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Startups: how using social media like a journalist can increase engagement on your content

by | Jul 16, 2015 | Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized

When you’re first starting your content marketing efforts, finding a topic that resonates with your audience might be tough, and the wrong topic, coupled with weak or misplaced reach, almost always makes for low engagement.

Luckily, if you use social media strategically to not only cultivate the right topics but target them, you can increase the impact your content has on your key publics. This not only nurtures your relationship with them, but also builds credibility for your future content marketing efforts.

Why not take lessons from a profession that has adopted social media as the ultimate means to reaching its audience? Journalism.

Learn what your key publics want to read

It’s crucial to create content that the reader finds both desirable and informative for the reader. What better way to understand what your key publics want to read/learn about than to analyze what they’re already talking about online? Journalists often turn to social media for story tips and ideas, so why not do the same for creating more effective, engaging content?

Take a look at which topics are trending amongst your audience on their preferred social network. What type of content is being interacted with the most? Which keywords are being mentioned repeatedly? Is this topic being received positively or negatively? Use this intel to your advantage when deciding on your company’s next piece of content.

Live tweet and crowdsource

Follow hashtags, for events or topics, and live tweet. This not only increases your visibility within your industry, but also encourages engagement with your brand. You may even be able to plug some of your older content into the conversations for some feedback from your audience. You can also use live tweeting as a medium for crowdsourcing ideas for your next piece of content!

You can use online tools like TweetChat to make live tweeting easier. Twitter has also made a best practices guide specifically for live tweeting, so make sure to have a read.

Field test ideas

Unsure if what you’re currently working on will resound with your audience? No problem!

Journalists use social media to gauge interest in story ideas and news all of the time. Share similar, curated content and see how your audience responds.

Are these pieces of content getting lots of likes, shares, retweets and favourites? Are you reaching a large portion of your audience? Then continue pursuing your current idea. If they’re not, try testing out different topics and pursue a direction according to your audience’s response. Take their lead.

Build relationships with influencers

There are experts in every field, and expert quotes help increase the credibility of an article, and thereby up the prestige associated with it a piece of content.

Like journalists do, reach out to influencers on their preferred social network and ask for a quick quote for your content piece. However, make sure that you’ve first familiarized yourself with who they are and what they do. Personalize your pitch to maximize your chances of success.

Not only will this increase your rapport with these influencers, but if they agree to help you with your article, they may even share your content with their network.

Break news

Most importantly, use social media to break big news. Whether your company has published a new study, or there’s an exciting new trend in your industry, use social media in conjunction with an article or content piece to really increase your engagement and audience reach.

Be sure to stay relevant and timely to have the most impact on your key publics!

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Sara Chisholm

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