It's nearly impossible to separate PR from social media these days. In fact, you can't run a successful PR campaign without social media. You probably know this, so you've done what you're supposed to do. You've created accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and a few others the kids are talking about these days. Now what?
It's time to put those accounts to good use!
Especially if your B2B PR is barely breathing, on life support, or starting to show signs of failure, it's time for some triage with social media. However, even if your PR isn't in the danger zone, there are several ways to augment it with the successful use of social media.
Ready for a crash course in growing your B2B PR with social media?
Let's get started! We'll check out a few ways to blend vintage-style PR with today's social media.
Vintage vs. 21st Century B2B PR
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines PR as:
"A strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics."
If this is what you consider to be PR, then you're correct! Nothing has changed in that department.
What has changed, however, are the ways these relationships are structured and nurtured. Check out a few avenues of PR that can be enhanced with social media:
Networking with Journalists
Vintage: In the old days, getting to know reporters on a personal level meant having a face-to-face meeting. You likely did this at lunch or at a cafe, in hopes of building a good relationship with a reporter and landing print coverage.
Today: You still need to hang out with reporters. However, nowadays that means hanging out on Twitter, commenting on and retweeting stories that you find relevant.
Check out these statistics from PR Daily:
"Nearly 80 percent of journalists use social media to find breaking news, more than 73 percent use social media to check what the competition is doing, nearly 60 percent use it to find story ideas, and about 50% use social media platforms to search for sources."
And, if you still want to take a reporter out for a cup of coffee, that's totally cool, too!
Vintage: You used to email or call journalists to see if they'd snatch up your press release. This is still applicable, too. Just don't rely on journalists as your only channel of distribution for your release.
Today: Direct message journalists with whom you have built a rapport on social media platforms. Also, don't just sit around hoping the press will pick up your release.
Instead, launch your press release in your own corporate newsroom. Schedule social media postings on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram linking to your press release hosted on your website.
Not sure how to create your own newsroom? Check out this step-by-step tutorial.
Vintage: You may have relied on cold-calling, holding events, newsletters, and attending networking functions to dig up new prospects.
Today: In addition to the above, you now have social media platforms at your disposal to reach an audience you may have never thought possible to reach in the past.
Are you following a thought leader in your industry on Twitter? Get engaged in conversations with fellow followers and those who share like-minded interests.
We're not suggesting social stalking here, just think of it like attending an ongoing conference with a steady stream of new guests in the audience that you'll want to reach out to.
Want to spread the word about an event you're holding? Publicize it far and wide on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and of course, on your own website. Your appreciative followers will help you spread the word by sharing your post.
This kind of publicity is nearly cost-free and reaches audiences you may have never reached in the past.
Building Relationships with Clients
Vintage: Good communication, exceeding expectations, and ensuring all deliverables are done on time were (and still are) the pillars of building successful relationships with clients. But, wait! There's more!
Today: Today's B2B customer wants, expects, information from you as an industry leader.
In fact, content marketing guru, Heidi Cohen reports that:
"B2B customers are 65-90% of the way through the purchase decision process before they contact your firm."
Hence, creating valuable, relevant content is crucial for stellar B2B PR.
What type of content should you create? And how do you get it into the hands of your customers?
Disseminating your content on social media channels, by means of email, and on your website will help keep customers informed and help them to know they are in good hands with you at the helm.
The purpose of social media is not simply to create postings, but to provide your fans with valuable content, ultimately linking back to your website.
Use an auto-schedule program, such as Buffer, CoSchedule, or other CRM software to launch your social media updates. There are a few keys to doing this properly:
How to Use Social Prospecting in Your B2B PR Campaign
No one ever complains they have too many leads (unless they're bragging). If having too many leads is a problem you'd like to have, check out our partner Hubspot's ebook on social prospecting. You'll learn how to take lead generation to a whole new level with social media.
Ready to start prospecting for customers?