How to do your own P.R.
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, chances are you’re aiming to better publicize your message to a given target audience. Whether it’s customers, prospects, or partners, there is a target group you want to engage.
But maybe you’re not ready to hire an expensive creative agency—maybe it’s not in your budget or you’ve had bad experiences in the past.
Whatever the case, there are tools and strategies you can use to build your social and PR game plan. And, it doesn’t involve a monthly retainer.
Chicago-based PR firm, Walker Sands Communications has helped us compile a number of tips to help business owners publicize their company. We’ve built on each of their recommendations, to give you a fuller picture of how you might go about achieving marketing success!
1. Engage with other thought leaders on social media
As a small business owner, there are probably people you follow on social media for advice and to stay abreast of important news. Try to engage with these people on Twitter and LinkedIn. It will likely increase your visibility on these platforms with relevant audiences and build connections that may be useful in the future.Start by complimenting something they’ve done, share something they’ve written. Basically, do something that involves you doing more giving instead of taking.
You can post a “blog” or article to LinkedIn directly from the home screen you see when you initially login. See that area where you usually update your status? If you click the pencil icon instead, you’ll be taken to visual editor, which will allow you to add a picture and begin writing.
2. Respond to timely topics in the news
A great way to establish relationships with reporters is to offer yourself as an expert source to comment on hot stories in the news. For instance, if you are a fitness coach, when a story appears about fitness, you would likely have an informed opinion on the topic.Reporters are always looking for experts that can give their stories substance and new angles.
3. Use free trials of social media and content marketing tools before you buy
Social media and content monitoring tools are great tools for tracking information about your product or service type.But these products can be expensive, especially for a small business.
Be sure to take advantage of the free trials that many marketing tools offer before you commit to purchase. All have different features and some may be better at fulfilling your needs than others.
4. Choose the right social media platform for your brand
It’s clear that your company can benefit from being on social media in order to be relevant, but not all platforms are right for you. Identify your target audience and see where they get their content. Do they prefer Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook? Would they even look at your Pinterest or Instagram account if you had one?
Each platform can be used to focus on a certain part of your key messaging as long as the content will reach your target audience. Otherwise, it’s a waste of your time and it’s not a great representation of your business. It’s far better to do less and do it well, than to do everything and to do it poorly. If you’re not sure whether or not your audience is on a particular platform, take a look at research conducted by the Pew Research Center, on social networking. You can use this fact sheet to determine where your demographic is spending their time online.
It’s a lot easier to pick a platform if you already know what each of these networks is used for. Here’s an infographic that covers it nicely. While statistics may be slightly out of date (original publication was 2013), for all other purposes, it’s still a solid guide.
5. Engage with your customers on social media
While on social media, be sure to engage with customers who are having conversations around your product/service or about a topic relevant to your business. When you monitor what people are saying on your social accounts as well as the keywords that relate to your business, it is easy to see what people think is important. This is also a smart tactic for staying on top of customer complaints and controlling the conversation before it gets out of hand.
6. Use google analytics
Google Analytics is crucial for monitoring your presence online. A free tool, Google Analytics allows you to keep tabs on certain keywords as well as your company name to see when they appear online. Other features provide insight on how people arrived to your website and what the conversion rate is for your owned and earned media.
LEAVE A COMMENT: Have you tried any of these techniques? Do you have any other suggestions to offer?
Source: Candice Landa, Editor of Bplans.