Your company’s social media presence can be used in all sorts of ways — from announcing job postings to sharing employee testimonials and product launches. But it can also be leveraged to attract attention from the mainstream media and generate positive publicity.
If you regularly post newsworthy items on your social media platforms, then reporters, editors and other journalists will be more likely to think of your company as a go-to source for story ideas. In today’s world, social media is arguably the most cost-effective way to garner favorable news coverage.
Here are eight ways to get media coverage using social media:
1. Use LinkedIn to post newsworthy items.
Posting stories, photos and videos about business updates on LinkedIn — on an ongoing basis — can make members of the media aware of all of the exciting happenings at your company. These updates can be interesting to reporters looking for a new story.
Sharing newsworthy items on LinkedIn is particularly effective because your network of contacts will see your news and therefore see you as an expert in your field. Hopefully, you’ve connected with a large network of peers, prospects, friends, clients and influencers, and if not, now’s the time to start broadening your network. I’ve personally found LinkedIn to be highly effective when sharing my own news; as a matter of fact, I share each of the articles I write and get a lot of great feedback, likes and comments. This has helped position me as a thought leader in the public relations field.
2. Connect with journalists on Twitter.
Twitter is your friend when it comes to media pitching. Many journalists are on Twitter, so it’s an ideal place to get their attention. Identify the journalists you’re targeting and follow them. Engage with their content for a period of time — say, two weeks — and then go in with a direct message as a “pitch.” Keep it short, in the spirit of Twitter. This can be effective because I’ve found that journalists tend to respond more favorably to Twitter direct messages than emails.
3. Leverage news stories about your company.
Posting about trade magazine stories, television features and other news coverage your company received not only keeps your followers up-to-date, but it also may inspire other news outlets to pick up the story. Moreover, sharing the news story on social media increases its readership or viewership, encouraging reporters to keep covering your company for clicks and shares.
4. Post links to national news stories about your industry.
Create a post that connects what’s happening in your market or region to a national trend. The connection to a larger news story is often enough for regional and local news outlets to become interested, as it makes it more relevant to their audience.
5. Create a video showing how your product is made or how your service is performed.
The video can show the mainstream media the unique processes you use to make that finished product or perform that key service, which can attract news coverage because of its authenticity. The video can also help reporters understand and explain how your operation works when they’re putting a news story together. They often enjoy going behind the curtain to see how things are done.
6. Provide photos of a problem and related action.
Posting images that depict a problem that your company is working to solve can provide the mainstream media with a newsworthy angle regarding your business. On top of that, showing the specific actions that your business is taking may be worthy of a news story in itself. Even if your company isn’t part of the solution, the mainstream media may value the resource you’ve provided.
7. Conduct a poll to show a trend or support.
Conducting or commissioning a poll and sharing the results on social media can provide solid data about your company and follower reactions that are easy for reporters to collect and analyze. Such research may be pertinent to a news story they’re currently working on. The results also may introduce a data-based trend that breaks the status quo — which is often worthy of its own news story.
8. Use video for crisis management.
Reacting to a company crisis quickly is essential to reducing the severity of negative news. Posting a video reaction on social media in a timely manner allows the mainstream media to show their audience your side of the story by including your video in their news story or by quoting from the statement you’ve released. Rapid response is key, and videos often make for the most compelling responses.
Social media allows you to position yourself — or your company — as an expert in a given field. We call this being a thought leader.
This provides a sense of legitimacy to your company and demonstrates credibility to reporters. You want the mainstream media to consider you to be an expert and a trustworthy source of information. Plus, if you’re established as a go-to expert, you’re likely to gain long-lasting media relationships that can only boost your news coverage in the future.
So post, tweet and snap away. The mainstream media is ready for you.