There are many tactics companies can implement as part of a smart Twitter Marketing strategy. Growing the initial following is important as is providing the budding community you’re building with something of value to keep coming back and to spread the good word to their networks. One such tactic that offers value and brings people together is the Twitter chat. I’ve been involved with about 5 or 6 different Twitter chats as a guest and they are a unique experience. In this post I’ll share my observations about what seems to work, some logistics and a few examples of some well-run Twitter chats for the marketing and PR verticals.
As a longtime customer of PRWeb, I’ve seen many changes over the years. The oldest optimized press release I could find of mine that’s still online dates back to mid 2001 and in the years since, it’s been an evolving relationship moving from customer to consultant.
From the days of talking new features as a super user with founder David McInnis to our current role as search and social media consultants, the focus on innovation and serving customers has always been a mutual focus. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Vocus Product Manager for PRWeb, Jiyan Wei, Director of Online Marketing, Meg Walker and Vocus CMO Bill Wagner as well as other members of the Vocus team and they’ve been working very hard to make an array of substantial changes to the PRWeb platform to better serve customers.
There are many intersections between earned media and organic search engine rankings, so it makes sense that they would work well together. The PR industry is in an interesting situation right now with so much of the traditional media world moving to digital media. Whether they admit it or not, journalists rely on PR professionals for a pipeline of stories and information. When journalists lose their jobs, media relations professionals lose an essential reason for being in business.
Even if PR departments and organizations are digitally savvy, there are a good number of reasons (7 in fact) to incorporate search engine optimization into their processes:
TopRank Online Marketing has been working with PRWeb providing SEO consulting services starting in 2008. PRWeb was founded in 1997 to help small businesses and communications professionals leverage the web to share their news directly with the public. As part of this process PRWeb lead the way for the “direct-to-consumer” press release, enabling companies to communicate their news directly to customers, prospects, analysts and the media.
During the past decade, PRWeb has reshaped the traditional press release and changed how companies large and small distribute news. Innovations of PRWeb over the years include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) for press releases to increase the visibility of news in search engines like Google and Yahoo!
- Social bookmarking tools like trackbacks and bookmark links to take advantage of the explosion in social networking
TopRank ran a survey of journalists, reporters and editors on their use of search and social media in 2008. We found 91% use search engines like Google to do their job. 64% use social networks. Published in Jan 2010, a George Washington University and Cision survey of journalists reports 89% use blogs and 65% use social networks to research stories.
As prep for a presentation I’m giving Thursday at Online Marketing Summit on the intersection of SEO, Social Media and PR, I reached out to a few local journalists and industry news contacts and asked for examples of how they used search engines or social media to do story research.
The PR industry is in a state of flux with increasing importance on getting into the content and social web business. Consumers are spending more time with digital and social media. Advertising dollars are following. That means less budget to staff newsrooms and reporters, journalists and editors to pitch.
Understanding the needs of their “customers’ customer” is essential for PR agencies and communications professionals to remain relevant and productive. “Push PR” is increasingly being complemented by “Pull” tactics – optimization for discovery. Being able to provide value is essential and here are 3 ways a better understanding of SEO can do just that.
Recently I was invited to give a basics webinar on optimizing news content for search. The intersection of search and PR/communications are obviously something quite familiar.
The outcome exceeded all expectations thanks to the excellent promotions by PRWeb and SEW plus Mike Grehan’s smooth handling of moderator duties amidst technical difficulties. Over 7,000 people registered, there were over 400 questions and 650 Tweets using the #prweb hash tag during the webinar.
The way it goes with many webinars when you’re invited by an organization to participate, is that the topic and title/description are determined beforehand. The speaker adapts themselves to that. This presentation content focused on optimizing writing for the web with a particular emphasis on optimizing content common to public relations.
Previously, I explored the intersection of social media and PR and explained why it is so important communications professionals leverage digital channels. In that post I touched on the following key points:
- Authenticity/personality – the world and web crave it
- It scales – popular brands just get more popular
- Long-term storytelling – build a permission asset
- Leverage – digital PR is your social proofing
- Intersection with SEO – links are by-product
- PR has changed – pull is now more effective
Next I’d like to explore a brief outline of how you can effectively use social media to accomplish your PR objectives. I’ll run through 3 key steps as a primer, however I challenge you to consider a unique entry point for your own brand. The social web is as flexible as you want it to be, and there is no single “right answer”. The following are learnings for how you could potentially approach a social media PR strategy.
Recently, I presented at PubCon on the intersection of social media and PR. The session title was “experts on PR and Twitter,” however the session description went on to discuss a variety of networks. Therefore my interpretation was to speak on the intersection of social media and PR, and not just PR and Twitter.
The social web is far more than just Twitter, and if Twitter is the extent of your participation you’re missing out. Lee’s diagram of social media and channels of distribution presents a visualization of a strong approach, where the centerpiece is a blog. The centerpiece could be anything of course, not just a blog – but the essential element is that it’s a place you control and not an external network. Using Twitter or any network you don’t control as the centerpiece is a mistake, because you’re building the value of a digital asset that isn’t really yours (no analytics, no control, no SEO benefit and if that network falls out of favor all your hard work is devalued).
Today at the PRSA 09 conference, it was a packed room for TopRank CEO (and author of Online Marketing Blog) Lee Odden who gave a presentation on SEO for Public Relations.
He started by explaining why SEO is/should be important to PR Professionals.
In a 2008 Journalists Use of Search Survey by TopRank, we discovered that 91% of journalists use standard search to fulfill a component of their job whether researching a story or locating a subject matter expert.
With journalists writing for more channels and with less resources making your content visible within search is critical.
Here are Odden’s 10 SEO Tips:
The first day of the 2009 PRSA International Conference in San Diego kicked off general sessions today.
One session I’ve really been looking forward to was the one on social media measurement featuring Katie Paine of KDPaine & Partners. She started the audience off with some numbers, that we all might find useful:
- 48% of respondents to a PRWeek study said that they were moving money from advertising to social media – only 18% said they were taking money from PR
- 78% of people trust peer recommendations, 14% trust advertising
- 91% of Inc 500 companies are using social media
- 38% aren’t monitoring their brand, product or reputation in social media
Next, the audience had to grapple with the idea (read truth) that it’s the end of measurement as we know it. Here are ten supporting facts:
When Brian Solis asked me to do a review of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, the book he and Deidre Breakenridge published earlier this year, it didn’t take a second to say yes. Putting that decision into action took a little longer and it finally took some time on a plane to get it done.
I’ve known Brian Solis through our common industry involvement with social media and the Public Relations world for several years. Brian is a thought leader not because he’s popular on the social web or because he’s the cool-guy host of the Tech Set parties, or even because of his successful PR business, board memberships with up and coming companies, keynote presentations or the popular blogs he publishes at briansolis.com and bub.blicio.us.