The Buyer Group president and CEO Lisa Buyer joined #SocialChat Tuesday evening as featured guest to discuss how the world of social media marketing looks through a PR lens. Hosts Alan K’necht and Michelle Stinson Ross asked five questions of Buyer, focusing on best practices for positive PR across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Here are her tips for better social optimization and traffic through PR:
How is public relations different from marketing?
Lisa explains, “PR reports the story and marketing helps sell it! My mantra is optimize, publicize and socialize. Act like a reporter in PR and you win in social. PR is the editorial side of marketing; it helps your brand report the news and be the news.”
Sometimes PR can be too fluffy, said Buyer. She recommends that if you write like a journalist, you will have more credibility. “PR is organic, whereas marketing is many times a pay to play and smart consumers know that,” she said.
“Write in AP style and get to the point with no fluff, then optimize,” advised Buyer, in response to participant questions on how to write more like a journalist. “Write like it’s an optimized version of The Wall Street Journal, but customize it for your industry and also make sure it is social.” Reporters and journalists are taught to tell the story in the lead, she explained. She recommends putting the most important information first, unless sharing a feature story.
When asked how to tie these strategies into an angle interesting to readers, Buyer said, “Riding the trends is where the angle comes in. Tie your PR news story with the right angle and the right trend!” Participants were directed to Buyer’s How To Write a Press Release Google Loves and Searchers Read for more tips on optimized PR, which can help stories spread widely through news and social channels.
What is the best PR use of branded Facebook pages?
— Lisa Buyer (@lisabuyer) May 15, 2012
Buyer is no stranger to Facebook optimization; the deck from her PR Meet Facebook presentation is available online. On marrying PR and Facebook pages, she said, “Again, it’s not about selling; report the news via your Facebook Page.” Don’t just share your brand’s news though, she warns; tie in the real news. “Brands that align themselves with headline news become the headline news and curate the news. The media is on Facebook looking for expert sources everyday, so make your Facebook Page the “go to” expert in your industry,” she told participants.
Comment on what’s happening in the news, whether it be your Facebook Page or story on @nyt. This helps brands become an information source for people who are too busy to search through the masses of information available daily in the news and helps establish companies as topic experts and authorities. “Once you establish your brand as an industry expert, you can add endorsements,” Buyer said.
— Lisa Buyer (@lisabuyer) May 15, 2012
Buyer notes that brands also forget (or don’t know) to use keywords. Use branded keywords in Facebook Posts, she advises.
How does the shift in Twitter toward the professional affect PR outreach?
“If you can’t explain something in 140 characters or less, it is too complicated,” said Buyer. “You must be able to boil down your PR story into tweets and short posts for other social media networks.” Today’s news is reported via Tweets, she notes, and anyone can break news or be a part of the news. Brands should strive to be the first to break news to their community. As on Facebook, she recommends, “Let your social community rely on you to curate the news!”
“People are so busy, they don’t have time to troll all the info out there. Let them rely on your brand,” Buyer told participants. She had previously offered more in-depth advice on tweeting for greater PR value in a 10 tips blog post and also offers tips and techniques for Twitter optimization over on Search Engine Watch.
— Kevin Mullett (@kmullett) May 15, 2012
What are some examples of great use of YouTube for social PR?
Watch.tv is one great example of optimized and publicized how-to videos, said Buyer. Q&A videos are great content for optimizing and publicizing, as are CEO interviews and testimonials. Anything you can create with some value to viewers can be optimized for social sharing. “Add a video to every press release!” she advises. Video content adds interest and meta data makes it highly searchable.
How does Pinterest play into the PR game?
“Pinterest is the visual story teller,” said Buyer, calling it a “social PR, branding, and SEO opportunity all in one.” Buyer recommends report your brand’s news story or blog posts in pictures as an excellent use of Pinterest to get referring traffic. In an earlier blog post, she had discussed the rising popularity of the more visual social network and offered resources for Pinterest newbies wanting to learn the lingo or etiquette required for successful PR campaigns there.
Q6 @LisaBuyer What, in your opinion, is the biggest opportunity in social that brands are missing?
Maximizing the PR story with visuals, play up the #FB timeline with brand centric images and using #PR to influence social media marketing so that it is real, not contrived messaging.
#SocialChat takes place at 9pm EST Monday nights. Organizers recommend using TweetChat.com to track and participate in the conversation. The coolest social hosts n the Twittershere are Alan K’necht (@aknecht) and Michelle Stinson Ross (@SocialMichelleR).