50 Shades of Twitter for PR


50 Shades of Twitter for PR

Let’s face it: using Twitter for PR isn’t just sexy, it’s smart, it’s revealing, and it’s exposure (hopefully, though, not indecent exposure). It’s just plain good social PR sense.

(Yes, I did, in fact, newsjack the latest trending movie, 50 Shades of Grey. Sorry. I couldn’t help myself when I realized that I have 50+ Twitter for PR tips to share with you.)

One of the hottest social PR news developments right now is Google announcing that it will start showing tweets in search results. This is huge, especially when you think about the publicity aspect of leveraging social media, search, and PR!


If your audience is on Twitter, then this real-time network is where your brand needs to be. For businesses looking for one very good reason to be on Twitter, how about this: the media is on Twitter. Journalists and bloggers are searching for story sources and ideas everyday via Twitter and now with the added exposure of Tweets showing up in search results, it’s more important than ever to:social media editorial calender

  • Rethink your Twitter editorial calendar.
  • Be sure to have a relevant content strategy.Optimize your Twitter content with links, keyword phrases, and appropriate hashtags to gain more reach (use this keyword tutorial from Bruce Clay’s SEO Tutorial).
  • Get visual! Include images and video with your tweets to stand out.

What else is new with Twitter? Mobile video! Twitter users can now shoot, edit, and post videos clips straight from the app.  Twitter CEO Dick Costolo recently told investors that he sees video as a major element of Twitter’s future, especially as advertisers ramp up to reach the “always on” mobile user. 2015 is the hot year for video in social media marketing and PR, so ramp it up and say tweets, iPhone, action!

Social PR Secret: For your next boardroom announcement or product launch, add some video to your storytelling to your public relations action plan.

Not sure about video? Let the visual facts speak for themselves as Facebook shows the video proof with these incredible growth stats from 2014:

“We are seeing this shift to a visual language come to life on Facebook. In just one year, the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US. And every day, people upload more than 350 million photos on average to Facebook.”  http://insights.fb.com/2015/01/07/new-universal-language/

Want to take your conversation on Twitter to a private conversation with a group of your followers? Maybe it’s a group of journalists, bloggers, or your brand advocates. Now you can use direct messages to speak privately with a group of up to 20 people. Share Tweets, show emoji, and be yourself. If you’re new to direct messaging on Twitter, check out this information to get started on the possibilities of quickly sharing private information direct from Twitter.

I recently presented a one-hour webinar to PRSA on Twitter PR secrets and here’s a version of the cheat sheet for ideas on how you can use Twitter to reach your audience and share news in the most optimized way possible.


What does a 140-character press release look like? For the best ideas and inspiration, go direct to the source and learn from this Tweet Smarter ebook by Twitter or check out these quick tips to up your game.


  • Keep it relative and include 1-3 per tweet for more exposure.
  • Create a branded hashtag (for inspiration, watch @todayshow and see how they do it).
  • Tie into event hashtags like #Pubcon or theme hashtags such as #TBT.
  • Promote hashtags offline in printed materials.



Increase engagement, exposure, and visibility by adding visuals to your tweets. Check out these ways to socialize and optimize your visuals to the next level:


Find out how to avoid a PR disaster as a result of Twitter communications. Check out this post on 13 Twitter PR Secrets to Gain Publicity. Play it safe and be proactive by considering these tips:

  • If you don’t have a Social Media policy for Twitter, think about creating one now.
  • Platforms: don’t mix brand and personal Twitter accounts on the same platform or app to avoid posting to the wrong account (and wind up featured in the headline news as that brand that made the social media mistake). This tip comes from one of my favorite social media experts @Moz Community Manager, Jennifer Lopez.
    • Use Twitter Private lists for public relations prowess.
    • Twitter lists to watch competition.
    • Secret media lists that you don’t want your competition to poach.
  • Are you at an event or conference with an awesome keynote speaker? Think about live-tweeting. For example, CNN live-tweeted the #SOTU. You can live-tweet, too, and be a social news reporter for any event!
  • Using images to announce news (example, the Academy Awards).

Media Relations

Gain interactive tips to keep journalists top of mind.


  • Make a Twitter List.
  • Use Twitter DM for a real-time pitch to members of the media you have a relationship with.
  • Share stories for the media and help them promote and share all their content (not just the stories they write about you).
  • Pay to play in media relations. Use Twitter ads to promote new tweets targeting the media.
  • Check out and follow Muckrack for journalists on Twitter and what they are saying.
  • Subscribe to certain industry news via mobile notifications in order to be first to tweet news to your followers.


Discover the most effective ways to use visuals on Twitter

  • Did you know you can use up to four images per tweet? Create a photo series!
  • Take up more real estate in the newsfeed with images.
  • Tag people on photos.
  • Use IFTTT and share images from Instagram to Twitter so that the actual image shows up and not just a link to your Instagram image.
  • Smile! Your customers will smile back (see Emoticons via desktop).


Stay ahead of the competition with the ultimate Twitter apps and platforms.

  • Buffer
  • Tweetfeed
  • Triberr
  • Canva
  • PicMonkey
  • Instagram
  • IFTTT (a recipe to post all Instagram images to Twitter; instead of the link, it posts the actual image)


Become a hashtag master and more.


Understand the art and science of Twitter timing.

    • Repeat Tweets the Guy Kawasaki way (Twitter Excerpt from an interview with Guy Kawsaki)
      • “On Twitter, I’m @GuyKawasaki. My Twitter practices defy the recommendations of social media “schmexperts” (schmuck + experts) to manually post a limited number of tweets and not use automation, repetition, contributors, and ghostwriters. I have never been on the Twitter Suggested User List, and I have more than 1.2 million followers. I attribute this success to providing a lot of interesting links that people retweet. These retweets expose me to many people who then follow me. There are five (yes, five, count ’em) sources that feed my Twitter account.”
    • Check out this Twitter study by Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting, a study of more than 4 million tweets!
    • Repeat tweets! Multiple times maximizes click-throughs, shares, and follows.
    • Be active! 3-20 posts per day is considered an ideal range, according to @GuyKawasaki.


Klout Score and Influence


Get tips to build your Klout score and score influence.


Nothing matters unless you know what you’re measuring and why. I always say measure what matters on all social media. Here are some ways to measure, and ideas on what to measure:


I learn something new everyday! Check out the books that are on my required reading list for my social media management class at the University of Florida!

Social Media Management Class University of Florida

These are all great tips, but continuing your education and going offline to Digital Marketing Conferences are also key elements of staying on top of the newsfeed.

Well, there you have it: 50+ shades of Twitter for PR.

(For more social PR secrets, check out my book or see me speak at Pubcon or Zenith Social Media Conference!)


Infographic Image credit: Eric Enge/Stone Temple
Image Credit: Flickr/josefstuefer
by Lisa Buyer, Author of Social PR Secrets 


  1. I just want to start by saying that your blog posts are great. You have wonderful advice for public relations professionals as well as students, and I appreciate that you include links as you read along. They are extremely helpful.
    One of the many good points you made was about including images in your posts. Images are crucial in gaining social media attention. As social media users ourselves, I think about how I may never notice tweets if they don’t include some form of image, video, emoticons, etc. (Who would have thought “smilies” would have such an impact?)
    How do you feel about companies using emoticons? And you mentioned three to 20 posts a day on Twitter is an ideal range. I agree that companies should be offering two-way communication with its target audiences, but do you agree that companies simply tweeting data and announcements all the time can start to turn-off its audience with repetition?


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