You know exactly what to expect this time of year, a whirlwind of holiday events and traditions that while all good things, can chip away at productivity. Today, I challenge you not to neglect your PR plan, but to embrace the most wonderful time of the year in your work. As Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek said, “Being busy is a form of laziness…being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities.”
For instance, as your social events ensue, parlay that extra energy and enthusiasm into strategic initiatives for your social media campaign. Don’t take this the wrong way; I’m not asking you to post cat in Santa hat memes (please don’t). But, this season presents a great opportunity to show the personality of your brand, better engage your audiences and capture the attention of new targets. It is also the perfect time to formalize your social strategy and launch a plan that you can measure and track for the 2016 calendar year.
A strategic social program begins with identifying your voice. Start with identifying your passions. Arianna Huffington shared that the secret to the Huffington Post’s blogging success is passion and persistence. Use that information to clearly identify the tone and emotions of your brand. Next, determine the audience and objectives for each of your sites. Your Facebook page may be more focused on employees and community; LinkedIn can reach clients and prospects; and Twitter has a great media presence, among other strengths. Then you can work on objectives for your strategy. Remember, objectives need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time based.) For instance:
Naughty: I want to become more popular than my competitors on social media.
Nice: I want to increase my LinkedIn click-through rates by 20 percent in six months.
Naughty: To have more interactions on social media.
Nice: To increase Twitter engagement by five percent over the next six months.
Once your plan is established, follow these three easy strategies to kick your shared media into next year:
1) Republish, republish, republish! Your PR program provides you with a wealth of content to fuel social media. And, shared media can multiply the lifecycle of an article many times over. Editors watch the click-through rates on their stories very closely, and strong readership will keep a story on homepages and in newsletters longer. (Hint: tag the publication and reporter when you repost articles, and share an insightful thought that may spark up a conversation and build new bonds.)
2) Comment on stories. We work with hundreds of reporters who post amazing news every day. You probably read several articles every day that spark a particular interest or thought. Take a moment to comment on these pieces in the message field and across social platforms. Remember, reporters are still limited by time and word count. Perhaps you’ll begin a conversation on an angle that they want to investigate further. Perhaps a prospect will have your same thought and want to talk to you in more detail. (I’ve seen this happen with financial institutions of all sizes, even a top-five bank!)
3) Connect. Engage key influencers, host a Tweet chat, do whatever it takes to interact with your key audiences! Hashtags can help with this. Tradeshows are also an excellent opportunity to bridge the chasm between social media and real life.
As PR evolves, social and shared media is amplifying our messaging and allowing us to reach more people than ever before. Its casual and creative atmosphere presents the opportunity for maturing virtual relationships that a single press tour or event could never unfold. We love the fun, witty and creative social side of fintech; one of the best parts about it is the constant evolution. What are your plans to evolve your social profile in the new year?