Twitter is a powerful business tool, however it is often misunderstood by small business owners and rookie marketing professionals. I’d like to share with you 5 Twitter strategies that can help you utilize the power of Twitter to get the most out of your PR efforts.
I never want to assume anything, so I will start by emphasizing the importance of having a complete Twitter profile. This means that your profile has a photo (not a logo) and all of your contact information is correct, especially your web address. If the goal of your PR campaign is exposure, you want to always put your best foot forward. People will want to click on your web address to learn more about you, especially if they are interested in what you’ve tweeted, so make sure it goes to a link where they can learn more.
With that out of the way, here are five strategies that you can implement immediately to start improving your PR campaign.
1. Build Relationships. Public relations is about relationships, and Twitter is a great way to build and nurture those relationships. The folks you want to connect with include media professionals that cover your industry, local media professionals, and influencers in your industry. Building relationships includes following these people and getting to know them by taking a genuine interest in their content. A good way to get on someone’s radar is to retweet their posts (not all, of course). A sure sign you are on their radar is when they retweet your posts and follow you back and a great way to get them to retweet your posts is to mention them in a tweet.
2. Pitching a Story. Just about anyone can write a press release, but not just anyone can get it in the right hands where the story can be further shared. As you develop your contacts, you will have a growing list of media professionals and industry influencers with whom you can share your press releases. You will want to make specific notice what kind of stories they cover so you don’t pitch something off topic via Twitter. Keep in mind; some of these folks are Twitter die-hards, meaning that it will be easier to get your story in front of them via Twitter than email.
Here is a screenshot showing my Twitter dialogue with a local journalist where I was pitching a story related to the Boston Marathon tragedy shortly after it happened. You will notice that I received a reply in just over an hour, which may not have happened via email.
3. Be the Source. Often, you can find media pitches on Twitter from journalists or media services such as Help a Reporter. If you want to increase your chances of getting media mentions, I highly recommend following @HelpAReporter where you can find queries from journalists looking for sources almost daily via Twitter (and certainly daily via their email subscription). I also recommend setting up a Twitter search (or email alert) for the hashtag #URGHARO, which is the hashtag (keyword) used by @HelpAReporter when they have a journalist with a need for an immediate source for a story.
4. Bragging on You. As you are quoted in the news, you always want to share those links with your Twitter contacts. I recommend using (but not overusing) hashtags as you share, which helps connect your article or story to an industry or event. If the journalists you have followed are following you back, they may see notices, especially if your story is relevant to a story they have just covered or one they are working on. You can also tag them in the tweet or send them the link directly via Twitter Direct Message if you want to make sure they see it.
5. Create Media Lists. Twitter lists are a great way to group contacts by topic or region and you can do the same with your Twitter media contacts. You can create industry media lists or local media lists and this will help when you are checking in to see if any of your contacts are looking for sources. Here is an example of a media list that I created with reporters and news sources in Phoenix, Arizona: https://twitter.com/AnthonyKirlew/phoenix-media-pros. All I need to do is view this list to see what local journalists are tweeting, which may include requests for experts or sources for a story.
I hope this has been helpful and I wish you success on your road to Twitter and PR success!
About the Author: Anthony Kirlew is the founder of Abounding Media PR and AKA Internet Marketing. Since 1999, he has helped countless businesses of all sizes grow through the power of Internet & Social Media Marketing and says one of the secrets to his success is the integration of public relations into his client’s online campaigns. He is a contributing author to Media Magnetism; How to Attract the Favorable Publicity You Want and Deserve, and a frequent guest blogger. You can connect with him on Twitter at @AnthonyKirlew & @OldSchoolSEO.