook is by far one of the most popular social media platforms available for marketers. But the social media narrative extends far beyond the “walls” of Facebook. Since 2016, the use of Instagram by U.S. adults has increased from 28 percent to more than 35 percent, with higher numbers reported from 18-24 year olds, making it the second most-used platform.

 

You may now be asking if your business should be present and active on all social media platforms, from the “big-box” names like Facebook and Instagram to the lesser-known platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest. The average American uses three of the top eight, and while it’s not necessary to be present on each and every channel, it is recommended to select the most important platforms based on your target audiences and team’s ability to implementing a cohesive strategy.

 

Implementing a social media strategy will improve your business in more ways than one. Below are the top benefits for implementing a strategic plan on social media:

 

Creating a face for your company online.

In addition to providing an online presence housed outside of your website, the use of a social media strategy will improve search engine optimization (SEO), allowing your company’s name and product name(s) to appear in more relevant searches when using key terms and phrases.

 

Increasing knowledge about products and offerings.

Additionally, the strategic use of social media will help to build brand awareness and exposure. Drafting content that includes direct links back to your company’s website can also help to increase web traffic and conversion rates as well as provide valuable feedback from customers.

 

Proving ROI in relation to marketing goals.

Reaching new and niche audiences can be challenging using traditional marketing tactics. With a strategic social media strategy, companies can target specific audiences directly through advertisements and boosted posts, as well as reach audience members in a more authentic way.

 

Need help building a strategy that works for your business? Contact Lauryn Gray, lauryn@dittoepr.com, or request a consultation today!

How A Great PR Strategy Can Grow Your Business

In today’s world of rapid technological advancement and globalized commerce, startups and Fortune 500 companies alike are searching for new ways to build their business, gain visibility, and stand out amongst the competition.

 

When it comes to building and communicating the credibility of your service or product to the world, PR is, hands down, the best strategy and can be one of the most cost-effective ways to raise brand awareness and increase sales.

 

Sharing your entrepreneurial story in national business publications, getting product placements in popular magazines, participating in expert interviews on industry topics, and earning positive social media “shout outs” from influencers have the power to significantly impact your business and your brand.

 

Here’s how a strategic, well-thought-out, and well-executed PR campaign can help your business grow:

 

Increase brand awareness.

One of the biggest and most obvious benefits of PR is that it can gain exposure for your brand. A great PR strategy will include securing media stories about your company and its products or services. This can be much more effective than traditional brand-building techniques like paid advertising because people don’t relate to advertisements – they consume them. Storytelling is the way people attach meaning to products and services, and it’s the reason they want to belong to a brand.

 

For example, a potential customer is more likely to feel a connection to your business when reading a feature story about your company in a reputable, national publication like the Wall Street Journal or Inc. Magazine, than glancing at a banner ad at the top of the web page.

 

Improve SEO.

Another great benefit of a strategic PR campaign is that it will improve your online presence. Media stories about your business in national, local, and industry-specific digital publications will improve your company’s search engine optimization (SEO). But a great PR team doesn’t rely solely on articles written by reporters. PR professionals can create their own content that can be pitched to and placed in publications.

 

For example, byline articles or op-eds on topics relevant to your target audience, case studies highlighting your own clients’ success using your services or products, and optimized blog posts for your own website can help you move to the top of the search results page, increasing your online presence and building your credibility.

 

Build credibility.

Whether you’re looking to gain new customers, find new investors, or maybe even get noticed by larger companies for a potential buyout, credibility is a must. Similar to how a great feature in a top publication can help build brand awareness, it can also build your credibility. A positive endorsement from a third party generates much more credibility than advertising.

 

Create a press page on your company’s website to showcase all of the great press your PR team has secured for your company. It’s also important to proactively share media coverage across your social channels and in your email marketing content.

 

Generate new clients and new business.

The main goal for most companies is to increase sales and generate new business, and if a PR team’s campaign is strategic, it can do just that. Media outreach should be targeted to a specific target audience.

 

For companies selling a consumer product, securing coverage in top consumer magazines and national morning TV shows, as well as working with social media influencers and bloggers may be the best approach to take. But, if you’re selling a B2B service, then coverage in industry trade publications, as well as national business outlets, may impact your business more than a segment on the ‘Today Show.’

 

To measure PR efforts, your team should have access to a variety measurement tools such as Google Analytics and social media metrics through platforms like Sprout Social or Hootsuite. This allows your team to see what types of media hits result in increased website and social media traffic. A great PR agency will also invest in their own PR analytics software tool and can track KPIs such as total media mentions, share of voice among competitors, engagement, sentiment, and social media amplification.

 

Recruit top talent.

Last, but certainly not least, a great PR campaign has the ability to attract top talent to your company. Stories on company growth and innovation, as well as your culture and philanthropic initiatives help to position your company as a desirable place to work. Touting award recognitions for your business and announcing new hires and promotions are also great ways to solidify your organization as a top workplace in your area or industry.

 

Securing media hits and increasing your online presence is important but is not always the end goal. At Dittoe Public Relations, we recognize and understand the value of translating those PR efforts into real business success for our clients.

 

We are not simply media relations specialists. We are business consultants. We pride ourselves on becoming immersed within our clients’ businesses and industries and thrive on helping them grow through our strategic PR campaigns.

 

Ready for us to put together a custom strategy for you? If so, contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com.

Tips for Securing National Media Coverage

“No thanks.”

“Not at this time.”

“I appreciate your persistence, but I’m not interested.”

 

If you’re in PR, you’ve more than likely received a response similar to this from national media journalists. In my five years at Dittoe PR, I’ve heard this, well… too many times to count. While it can be discouraging to get so many rejections about your story idea, especially after you’ve spent hours coming up with the strategy and writing that perfect pitch, a PR professional must never give up. Hearing that “yes” makes the flurry of pitches worth it—for yourself and for your client.

 

National media outreach is often perceived as the most difficult kind of pitching. But if your client’s preferred coverage is a story in Forbes, The Today Show, and USA Today, or if you want to thoroughly impress a new client, you need to know how to become an expert in landing outstanding media hits in national outlets.

 

Using the below tips to secure national media coverage will help to blow your clients out of the water:

 

Do your research.

 

As with all media pitching, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re reaching out to the right journalist. Study their beat. Tailor your pitch to make it about what they typically cover. Personalize the intro of your email by expressing how much you loved their recent article on the best way to earn a college scholarship, and THEN share your story idea about caddying for a full ride to college.

 

My client, Aardvark straws, was interested in national consumer media coverage about their NFL paper straws, as they are the only paper straw company that has the rights to print NFL team logos. I recall finding an editor from Southern Living who had shared that her favorite NFL team was the Dallas Cowboys. Well, did I have the pitch for her! I offered her samples of Aardvark’s Dallas Cowboys paper straws to use for a Super Bowl party, and she replied not even a minute later with interest. A week later, Aardvark earned coverage in Southern Living!

 

Don’t underestimate the power of newsjacking.

 

Newsjacking, or taking advantage of current events or news stories in such a way as to promote one’s product or brand, can really help your client steal the spotlight. It’s always good practice to pitch a story idea that is timely, so newsjacking works well if you pitch your story as soon as possible after the news breaks.

 

Our country was so divided after the latest presidential election that even employees were affected at work. Another client of mine, Culture of Good, guides other businesses on engaging their employees properly. Immediately following the presidential election, I took the opportunity to pitch national journalists about fixing employee morale and keeping everyone together, which resulted in interest with Fast Company.

 

Make your email worth opening with a catchy subject line.

 

A dry, dull subject line such as “New wireless retail partner” is not going to get you anywhere with national media. A PR pro should make their subject lines catchy and succinct, while getting the point of the pitch across. Using Emojis adds creativity, and often, addressing the journalist’s name in the subject line helps the writer know the pitch may be personal.

 

A subject line that worked well for one of my clients, Redux, grabbed the attention of Mashable, The Today Show, TIME Magazine, New York Magazine, Digital Trends, and more: SPLASH! How to revive a wet phone in a flash this summer

 

And, when following up with media, change up the subject line to see if it peaks their interest.

 

Add images when applicable.

 

If you’re pitching a consumer product, this is a given. What better way to help a national reporter visualize your client’s product than with a photo? But even if you aren’t sharing info about a consumer product, images can add flair to an email.

Who wouldn’t want to stay at Ironworks Hotel after seeing one of their suites?

 

Be persistent.

 

Persistence is key! It’s not uncommon for a reporter to accidentally miss your first email… or your second… or your third. Follow up emails are often the ones where I receive the MOST media interest from—local and national alike. As mentioned before, refresh your subject line, add new information in the follow ups the writer may be more interested in, and keep up the determination!

 

And you may need to become a bit of a stalker.

 

Not really. But kind of. Okay, you do.

 

It’s great to find the ideal national reporter to cover your client’s story, but it can be confusing as to why you aren’t receiving any responses.

 

Look at writers’ Twitter accounts to see what they have been up to. Maybe they are on vacation or maternity leave. They could also be at a conference or tied up with a big story angle. It might be nice to use that bit of information in a follow up once you find out when they’ll be back on the grind.

 

And if you can’t find a national reporter’s email address, you may be able to find it on social media, personal websites, or otherwise.

 

Calling both local AND national writers can be nerve wracking. So before picking up the phone, try to discover if they’ve blatantly told publicists not to reach them via phone. You don’t want them to blacklist you. But I’ve called plenty of national reporters who simply didn’t see my initial emails and have indeed been interested in my client’s story. It’s definitely worth a shot!

 

Most national journalists receive hundreds of emails daily. Make yours count by sharing a lean and impactful pitch with the appropriate writer who won’t want to miss your groundbreaking story.

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