Are you familiar with the social media challenge – where you have to keep up with the news without access to newspapers?
Well how about a PR challenge where you have to get your message out there using nothing but Twitter?
Those of you who are still not plugged into Twitter will be shrinking away in horror – but for many people this is the new reality. Many PRs have already switched over to social media as their main promotion channel and it is not as daft as it looks.
I am actually part of a Twitter only PR campaign right now after busy clients asked me to look after the micro blogging side of things for them. With a restriction on the number of hours I am allowed to spend and only Twitter at my disposal (there is a great Facebook page but marketing do that) I have been forced to think hard about how you achieve your goals using only one tool.
Here are some of my thoughts:-
- Set goals and choose people to follow based on achieving them i.e. are you selling a product to a niche or raising awareness or hoping to build relationships with other professionals?
- While you shouldn’t get sucked into the numbers game following new people steadily, does seem to generate attention so keep it going.
- Look at other people’s followers – sometimes you will find one person with a brilliant list,all of whom seem to fit the profile of your customers. These people are like gold dust – follow their followers and nurture them.
- Twitter is great for getting direct access to your audience but you might want to follow some journalists as well – they may not follow you back but at least you can see if they are appealing for information on stories you can help them with. You could also use hash tags on your tweets like #pr or #journorequest which many PRs and journos now use in the hunt for stories and contributors.
- Be friendly and unafraid to chat about trivial stuff. I hear corporates say they don’t want to talk about nappies with a bunch of women – well I am happy to actually – and the school play and what’s for tea. Think of it like this, if you want to reach blokes who like tinkering with cars then you are going to have to talk about car parts.
- Getting to know people is fun and should include random acts of generosity but if you are going to ReTweet or say how great someone’s site is, make sure you mean it. I suspect sometimes that people don’t always read the blog posts they Retweet and that is not on. You may see a great headline and Retweet it to your followers in a hurry but if the content doesn’t live up to the billing then you are the one who looks silly for passing it on.
- Go for synergy with brands and products that your target audience will like. If they are into fashion and cosmetics then re-tweet news from Mac and Bobby Brown but don’t forget to look out for smaller companies too that you can help by exposing their brand to your audience.
- People should help you back – over time – if they don’t and you feel they owe you a favour, just ask.
- If you are going to promote a particular offer via Twitter you are going to need to direct them somewhere. Is there a web page that gives customers all the information they need and a clear set of instructions for getting it?
- If you are appealing directly to journalists you may still need a press release of sorts, ready to go, that you can e-mail when asked for more info.
- Use Twitter to get people to do something – whether that is respond to a simple question, open a link, read your blog or visit your Facebook page.The more time you spend together the better!
There you are – my initial thoughts on a Twitter only PR campaign – do you have any direct experience or ideas you can share?