5 Priorities Every Social Media Program Should Have

I want to start this post with a little bit of clarity by defining the term “Priority”. Webster’s say’s it is something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. One thing I have learned in life is that no matter what comes out of your mouth, your actions will always follow your true priorities. You can say this or that are a priority, but if your actions show something else, you have a problem.

social media prioritiesOne reason that many newcomers to social media marketing lack priorities is not because of laziness or lack of desire, it is simply lack of knowledge – the understanding of what tasks actually need to have priority in their day.

Often times businesses struggle with not only understanding all the in’s and out’s of social media marketing, but more importantly where they should prioritize their time and efforts. This often results in new social media marketers over pitching what they do, or worse, giving up and abandoning their social media efforts. Let’s avoid both by listing the top five priorities your social media marketing efforts should focus on each day.

These are in no particular order of importance, however all of them should be given priority and attention daily.

1) Value – Provide value to your target audience.

Your daily focus should be to deliver selfless value to your target market. How can your social media marketing provide value to your audience? Answer that question without regard to what you do, what you sell, or the industry you are in. Answer and execute that question correctly and you will see huge results!

2) Content – Have enough content and the RIGHT content.

Think of social media as a freeway. All of the cars on the freeway are content, posts and articles. You have to have enough content on the road everyday that is relevant, valuable and interesting to your target audience. You need to make sure that whenever one of your fans, friends or followers step up to the side of the freeway throughout the day, they see one of your cars go by.

3) Be Human – People build relationships with other People.

A big mistake a lot of new social media marketers make is trying to mimic the big brands. For the most part, big brands SUCK at social media. They do not do it right and for many, they don’t have to. They have spent billions on branding and marketing well ahead of the social media boom, therefore it is just another channel. Everyone else needs to do it right if they want results!

You have to humanize your social media accounts. Most people connect and build relationships with other people. Can you really have a relationship with a logo of a company you don’t even know? Of course not. Be human and approachable.

4) Respond/Engage - Social media marketing is social.

You must make it a priority to respond to mentions, shares and comments immediately. When someone shares a post or mentions you in social media, they are available and active at that moment. You need to respond quickly in order to foster a conversation that leads to relationship. Waiting for once a day or an hour later is just too late. They have moved on, logged out or even lost interest. If you aren’t utilizing mobile apps to ensure you can consistently do this, it is not a priority to you.

You also need to have a priority of commenting, sharing and mentioning your target audience frequently. Relationships are two ways. Seek opportunity to benefit your prospects by sharing their content, engaging them in conversation or simply commenting on something they post.

5) Community – Build one.

Your social media marketing must have a priority focused on building a loyal community. That community must be large enough to be effective. Find your target audience and follow/friend them. Build it and they will come does not work in social media.

As you can see, social media is highly involved. Understanding the priorities you need to have on a daily basis is the difference between being IN social media and having an effective social media marketing program for your business.

What is your biggest priority in social media? Please leave a comment below!

Be Newsworthy: How to Drive Better PR Results

Every PR professional can recall cringe-worthy moments standing in front of her/his boss’ desk, or in a meeting, and being told to put out a press release for something that is most definitely not newsworthy. Every CEO likes to think the latest corporate development, product, or idea is surely worthy of a press release. But PR professionals know the goal is to pique editorial interest enough that it leads to a interview, then a story, and therefore it takes discretion in discerning what is truly newsworthy. One cannot lose sight that wasting an editor’s time will not bode well for building credibility as a reliable news source.

Press ReleaseToday more than ever, editors are bombarded with hundreds of press releases and pitches promising the Next Big Story. Unless your press release is specific, targeted, and well written (and yes, grammar counts) with the audience in mind, your press release or pitch will sit in an editor’s inbox never to see the light of day. Writing and pitching with the audience and the editor in mind can help land you a coveted spot on the front page or at least a prominent spot, the subject of a product review, or deemed an expert source to be interviewed.

Sending a press release in an email

Writers and public relations professionals can get caught up in their own hype and forget to put the “news” in news release by providing editors with basic details (who, what, when, where, why, and how) and targeted information. In this day and age, it is best to send news releases and pitches via email. Writers and editors are increasingly using smartphones on the go as well as tablets. Don’t risk sending an attachment the recipient may not be able to open. Instead always place the news release in the body of the email. With the prominence of smartphones, it makes sense most journalists and editors are connected to their mobile phones to stay on top of stories, meet with sources, attend news worthy events, and stay connected with readers and social media.

Being the go-to person for your client or organization means the media knows they can trust you and you’re connected. You’re not just concerned with serving your ends but making the jobs of journalists and editors as easy as possible. Sending your news release via email means you have one glance to get someone’s attention. Therefore, one must choose a compelling subject line. Do not use all CAPS in your subject line. Do not just enter “News release” in the subject line. Use the subject line to offer a snapshot of your story to capture the journalist/editor’s interest enough to click “open” and read your pitch. Consistent and concise communications are the building blocks of every public relations professional and their campaigns.

Achieving your goal—getting coverage for your story and getting your message out—requires persistence and relationship building. Mind your reputation and operate with integrity and consistency. Editors and writers will grow to trust your pitches and your ability to think about what they need to whet the appetites of their readers and deliver real news.

Have you ever done a press release before? What were some of the challenges you’ve experienced? Leave a comment below!