By Claire Cameron-Johnson, Senior Account Manager, Karbo Communications
In today’s rapidly evolving digital age, social media has emerged as one of the most powerful and strategic communications tools. It empowers companies to more effectively shape their brand narratives, increase the reach of their content and engage with their audience. It’s also a powerful channel for PR professionals to connect with journalists, as reporters increasingly turn to social for story ideas, research, sources, and industry trends. In fact, a 2022 Pew Research survey found that 94% of journalists in the U.S. use social media for their job. To effectively leverage social media for PR and gain media attention, companies should adopt a strategic approach. Here are four key strategies to employ in 2024:
In bids for media attention, brand representatives should have a thorough understanding of important market trends and what each journalist cares about. This often comes down to discerning which aspects of your company or industry are newsworthy—and which are not. Journalists are typically interested in important company product launches, new partnerships, customer success stories, and thought-provoking industry insights on emerging trends. Always publicize company news across your social channels and incorporate relevant keywords and hashtags that are appropriate to your industry to make it easier for journalists to discover and cover your stories. Some reporters don’t mind being pitched via platforms such as X, but it’s important you do your research externally or through a media database like Muck Rack or Cision to check their communication preferences beforehand. Some reporters have a negative reaction to being pitched via their social channels, so know their individual preferences before you reach out. Otherwise you’ll run the risk of annoying them and coming across as uninformed.
Trendjacking involves capitalizing on trending topics, news stories or popular conversations. The power of trendjacking lies in its ability to make your content relevant, timely, and shareable. When done effectively, trendjacking can help your brand become part of a broader conversation, reach a larger audience, and help to establish credibility within your industry. To stay well-informed about current events and industry news, use tools such as Google Trends to identify what’s currently capturing public interest. Trends have a short lifespan—brands should be prepared to act quickly. Share your content while the topic is still hot and you’ll have a better shot at getting noticed. Ensure that your perspective is novel and thought-provoking, so that you’re providing unique value to journalists and contributing positively to an ongoing conversation, versus merely regurgitating existing information.
When you decide to get involved in an industry discussion on social, leverage relevant and trending hashtags. This not only helps your content become more discoverable by journalists who are following or searching for content related to a specific topic or trend, but it also allows you to quickly find out which journalists are commenting on trends. Share and repost their content, while adding your own perspective. Ensure you’re tagging them when you do. This helps to not only increase your visibility with that journalist, but helps to build that relationship over time.
Leverage social media management tools like Karbo Com’s longtime client Hootsuite to monitor social media conversations and identify trends, keywords, and topics that journalists are talking about the most. This provides you with an opportunity to align your content with their interests and angles. By staying informed about what’s relevant in your industry, you can also leverage sophisticated social listening tools to craft pitches that resonate with key journalists in your industry and increase your chances of securing media coverage.
Building relationships with journalists and industry influencers on social media is a two-way street. Research and identify key journalists, influencers, and thought leaders in your niche and engage with their social content. Customize your outreach to the individual. Share relevant news, repost their content, comment thoughtfully, and establish genuine connections over time. These relationships can lead to media coverage and collaborations that boost your PR efforts.
Embracing the power of social media can be the key to success in today’s competitive PR landscape. It requires strategic thinking, a deep knowledge of the market and players, an aggressive approach, a great deal of groundwork and lightning speed to get ahead. It’s a big job and most of Karbo Com’s clients ask our social savvy experts to drive their efforts.
Interested in learning how Karbo Communications can elevate your company’s social media presence? Reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.