No matter how we look at it, social media plays an essential part in our lives. When combined with other public relations strategies, social media gives brands a new way to reach their audiences without worrying about traditional barriers that may prevent them from gaining adequate media coverage.
In this article, we will look at:
- What is a social media news release?
- How to write/elements of a social media press release
- The art of the social media press news release
What is a social media news release?
On the most basic level, a news release is something that a company creates to share news about the brand. It can be about the launch of a new marketing campaign, the results of a breakthrough industry study, or a new product that solves consumers’ woes. However, in the past, traditional PR and marketing professionals relied heavily on the relationships they made with media professionals through physical copies of releases, phone calls, or email correspondence. Nowadays, technology and social media have given companies new avenues to get their story out there on their terms.
Many companies have shifted towards digital PR and marketing. Brands have noticed that their online content tends to outperform traditional media by a long shot because of its accessibility to larger audiences. By posting press releases on social media, companies have quicker access to consumers. In addition, journalists and other influencers can search for them through a simple search engine, link to them, and share them on social media, giving the company more media exposure. Another reason is that besides text, social media press releases can contain videos, images, and other content that helps consumers find, share and comment on the story.
By posting content on their owned media, companies can control the narrative from the moment story goes live, and they can update it as needed. A social media press release gives them that ability while also increasing their odds of getting coverage, gaining trust with influencers, and engaging their readers.
Social media has become an extension of the web that focuses on people and their needs and wants. While traditional press releases have proven beneficial and will always be, social media has provided more ways to find content, share it, and broadcast it. Therefore, a social media press release should ideally contain everything that a company needs to share their story in a way that benefits their brand while also being optimized to work digitally.
How to write a social media news release
Once a company understands how to do a traditional press release, they can create a press release which follows the recommended structure of a press release and appeals to their social media audiences. Ultimately, a well-written press release can affect how a company is perceived in its industry.
Since running a business requires so much energy, startup founders can find themselves stretched a little thin when they add press releases to their overflowing to-do lists. In these cases, PR agencies like Pressfarm can step in to help them create newsworthy content that fits their brand message.
Pressfarm is a public relations agency that works with companies to create everything, including press releases, creative media kits, and feature stories that help them tell a newsworthy story. All of Pressfarm’s packages give companies access to a media database where they use the powerful, filter-based search engine to sift through over 75,000 journalists and find their ideal media match. Their PR professionals also help with online press release distribution, increasing brand visibility in relevant search results across major search engines.
Let us now look at the essential elements of a social media press release.
The first sentence of any press release is the most important. It must be compelling enough to draw readers in. For a headline to draw media coverage through social media, it should contain frequently-searched keywords. With keywords in the headline, the release will reach the right audience. Secondly, it should not be too long because search engines generally only show less than 100 characters. Additionally, the headline needs to be informative enough to encourage readers to read the rest of the content. While it’s important to craft a compelling headline, it shouldn’t be misleading. If a headline contains exaggerations or blatant lies, it can hurt a company’s reputation.
Companies can also add an excerpt/subheading to provide a quick overview of the release if they want to. This should be an exciting excerpt that will improve their search ranking.
The first paragraph should present the highlights of the release. This part of the press release is where brands can either win a reader over or lose them to more interesting content. For this reason, the first paragraph should clearly state the intention of the release and highlight why people should be interested in the company and brand.
Much like any other piece of creative writing, the main body of a press release should provide supporting information for the previous section. Writing styles will vary depending on the individual creating the content. Even so, the body should answer who, what, when, where, why, and how about the story the company wants to share.
While the main facts should be captured in the first few paragraphs, providing a visual aid to illustrate the information can help a company gain media coverage. Since people love visual content, creating exciting and visually creative content to get the point across could be the cherry on top of a perfect press release.
5) About the company
Usually, a company’s information is included as the ‘boiler plate’ at the end of a press release. It should summarize what the company does, as well as its mission and vision.
6) Multimedia/Relevant links
Having links within a press release is great for companies that want to provide people with easy access to additional content. Having a separate area of the social media release for links shows the recipient where to go for additional information.
There is no point in creating a press release if a reader doesn’t know how to contact the brand after reading it. Traditional press releases should have the contact information of the person in charge of media liaisons. This makes it easy for interested journalists to reach out to the brand for more information. Having the right contact information can get a company more media coverage in the long run because this provides an avenue for media professionals and other influencers to connect.
The art of the social media press release
Unlike a traditional press release which should ideally be between 300-400 words, social media platforms have strict character limitations. Because of this, companies should be aware of how to send out their message on various platforms. While there are plenty of social media platforms that exist at the moment, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are still the leaders of the gang.
Plenty of people have taken to Twitter to voice their opinions and stay current with news events worldwide, which is why companies have moved to the platform to earn coverage for their press releases. With its 280 character limit, companies need to be creative and go beyond just text and links. Using creative media such as videos or compelling images makes brand announcements more eye-catching. Companies can also use Promoted Tweets or Twitter Ads to boost and target their press release to reach specific audiences. This helps spread the word about the release, thus generating more buzz, shares, and traffic back to their website and other owned media.
As a result of Facebook’s continued attempts to lower business pages’ organic reach, using the platform can be quite tricky. However, for companies that still want to use Facebook, they need to go beyond using text since content with links, photos, and videos gets more engagement than text alone. While there is no limit to the number of words in a Facebook post, companies need to experiment with different combinations of content. Many professionals have stated that a 90-character limit is best when trying to get the word out while also being concise. The reason why that is the case is to draw in and retain a person’s attention. By only using 90 characters, readers can get all the information they need without clicking on an additional link to gain more information. People want to get the information they need as quickly as possible, so keep it simple.
It is important to remember that the more engagement a press release gets, the more reach it will have. The whole point of social media platforms is to connect with an audience, so when trying to create engaging posts, companies need to consider what their target audience wants. They should have conversations with their audience about what they think about the release content, what they like, and what they would like to see more of. Social media provides users with the bonus of analytics to track progress. Much like Twitter, companies can use Facebook Ads to promote their press release to a larger audience. Facebook’s targeting options allows a company to promote their content to the audience they want to reach based on demographics and interest.
Instagram & Pinterest
On image-based networks like Pinterest and Instagram, companies need to have images that grab people’s attention and get their message across without people having to click on an external link. Of course, the image should draw them in, but it should also get press release clicks. If an image represents the content with a clear call to action, the press release will gain visibility and get shares and clicks.
The best way to go about this is by getting the entire message across with the image and the description or including a link to the company’s official press release. Either way, images need to be high in quality and present the right brand image.
Social media has given us new ways to gain information. Due to the shift towards platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, companies need to combine traditional public relations with social media’s benefits to create content that will draw people in and target larger audiences. Whether by themselves or with the help of PR professionals, companies can achieve this goal and gain media coverage.
Do you need help finding journalists to reach out to with your brand story? At Pressfarm, we can create quality content for you and build a strategy to push it to the right media outlets. As a client, you can also connect with over 75,000 journalists, bloggers and influencers across different niches through our media database.