Using Twitter to Market Yourself to the Media

Using Twitter to Market Yourself to the Media - #TwitterSmarter chat with Robyn Stevens - December 12, 2019

Can you land press attention through social media? Turns out, you can. Nowadays, social media, and Twitter in particular, is the primary source through which people identify industry specialists and new contacts. And so, it’s important, now more than ever, to make sure your social media activity speaks to your audience and serves as a testament to you and your offering. The clearer your social media profile is, the more it resonates with potential third-parties looking for news in your niche. But how do you get there?

We asked Robyn Stevens. As a publicist and media relations consultant working with many popular brands across the globe, Robyn was the ideal person to talk to about improving social media presence positively and gain media attraction. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Robyn Stevens
Topic: Using Twitter to Market Yourself to the Media
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest, Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Can Twitter help you get media attention?

Twitter is such an amazing platform. Not only is it useful for students and social media folks, but it also helps PR professionals. Like our guest pointed out, almost 60 percent of journalists use Twitter to find ideas for their articles and stories, and about half of them use all platforms to verify sources for their articles.

Gabriela also gave us some great tips on getting media attention. When you follow popular and influential people in the industry, you increase your chances of interacting with them and building relationships. That way, not only do you share your insight and help others, but you also learn a lot from the experience.

Q2: How important is your social media presence in gaining traditional press coverage?

Your social media profile is your face online. That’s why it’s important to make sure it reflects what you do and what you have to offer. The more you broadcast yourself in your bio, the impressive it appears to media professionals.

Follow it up with useful content in your posts. Consistently offer value to your audience and your profile will shine on your behalf. For bonus points, as Madalyn said, audit your profile every few weeks so it remains fresh and updated with the latest you do.

If you’re still wondering how important it is for you to have solid social media activity, think about what Sabine said: where do you first look to learn about someone—or something? Online, of course. Media personnel aren’t different. They will look you up online, and do thorough research, before even approaching you in real life.

Q3: How can you use Twitter to prepare for a media interview?

Twitter is an excellent resource to learn the latest events in and around your industry. Aside from events, you also get to hear from your audience about trending stories and what they think of them. For instance, you can run polls to glean opinions about your content and other current activities.

If you haven’t used it already, take a look at Twitter’s Advanced Search functionality. As Gen from Social Media Examiner pointed out, you can just search through for old interviews and comments to help prepare for your next interview. In a way, you get to browse through forgotten history to uncover stories etched into social media.

Q4: What are some do’s and don’ts when connecting with media personnel on Twitter?

Follow and engage with media outlets earnestly. Ask questions and be a listener. Understand the press and its policies before you start pitching. The more you know beforehand, the more confident you will be and the more credible your offering will sound later.

However, the most important thing to remember is to avoid being creepy. It’s easy to cross the line from eager learner to a stalker. Like Maddie reminded us, don’t ever take a salesy tone with media professionals. Avoid sending them promotional direct messages. You don’t want to be annoying.

Q5: What are some ways to build trust among media professionals?

The best way to establish your credibility is to do what you do best. As our guest emphasized, be yourself and true to your policies. Don’t be afraid to admit it when you can’t make a deadline—it’s better to be honest and upfront than to fall short of a promise and disappoint.

As Christine put it, be aware of the audience. Even though you’re often pitching to a media agency or outlet, you’re eventually offering your message or content to their audience. Therefore, you have to know whom they cater and how. This knowledge will help build a stronger relationship with the media agency you’re pitching to.

When you make conscious efforts to understand and learn about a specific media outlet instead of just spamming them with random, irrelevant messages, the media outlet will start trusting you more. As our guest observed, having that trust is essential when you’re looking to work with a brand.

Q6: Should you pitch to press personnel on social media?

As Masooma said, you should only think about pitching to a press person once you’ve already established a relationship with them.

Don’t be a stranger pitching high-scale stories.

However, as our guest said, it’s still safe to reach out to a writer or the editor of a media outlet, if you’ve been interacting with them for a while and know who they are and what they do. That’ll help them connect with you more easily.

Q7: What are some ways to leverage your press coverage on social media?

There’re many ways to creatively promote your media coverage on social media. Being featured in the press is a moment of pride, and so feel free to share photographs of behind-the-scenes activities and greenroom scenes. Of course, you should first obtain permission from other people present in your photos and videos.

Also, consider doing a live relay on Facebook or YouTube, if you use those channels. Speak to the hosts and share video clips or quotations. And don’t forget to tag the media outlet and the people you worked with—all of that will give you extremely good exposure on social media.

Jack suggested compiling all press clippings and sharing them on Instagram or Facebook as a story, or a regular post.

Here’re a few more ideas from our chat participants:

  • Add the media outlet’s logo onto your website as a feature and link to the article, if it’s online. But get their permission first!
  • If you have a growing portfolio of media coverage, create a separate page on your website or blog to house all of those articles. Having them all in one accessible place also helps with your organic reach on search results.
  • Re-share content from older, yet relevant, coverages. Rotating your press activities can help you gain newer audiences.

Q8: Share some key points to focus on when engaging with media.

Be relevant, said our guest. And if you’ve been following all her other suggestions about engaging with the media outlet first, listening to their audience, and understanding their purposes, being relevant won’t be too hard.

Another crucial element is to obey timelines. If you want a media outlet to work with you, you have to be reliable and consistent.

Jennifer put it well: if they ask you to spend time doing sometime, make sure you get it done on time, every time. It doesn’t look good on you to fall behind.

Here are a few more ideas to focus on, as shared by our community members:

  • Ask what more you can offer to the media outlet.
  • Do your homework, and understand their actual requirements.
  • Research their audience and their tone of messaging.
  • Be patient—processes take time, and you shouldn’t rush.
  • Showcase yourself as a person, and not as a business. People like stories of people.
  • Thank the media outlet and the people you work with—it’s basic courtesy.
  • Promote their work too—don’t just be a taker without giving anything back.

Here’s a great point from Darcy to close this summary: Don’t go into a conversation with expectations. Be helpful—offer what you have to offer and let the media do their job.

Well, that’s all from me for this week. As always, there’s only so much I can cover in a blog post. That’s why our #TwitterSmarter team member, Joana has put to together this Twitter Moment featuring more insights from our chat with Robyn. Check it out.

Have some time to spare on Thursday? Join us for the next #TwitterSmarter chat at 1pm ET.

About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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