Maximizing ROI: How to Share Your News Release on Facebook

February 29, 2016

By Jahana E. Martin, Newsroom Supervisor

Whew! The news release you’ve worked on for weeks just hit the wire. Job done, right? Twitter news on PewWell, not if you want to maximize the return on your investment (ROI). A recent study reveals that 46% of social network users share and discuss news on social platforms, with 64% of U.S. adults — 30% of the U.S. population — receiving their news via Facebook.

Facebook makes it easy to share news, but simply posting your release to Facebook versus having an actual strategy will mean the difference between reaching your intended audience and being Facebook roadkill.

So, what steps should you take to maximize your ROI?

Start crafting your post.
The first thing to do after distributing your press release through a newswire service and monitoring it online is to insert the URL to your release into a new Facebook post.

What will make your readers pause in their timeline to read your press release?
Simply put: your headline. Make it good.

After you insert the URL, your article will be visible in the post. Replace the URL with a headline that grabs readers’ attention and makes them want to share it. The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals suggests a good length for a Facebook headline is 90 -120 characters because it is easier to share and can be rapidly scanned as an email subject line.

Here are some tips to tailor your headline for Facebook.

  • Solve a problem.
    • “MEGA Shows How to Triumph in the Digital Revolution“
      “Tips to Triple Your Followers in 10 Days “
  • Pose a question.
    • “What is responsive design and do you really need it?”
    • “Why Do Start Ups Fail?”
  • Create a sense of urgency.
    • “10 Things you must do Today to Save your 401(k) “
    • “Before you go the ATM, Know This”
  • If you’re in a pinch, and don’t have time to craft a new headline, just use your news release subhead.

Many times, the subhead is more specific and could be more useful for your social media audience.

  • Headline: “It’s Time Again For Our Summer Loan Sale-a-Bration”
  • Subhead: “Refinance your mortgage at an unbelievable 2.85%!”

Is your multimedia compelling for social media?bw fb post with image
If you want to change the image that uploaded with the post, now is a good time to add the new image with the “Upload Image” function. Your picture, graphic or video should be engaging and relevant. Links with thumbnails and teasers receive 20% more clicks than links without. Which leads me to my next tip…

Be a Tease.
Your headline made an impression, but viewers must want to read your release, so give them a little teaser.

Here, under your new headline, add the most compelling data right up front to increase activity and shares. This allows you to tailor your content for your targeted Facebook audience and show why your press release is relevant to them.  The reader is now incentivized to click on the link back to the press release and also to share it with others.

Find your audience.
Your content is ready, now it is time to pinpoint your audience. FB targetingFor a fee, take advantage of Facebook’s “Boost Post” feature. First, you need to answer for yourself: Who is your ideal reader and what is your goal?

  • Goal: Enhance your existing audience. Use the “People similar to people who like your page” boost.
  • Goal: Find new supporters. Use the “People you choose through targeting” boost to select the location, age, gender and interests of your target audience.

You can use your Insights (explained below) to select the age, gender, location, relationship and educational status, language and interests of the user you want to reach.

Perfect timing.
This seems obvious: The perfect time to post on Facebook is when your audience is on Facebook. Paying attention to timing pays off. Posting on Facebook between 1 – 4 p.m. can result in the highest average click through rates. So, how do you find out when your audience is on Facebook?

when to use FB

Best times to post for your existing Fans
Once your page has accumulated 30 likes, you are able to use the “View Insights” tool located at the top of your Facebook page.  Click on the “Posts” tab, then the “When your Fans are Online” tab.  You can use this information to pinpoint the days and times your fans are online.

Best days to post in general – what the experts say
According to What are the Best Times to Post on Social Media:

Best day to post:

  • 86% of Facebook posts are published Monday – Friday, with engagement peaking on Thursday and Friday;
  • Engagement rates fall 3.5% below average for posts published Monday – Wednesday

Best time of day to post:

  • In general, the optimal time to post is early afternoon in your target’s time zone.
  • To get the most shares: 1 p.m.
  • To get the most clicks: 3 p.m.

You don’t have to schedule your days and nights around Facebook. Simply schedule your posts at the optimal time for your target audience and watch the results.

Using Facebook to reach your target audience with relevant, shareable content at the right time is an easy, effective way to get more out of your press release.  A user that promotes your brand by sharing your post can spend 13% more than the average customer, and 84% of consumers trust earned media.

You can’t afford not to have a tactical approach when you share your news release on Facebook. So, what’s your strategy?

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Maximizing ROI: How to Share Your News Release on Twitter

February 29, 2016

By Jahana E. Martin, Newsroom Supervisor, Atlanta

A survey recently found that nearly six of 10 Twitter users use the social networking site to keep up with breaking news. The use of Twitter as a news source increased from 55% to 67% for users under 36, and from 47% to 59% for users over 35.

Are you tweeting your press release? If not, you are missing a great opportunity to expand your reach and brand. After all, your Twitter followers are following you because they want to learn more about your business.  This is the perfect audience to activate by sharing your news.

If you are tweeting your press release, then consider the following questions: Are you tweeting at the right time? Are you including multimedia in your tweet to increase visibility and shares? How did you craft the Twitter version of your news release headline? Did you use hashtags? How many? How did you choose your hashtags? If you haven’t asked yourself these questions, then now is a good time to start working on your strategy to use Twitter to amplify your next press release.

Here are four ideas to get you started.

  1. Your News Release Headline: Make it Twitter-Friendly

Your press release headline may be amazing for the newswire, but chances are you will need to make some modifications for it to rock on Twitter.

Write several tweets
Twitter is a real time, news distribution service. You will need to share your news many times to ensure broadest reach.  News releases and subsequent news coverage should be shared as many as 15 times or more to activate your entire audience.

Make your news release tweet interesting
This is a fantastic opportunity to speak directly to your company’s end user. Use your Twitter headline to highlight key points directly of interest to each of your various audiences.

Make it shareable.
Help your followers retweet easier and faster by leaving them enough space to promote your brand.

Twitter allows you 140 characters, but you want people to share your tweet. Consider crafting 96 character tweets to be able to include links (22 characters, regardless of length of link) and multimedia (also 22 characters)

Testing. Testing.
You have an idea about the length, but now what about choosing that headline? Sometimes it can take a little practice and you may have to do some testing.

Buffer outlines the A/B experiment where you write and tweet two different headlines at least one hour apart. Then you compare the data and responses and choose which headline performed best.

Optimize.
Some keywords garner more attention than others, and you should use popular keywords that are relevant to your news. If you want to do a bit of competitive analysis and Twitter research, check out what keywords your competitors or industry influencers are using by taking a peek at their Twitter feed. Is there a recurring keyword that you see appearing in retweets? Try it.

There are many resources available to help you find the most popular words to use in your Tweets and headlines. You can find extensive analytics to boost your SEO and a good place to start is Twitter.

 Call to action:  Just ask.
Assert yourself and ask for what you want. cta tweet

  • ASK for a download. Promoted Tweets in timelines that explicitly ask people to
    download material accompanied by a link increase URL clicks by an average of 13
    percent.*
  • ASK for a retweet. Promoted Tweets in timelines with an ask to retweet increased Retweets by an average of 311 percent.*
  • ASK for a follow. Promoted Tweets in timelines that asked for a follow increased follows by an average of 258 percent.*
  • ASK for a reply. Promoted Tweets in timelines that highlight an ask to reply increased replies by an average of 334 percent.*
    *Tweet tips: Most effective calls to action on Twitter

2. What time is good for you?
There are a myriad of studies analyzing the best times to post on social media. First, you must identify your demographic so you can choose the best time to reach it. You can be as broad or as specific as necessary. For example:b2btwitter.JPG

  • Are you reaching businesses or consumers?
  • What is the age of your audience?
  • Are they parents? Are they teenagers?
  • Where do they live – what time zone?
  • Do they work a 9-5? Do they commute to work?
  • What is their average income?

Neil Patel’s study distinguishes peak times between Business-to-Business (B2B) and
Business-to-Consumer (B2C):

  • B2B: Weekdays provide 14% more engagement than weekends.
  • B2C: Engagements and Click-through Rates (CTRs) are highest on weekends and Wednesdays.

In general, Patel says the best time of the day to tweet is 5 p.m. The peak times for CTRs are 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. SurePayroll  highlights the best, peak and worst times to tweet:

  • Best times to tweet:   Mondays – Thursdays from 1-3 p.m.
  • Peak times to tweet:   Mondays – Thursdays from 9 a.m – 3 p.m.
  • Worst times to tweet: Every day after 8 p.m. and Fridays after 3 p.m.

Their advice? Schedule tweets for lunchtime when audiences have time to consume your news.

Considering these factors will help you choose the best time to reach your followers and potential followers.

3. Use Your [Multimedia] Assets
3 times as muchMultimedia in tweets have been shown to increase engagement rates by 3-4x over messages without multimedia. Include multimedia in every tweet to increase reach, actions and overall ROI.

To do this, after you compose your tweet, click Add Photo. Your thumbnail image or filename will appear as an attachment. This is a real chance to maximize on the opportunity to include an image because you can add up to four pictures.

To add video, follow the same steps and then select the 30-second clip you want to emphasize in your tweet.

Ideas for good Twitter images
Hootsuite gives great examples of Twitter images that get shared. Here is a short summary of their tips:

  • Use text/graphic combination. Your words are limited in your Tweet, but you can include more text within your picture. You may gain an extra few seconds of additional engagement because readers may stop to actually read the text within your image.
  • BizWireTV Gif 4Use gifs. Although gifs will not play automatically on Twitter, people are still curious about the video, which earns you a few extra seconds from your audience.
  • Use video. Twitter now allows you to upload videos with your Tweets. Select the 30 seconds you want to feature, and let the reader watch your news.
  • Use images that work. Humorous memes, food and cute animals are popular. Twitter users love to share news that delights them. Surprise them by using humor to get your point across.
  • Follow your followers. If there are images that your followers consistently share, you should get onboard. Post the types of images that your followers like to share.

Your best photos
Keep in mind Twitter’s photo specifications:

File size:  Photos can be up to 5MB; animated GIFs can be up to 3MB (Your file will be automatically scaled for display in your expanded Tweet and user gallery.)
File type:  GIFs, JPEGs and PNGs are accepted; BMPs and TIFFs are not.

Tip: To achieve even greater visibility, you can make your image tweetable. There is a good set of instructions here.

4. Hashtags: Do Your Research
Why should you add hashtags to your Tweets?

Think of a hashtag like a label or filter for your topic. The goal is for as many people as possible who are interested in that topic to see your tweet and hopefully share your news. Reporters frequently use hashtags to view the entire discussion on a particular topic, a great way to see what consumer sentiment is before crafting coverage pieces. To exponentially expand the reach of your communication, you should be using hashtags with almost every tweet.

US trendsThere are plenty of tools you can use to research, analyze and manage hashtags, but the easiest way to see what’s popular is free! Start with Twitter and look at “Trends” and “Moments.”  Those topics are insanely popular at the moment, so if you see something that is relevant to your news, use the hashtag to expand your reach.

If trending hashtags are not relevant, is your news about a particular theme? If so, add them in to allow reporters and interested parties to not only see your news, but understand the larger impact and context.

Are you:

  • Presenting at a tradeshow or conference? They probably have their own hashtag, find it and add it to your news to ensure broadest reach. #CES2016 #BWCHAT #MWC16
  • Targeting holiday consumers? Try #BacktoSchool #Halloween #TrickorTreat #Thanksgiving2015
  • Discussing current events? #Benghazi #ACA #GOPdebate

Congratulations!
By following the above steps, you are increasing the visibility and impact of your news release. You are now armed with tools to increase your ROI by posting your news release on Twitter.   Do you have any tips for increased engagement on Twitter? Share them in the comments below, we would love to hear them!

And click here to share this blog post with your Twitter followers: http://ctt.ec/KZ2w5

 

 


Seattle Journalists Offer Insights; Pitching Advice at Media Roundtable

January 20, 2016

Matt Allinson Bio Pic

by Matt Allinson – Media Relations Manager, International Markets

Seven superb Seattle journalists assembled downtown on a gray December day for Business Wire Seattle’s media “speed dating” event. The event provided an opportunity for those who work with the media and/or who are interested in the media to have small group discussions with the journalists who matter to them most. The goal, as always, was to foster education and understanding between the media and PR/IR community (as well as with the public at large).

Media at Event

From L to R: Garrett Rudolph (Editor – Marijuana Venture Magazine); Taylor Soper (Reporter – Geekwire.com); Michelle Flandreau (Producer – KING5); Lauren Mang (Digital Editor – Seattle Magazine); Roger Nyhus (Moderator – President & CEO of Nyhus Communications); Sara Lerner (Reporter – KIRO Radio); Ashley Stewart (Reporter – Puget Sound Business Journal); Rachel Lerman (Reporter – The Seattle Times)

The journalists varied widely in terms of the media they work for, the industries and companies they cover, and the way they do their jobs. We had a marijuana industry magazine editor; a tech reporter for a start-up; a long time public radio reporter who recently switched to commercial radio; a television producer; a digital editor; a finance reporter; and a tech reporter from the state’s biggest paper.

The journalists offered many excellent tips for interacting with media and pitching stories. Here are some you should remember:

  • Press releases are great … particularly those that include multimedia … but a personalized email pitch or a follow-up call that comes with it can make a big difference.
  • Know who you’re pitching and what they write … take the time to form a relationship if you want the reporter to cover you now or in the future.
  • Taylor Soper of Geekwire.com pulls two to three stories a week from Twitter. It’s increasingly becoming one of his favorite ways to find story ideas.
  • Radio interviews … Sara Lerner of KIRO Radio always prefers an in-studio interview, but recognizes that short notice can make that difficult. A great alternative, she says, is to use Skype, because you don’t need a microphone and it resolves the problem of cell phone quality and the scarcity of landlines.
  • If you live in a marijuana-friendly state, take note of the publications focusing on that industry. Marijuana Venture Magazine editor Garrett Rudolph said his magazine started as a 8-page black and white publication in the spring of 2014 and is now a 120+ page glossy.
  • How does the Seattle Times‘ tech reporter Rachel Lerman find stories? For one, she scans Business Wire’s daily PressPass feed. She also has various alerts set up on all the companies that she covers.Rachel
  • A major pet peeve amongst several of the journalists in attendance was lack of an available contact. Too many times, they say, have they received an interesting press release only to call the contact number on the bottom and get no answer. Lack of availability will often lead to a lack of coverage.
  • One way to ensure reporters always have access to additional information, images and company contacts is to include a link to your organization’s online newsroom. These sites are crucial for reporters, as well as analysts and other decision makers when looking for more information about your brand.

For more tips and and to better understand the tools journalists are currently using, download the 2015 Business Wire Media Survey.

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Why Do PR Pros Distribute Their News Releases over Business Wire?

December 15, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social/Evolving Media, Business Wire

Earlier this year, Business Wire attended the 2015 International PRSA Conference. This event hosted thousands of communication pros from around the world for 3 days of discussing PR strategies and tactics and 3 nights of fun, food and, of course, networking.

This year, our team asked several attendees what newswire they used, and why. After all, we know the role we play in increasing the visibility and access to company news stories, but do leading PR pros know?

The answer is yes!!  So who do Allison Ilg, Ilg Communications and Tracy Schario, APR, The Optical Society, rely on to distribute their news releases? Business Wire. Why? Watch the video to find out:

Business Wire can increase the visibility of any good news program. Want to learn more about us? Send us a note today and let’s discuss how our newswire services can help you meet, and exceed your communication goals.

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How Snapchat is Disrupting the News Industry

September 24, 2015

By Natasha Artavia, Business Wire

While you may have disregarded Snapchat as a serious contender for news distribution in the ever growing social media Snapchat_Logosphere, you may want to reconsider.

Launched in 2011, Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to communicate with annotated images and video clips that disappear once viewed. It is the perfect representation of the future of news sharing as it merges text with images, a process that taps into innate human learning ability thus allowing users to instantly understand what the reader is trying to portray.

According to Snapchat’s own internal data, 4 billion (and counting) videos are viewed on the mobile app each day. Think about that for a moment. 4 billion videos are uploaded and shared and viewed on a daily basis between Snapchat’s users. Now, while most of those videos are user generated content, consider the impact this platform has on the news sharing and consumption.

desktop-4

News is travelling at a breakneck speed and becoming more and more socialized now that mobile devices are established threads in our social DNA. How prevalent are smartphones? According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, approximately 64 percent of American adults and 85 percent of young adults own smartphones.

When you factor in app downloads and user engagement on smart phones and other devices, Snapchat’s disruption of the news industry shouldn’t come as a surprise. Media firms are always striving to increase their audience range and Snapchat provides them access to a huge, demanding audience in the 18-34 year old range.

This is where Snapchat’s Discover comes in to play. To date, 15 media outlets (including Mashable, CNN, ESPN and National Geographic, to name a few) have joined in on this new way of distributing news. Easily accessible, Snapchat users tap on the icon of the media outlet they are interested in and view short bursts of breaking news in the form of videos, photographs, interviews, etc. These Snaps present a condensed, media rich platform to share today’s latest breaking news, highlights from the last Sunday’s football game, to clips on how to bake the perfect pizza.

While the Discover channel partners are limited in number, they provide Snapchat’s 100 million daily users with fresh content that they can consume and share. And where Discover allows companies like IGN to craft these catchy, modern news reels, others are creating and using their Snapchat accounts to engage with their audiences and consumers directly.

For marketing purposes, this intimacy between company and consumer can be extremely beneficial. Through exclusive visual content, consumers have the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes of the companies and brands they follow and are loyal to. From the debut of the latest products to mini-interview clips, this social channel is providing business with a new way to approach their brand and gain loyal consumers.

Snapchat’s visual interface is in many ways the future of global news.  It allows organizations to reach wider audiences popeincluding international audiences without the need for translations, as it presents the news in a visuals first format.

Brands using Snapchat to reach audiences must be prepared for their news to disappear as well as to be snapped and shared again.  Of course, this means this type of transparency needs to be handled with extreme care. Even though Snapchat boasts brevity and the 24-hour expiration date of each Snap, users are able to save content via screen captures and through the app itself.

While Snapchat continues to grow, and the demand for more user-friendly news content increases, it will be interesting to see the new ways in which more traditional news outlets create, package and disseminate to the public.

Interested in learning more about the future of visual news?  Download our free guide:  Let’s Get Visual to learn the science behind visual news as well as the steps you need to take to create it yourself.

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[Case Study] Word of Mouth in the Social Media Age: EDEKA

September 22, 2015

Seval Dogan, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire

From word of mouth to electronic word of mouth
Traditionally, word of mouth (henceforth, WOM) was primarily based on face-to-face, interpersonal interaction between a receiver and a communicator.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, WOM is the process of telling people about a particular product or service, usually yay-1463767-digitalbecause it is good and you want to encourage them to try it. This makes WOM one of the most credible and effective forms of advertising, simply because every time a person recommends to his/her peers, friends or colleagues a product or service, he/she puts his/her own credibility and reputation at stake.

Positive WOM, therefore, is one of the most important influences on organizational performance as every happy customer can be turned into one of the most committed brand fans. When activated properly, positive WOM can have a substantial impact on a company’s fortune by generating more brand awareness and by helping to successfully grow the customer database.

However, in today’s digitized world, companies face a new significant challenge. There is a real impact of speed and connectivity on word-of-mouth discussions. Today’s web-based consumer platforms have shaped a new way of sharing personal opinions: the electronic word of mouth (eWOM). Social media revolutionized not only the way individuals interact on a daily basis, but also the way companies create and grow brand awareness and loyalty via WOM. Social networks are a central place for dialogue and exchange, replacing traditional face-to-face discussions. As a result, opinions travel much faster than before, and the public image of a company has become more fragile and sensitive than ever before.

One way of generating positive eWOM is through viral marketing. The remainder of this article deals with a success story of a viral marketing campaign produced for EDEKA, one of the largest supermarket chains in Germany, by the German advertising agency Jung von Matt. While there are several key important elements to the EDEKA case (most of which are discussed below), one of the strongest elements however is that social media has been strategically used to stimulate positive eWOM.

How EDEKA leveraged eWOM for Success:  The Case of EDEKA: ‘Supergeil’ and ‘Kassensymphonie’
EdekaFounded in 1898, EDEKA is one of the largest and most recognizable food retailers in Germany. Aimed at expanding its audience to reach younger buyers by changing the corporate image from a conservative retailer to a more modern one, EDEKA joined forces with Hamburg-based advertising agency Jung von Matt. In 2014 they set up a campaign which deviated greatly from the conventional advertising and marketing standards followed by most German retailers. EDEKA and Jung von Matt produced two successful YouTube-based campaigns  that became worldwide hits, receiving national and international media coverage. EDEKA gained more than 2,000 new YouTube subscribers, over 4,500 additional Facebook Fans, more than 1,700 Twitter mentions and increased engagement on their social media channels (source: Fanpage Karma). The success of their brand campaign even secured the supermarket company its own Edeka 2reality-cooking show (‘Das Erfolgsrezept’) from RTL, a leading national TV channel.

The first spot, labeled with the rather obscene word ‘Supergeil’ (meaning ‘super cool’), launched in 2014 and reached over 14 million YouTube views within a short period of time.

Did it work?
edeka 3The EDEKA campaigns relied on visually rich content and unique storytelling elements to recreate and reposition their brand to appeal to younger demographics. They cleverly turned products and services into relatable stories, and the entertaining nature of the videos engaged users both on an emotional and intellectual level.

Generating Positive eWOM: Key Success factors
Broadly speaking, it is difficult to predict what content will trigger positive eWOM and if it will go viral on social media. Nevertheless, there are certain elements that increase the probability. As Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business, noted, people remember information when it is weaved into narratives “up to 22 times more than facts alone.”

As the Internet is becoming increasingly image rich, content that includes visuals attract more attention than content without. Videos are especially on the rise as they are highly engaging and allow a multi-sensory experience. Movement, facial expressions and human voices are more believable, more authentic. These factors help to quickly establish a connection to the viewer and generate more awareness.

Word of mouth is one of the most important factors in a modern communication program. Click here to share this information on Twitter:  http://ctt.ec/7JaHV


Just in: Hard Data Supports the Effectiveness of Interactive Media vs. Passive Content

August 31, 2015

Nothing ends an argument like data, and the data on interactive media is in.

Image source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey

Image source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey

Demand Gen’s 2015 Content Preferences Survey offers a startling look at just how effective interactive media is when compared to passive content such as text-only articles when it comes to consuming information. People are spending more time using multimedia that they can click on and explore. These interactive, gamified assets, such as news and picture capsules, are quickly becoming engagement magnets for the industry, attracting and retaining the interest of potential clients and customers.

How do the numbers stack up?

stat

When asked, 88% of respondents stated that interactive content is effective in creating differentiation between brands, while only 55% believed that passive content is effective in creating differentiation.

To read the full highlights of the study and statistics between interactive and passive content, click here.

How can this survey help communicators? By knowing what form of assets  have the greatest impact on modern audiences, communications pros are able to take advantage, create more impactful content and more effectively reach and convert their target market. This data takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what works best and what approach to take in managing dialogue between brand and public.

Understanding the importance of multimedia as a prime tool for communicators, Business Wire recently launched a white paper designed to help communicators take advantage of these highly successful content pieces. The paper details the science and other aspects behind the influence such an asset can have on the success of your news release. Click here to read this piece and click here to share this information with your Twitter followers: http://ctt.ec/f4c3X


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