4 steps to building a smarter digital PR strategy with social media

Whether your job title includes marketing, communications or PR, you work in an increasingly digital world. And that means your earned media and PR activities have an impact far beyond the publications you’re mentioned in, especially on social media. Social media provides a channel for your earned media to spread and generate a whole new life beyond the scope of the site where it was originally published.

On one hand, this is great because it means you may reach a new – and much larger – audience. On the other hand, it opens up the conversation to the unknown and has the potential to spin out of control. And that’s the awesome power of social media – you’ll reach a wider audience than you would have otherwise, but you have very little control over that audience.

So how does this work in practice? Basically no matter where an article is published – from the largest mainstream newspapers to the smallest niche blogs – something about that article will end up on social media. It may just be a few simple retweets with links to an article, or it may be a long conversation about your brand, your new product, or your executives. And that conversation may be positive or it may be negative.

This is why it’s so important that your PR efforts include a social media component. You need to know the full impact of your earned media! This should include insights and KPIs for the social conversation about your earned media mentions.

Start with these steps to build a smarter digital PR strategy:

1. Look at the size of the social conversation. How many shares has an article received? What’s the unique reach and overall impressions total for those shares? Some articles may look like they have a lot of shares, but it’s just the same few accounts sharing something over and over, so the overall reach of these shares is limited.

2. Learn more about the people sharing. Who is talking about an article? Take a look at not just how many followers these accounts have, but how much engagement they received, how much they’re participating in the conversation. Are these customers, influencers, fans, detractors?

3. Understand the audience for these posts. Once you know who is sharing an article, what can you learn about their audiences? What areas are they influential in (if any)? Are they real people reaching other real people, or bots spamming out into the void? You may uncover some new influencers or communities you’d like to get to know better.

4. Decide if you want to participate. This may be where your crisis communications plan kicks in (but hopefully it isn’t!). Depending on the kind of conversation happening about an article, decide if you want to get involved. Should your brand or someone from your team chime in?
social and earned media

Social media is at the core of today’s digital PR environment and should be a cross-functional activity in every company; your communications team absolutely needs to be involved. If that’s you, then be sure you’ve got access to and control over social listening, especially as it relates to monitoring mentions of your brand and how audiences engage with your earned media mentions.

There’s a huge conversation happening on social media and you don’t want to miss it. Interested in learning more about social monitoring and analysis for your company’s earned media? Let’s talk! We’ve got some great new features at TrendKite that will help you measure the impact of your earned media across social, like you can see in the GIF above. (Already a TrendKite Social customer? Talk to your account manager to see this new functionality in action.)