Point blank, hats off to PR Pro, Robert Wynne, on his latest piece, Is Social Media a Waste of Time? Let me say that Robert has shown me some impressive media coverage that he has acquired for his clients. So don’t take his words lightly; check out some of the media coverage he’s secured for his clients, and you’ll quickly realize he’s far from a feather weight.
And as I wrote by email, Rob’s right; if you do nothing but post updates about your client on Facebook and Twitter, you are wasting your time. Social media doesn’t scale in that manner. However, as I explained on my Forbes piece, Ten Myths About Social Networking for Business, page 3, if you’re using Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of social media solely for broadcasting purposes, you’re not getting your time or money’s worth. They are community building tools; would you jump on the phone with somebody and not let them talk? As Rob pointed out, he uses Facebook and Twitter as research tools. They are great platforms for identifying what type of content members of your target market are eager to consume. You could perform queries of targeted keywords describing your product or service or issues involving your business or industry, and you’ll see what people are posting on their respective social media feeds. If there are questions that you see many people asking; wouldn’t it be a good idea to write an article (not necessarily a press release) that answers those questions employing your industry expertise?
Rob is proving his own point while also demonstrating that Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the social app crowd greatly facilitate the PR process. Social media is a tool, and it’s job is to help communicate; it doesn’t miraculously do the job for you. Which is why he puts it to excellent use to attain a reporter’s contact information. That’s actually one of the principles I teach when I do one-on-one’s with my students. Identify your points of private contact. I communicate with people privately on social networks to build relationships; that doesn’t mean you have to send a pitch when you message them; open up a line of honest and sincere communication. Find out what they need, and how you could help them. Sincerely, make friends. If that person can help you out, great! If she can’t, there are thousands of people that will. As for Rob’s great use of social platforms to perform research; that is another principle that I teach students; study a social network’s popular sections, through keyword queries and analyzing sections like Twitter trending topics and successful case studies found through Google. I also teach students to identify all points of exposure, so you could know how you could communicate with multiple people at one time. The three basic principles that I use as a foundation towards the efficient of use of social media is called, the Social Trinity.
Rob did point out that in November of 2009, I campaigned Adweek’s Best Commercials of the 2000s on Digg.com – and through some blogger outreach. The campaign drove over 1.3 million pageviews to the web page, and I acquired links and media coverage on the microsite’s behalf on iconic and heavily trafficked online publications such as the following:
USA Today: Early Buzz: NPH, ‘Doctor Who,’ Beck, Spidey and more
Business Insider: The 10 Most Important TV Commercials Of The Decade
Meta Filter: Pepsi Review
CNN: Apple: Best [-----] of the Decade
Discovery: My Tweets for 2009-11-25
And dozens more; even Ashton Kutcher twote it, which helped drive an added 19,000 clicks last I checked.
Now, you may say, yes, for a big brand like Adweek, social media may be put to easy use because of their globally renowned name. One thing to note, however, is that prior to my participation on Adweek’s behalf, they never saw millions of pageviews and an equivalent amount of mainstream publicity generated from similar campaigns that were launched in the years before I worked with them. For instance, they told me that they welcomed less than 200,000 views and impressions to a Super Bowl microsite in 2009 when I didn’t work with them on the project. In 2010, I took the new version of the Super Bowl microsite and campaigned it to drive over 9 million video views and impressions over a 10 day time period. And I don’t blame them; I mean, I put a considerable amount of time and effort in learning how to drive colossal influxes of traffic to publications; I don’t expect people who spent their time learning other professions to produce the same type of results. Just as I don’t expect to dunk a ball on Michael Jordan, or get O.J. Simpson off of a murder charge.
Further social media is not limited to use by mainstream content producers. Through the use of infographics, I have also been able to acquire placements for smaller companies on iconic publications. I develop a relationship with writers of these publications by driving traffic to their websites using social bookmarkers like Digg and Reddit. Then I create an infographic that their readers would like to consume. I then drive traffic to their infographics using the same social aggregators that broke the ice for me and help me make a new partner and friend.
AOL’s Autoblog: The Science Behind Traffic Jams
AOL’s Parentdish: Sleep by the Numbers
Screenrant: True Blood Mythology
IMDB: True Blood Mythology
CNET: Social Media Week in Review (check out the link to 30 Dr. Seuss Quotes That Can Change Your Life and infographic marketed on behalf of Mamiverse)
Alltop: 30 Dr. Seuss quotes that can change your life
Alltop: The Science of Traffic Jams
Autoblog: Transformers Infographic Cartoon
Slashfilm: Infographic Transformers Autobots
Gawker’s Jalopnik: This Transformers Infographic Shows The Car Behind Every Autobot
I hate to brag (which means I’m about to brag), but these are only a sampling of the more popular and iconic links I have been able to acquire. Sometimes as a result of these campaigns I can acquire hundreds of hyperlinks posted on other websites. The Science Behind Traffic Jams infographic, acquired over 170 external backlinks according to the following MajesticSeo report. This helps the page to which the links are pointed to appear for popular and competitive search engine queries. If that doesn’t count as publicity, I think we’d better sing backup for the Naked Cowboy on 42nd street because we’re in the wrong business.
As for myself, through my participation on social media, I have been quoted on publications of mainstream stature, which has helped me generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in client work. My initial participation on Digg, ranked me among their top users, I was noticed by tech writer, and now Assistant Managing Editor of US News and World Report, Simon Owens, and he quoted me on PBS.
In 2007, the Huffington Post was looking for active people in social media to help write a citizen journalism piece on how people who endorsed Bill Clinton also endorsed Hillary Clinton. I interviewed a few campaign organizers. You could see my sub-byline at the bottom in bold under Research Assistance. Immediately thereafter I was allowed to write for the Huffington Post.