Never, Ever, Ever Hire a PR firm.
That’s one of the 12 Rules Mavericks owner and Shark Tank co-host Mark Cuban shares in his book How to Win at the Sport of Business.
Never, Ever, Ever Hire a PR firm, unless they understand search and social. That’s the Social PR Chat version of the rule.
Entrepreneurs will take note when Cuban addresses the crowd as keynote speaker at GROWCO, Inc. Magazine’s Business Conference Series in Nashville, Tennessee on May 20-22. Included in the three-day business growth agenda is the session Search and Social: The Future of Business headlined by Bruce Clay Inc’s founder and SEO thought leader Bruce Clay, Bing’s master of search Duane Forrester and aimClear’s social media specialist Manny Rivas.
Cuban’s anti-public relationism reasoning:
A PR firm will call or email people in the publications you already read, the shows you watch and the websites you surf. Those people publish their emails. Whenever you consume any information related to your field, get the email of the person publishing it and send them a message introducing yourself and the company. Their job is to find new stuff. They will welcome hearing from the founder instead of some PR flack. Once you establish a relationship with the person, make yourself available to answer their questions about the industry and be a source for them. If you are smart, they will use you.
I agree to the reasoning, that is basically what good public relations pros do on behalf of their clients. It’s called relationship building with the media. And the media or blogger relationship can exist or a good connector can spark a new relationship and it can be just as successful.
But what about the relationship between PR, SEO and Social media?
Taking Cuban’s business advice to the playing field of the PR, SEO and Social world; entrepreneurs should ask themselves: Is my PR, SEO and social media marketing playing at junior varsity levels? Who is in charge of my SEO team and how much skin should I have in the game? Do the same search engine optimization strategies work like they did in 2013? How do I score more traffic to my website? How do I build an effective social media fan base?
The GROWCO Search and Social panel shared some behind-the-scrimmage-line advice for business leaders looking for the ultimate entrepreneur SEO checklist for 2014. But what about when it comes the public relations influence on search and social media?
Press releases are no longer an SEO secret, the search engines have caught on.
“PR is simply another tactic to employ when marketing your website. If you think PR is a solid way to seed links, think again. It’s very easy for an engine to discount the value of any links from a press release that’s been copied and pasted around the web,” Forrester said.
Going back to proper PR basics: reaching influencers
“What PR can do, however, and I’m talking proper PR – not just sending emails and posting releases around the web – but proper reach out to influencers and start relationships,” said Forrester. “PR is about getting conversations about you and your product started. That activity can pay long term dividends.”
Getting the PR conversation started on search and social makes the digital world spin, just ask aimClear Founder and Evangelist Marty Weintraub. He dropped some serious SEO bombs at #SIMEngage attendees and will follow up to the #GROWCO entrepreneurs.
On a scale of 1-10 how influential do you think public relations can be on search and social?
6-ish says Forrester.
Weintraub says It can be a 10.
PR, Search and Social checklist for growth in 2014 and into 2015 by Marty Weintraub:
Weintraub offers entrepreneurs his best public relations ammunition to dominate audience targeting and customer acquisition in the following rapid fire list.
Social media happens whether businesses pay attention or not. These days, monitoring germane chatter is essential. Commit to quickly discover threats & opportunities in social channels most important to your brand.
Define The Community Manager’s Role
Today’s social community managers use social media platforms and act as brand evangelists and community advocates. From creating everyday content, pumping out viral hits to crisis communication to curating complementary and non-competitive resources, social managers manage online social communities and deal with what comes. Designate team members within business to handle the CM chair.
Set Marketing Goals (KPIs)
20th century British advertising agency icon Dave Ogilvy once said, “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” This timeless truism rings immortal. The most important measure of social media success is whether the customer base is being maintained and scaled. But, how the hell do we measure it? These are the most common social media key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Drive scalable psychographic traffic to sites you own.
- Win conversion that can be attributed to social touches.
- Earn links, to benefit SEO, to sites you own & profiles you control, from good authority sites.
- Earn social signals, to benefit SEO, from strong users in multiple channels for your content. Google+ is especially important, because “Social” success in Google+ enhances SEO results in Google search engine results.
- Generate focused likes, follows, shares
- Insulate your website from harsh SEO algorithm updates for websites you own
- Crank PR distribution to bloggers, media and other influencers.
Tap Into The Power Of Mobile
Mobile and Social are a natural fit – You probably know that more than 50% of social interaction now happens on mobile phones and tablets. What you might not know is how that interaction can impact your brand perception and brand experience. Master the interaction of mobile and social strategy and leverage mobile devices.
Install Paid Social Content Amplification Programs
Most brands don’t generate nearly enough revenue from their content marketing investment. It’s no wonder. Search engines neutered SEO years ago, leaving little free prominence above the SERPs (search engine results page) fold. Now social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, hungry for their slice of display marketing budgets, spayed free content distribution in favor of utterly organic-looking social feed page promotion ad units. Unless marketers pay, not enough users see a brand’s content. There are too few site visitors and not enough conversions.
“With so much less SEO visibility and social distribution, how will entrepreneurs and marketers get enough eyeballs on precious content? The answer is to fundamentally alter our thinking about the very purpose of social display ads, to squeeze triple duty out of our display dollars by thinking of display campaigns as editorial calendar-based social content amplification programs measured against content marketing and conversion KPIs,” said Weintraub.
In other words: your public relations content strategy better be working on the same team as search and social to win a the sport of business.
If you are ready for more, read my latest article on Search Engine Watch: The Entrepreneurs Ultimate SEO Checklist.