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[Webinar Recap] Here are the Top 2017 Social Media Trends to Watch by Black PR Wire and Business Wire Part II

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

The following is Part II of Business Wire's article providing insight into the top social media trends for 2017. Access Part I to learn what insight Lashanda Henry, SistaSense and Dr. Erica Taylor Southerland, Ph.D. had to offer.    

Be Authentic. Alfred Edmond Jr., Senior VP/Executive Editor-at-Large of Black Enterprise

The key takeaway from Alfred’s presentation was “don’t play yourself.” We live in an era where there are more tools available than ever to build our own brand, but it’s important to be mindful that communicating with audiences is self-representation. Build a brand that represents you, the authentic you. Don’t waste your time creating an image online that does not reflect who you are offline and could possibly alienate your intended audience.   

Every status update is a window into how audiences will see you. Brands need to protect their credibility.  Every organization has issues and every social media manager needs to know these issues and public perceptions before creating their social program.  They should think and verify before tweeting/retweeting, posting, reacting or aligning with a hashtag. Every update should align with the organization’s voice and brand.

Edmond Jr. also discussed best practices of live-video streaming. Live-streaming events, providing exclusive behind the scene’s sneak peeks is one of the best ways to draw in an audience. Use live video to bring your viewers into places where they can’t access themselves. This discussion lead into the concept of “celebrity.” Each industry has their own “celebrities” or “influencer.” Consider exclusive interviews with these thought leaders as a way to co-opt their audiences to promote your message. This is another great use of live-streaming to connect with your audience.

Tip:  Don’t Forget Email Lists

As social media evolves and transitions into a more pay-for-play role, email lists will become more important. On social media platforms, the audience you accrue is owned by the platform and they will charge you to reach them. The only audience you own is the one you can reach on your own, such as an email list. The strongest marketing programs are ones that use all the resources available to a company – include email amplification in your programs to ensure you reach and activate your most loyal fans with your news and information.

Don’t Sleep on LinkedIn

When looking to drive sales via social channels, Edmond Jr. pleaded with viewers not to forget the power and reach of LinkedIn.  LinkedIn offers access to high income decision makers, those with access to budgets. While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great for reaching audiences, LinkedIn offers a far more unique, targeted reach. People expect to be pitched on LinkedIn, making them the perfect prospects. A great way to get acquainted with the content on LinkedIn is to check out their marketing pages blog.LinkedIn.com and LinkedIntoBusiness.com.

 

Drive Social Advocacy Stephanie Tavares-Rance, Director of Digital Marketing, PR and Social Media at Boston Market

Stephanie’s tips centered on three key goals: share, educate and motivate.

Content should tell a story, deliver information and solve a problem for the audience that’s being targeted. Don’t waste your time reiterating issues that potential clients might have without offering plausible solutions. This work doesn’t motivate them to act on your brand as a beneficial partner, a key component for increasing social advocacy.

Stephanie also offered some tips when crafting content for social platform distribution:

  • Know your platforms. Develop content and copy with a mobile-first point of view. Have a clear understanding of image dimensions required and maximum character count.
  • Vary your content. Content should change with each platform to best suit the platform’s capabilities. Image dimensions, character count, and understanding unique audiences to each platform will help tailor craft your messaging.
  • Use CTAs. Calls to action should move audiences to go beyond the view to action. Getting audiences to consume your content is the first step. Get them moving down the sales funnel by encouraging they take further, proactive steps in learning more about your brand or product.
  • No words needed. Video content should be able to tell a story without sound. Social platforms are often mobile platforms and engaged with on the go. Create video content that tells a story visually because you don’t know when audiences will or won’t be listening to audio, if they find themselves in public spaces.
  • Be interesting. Posts should engage the reader to share, comment and provide their own stories. Posts should be conversation starters, opening two-way dialogue.

 

Melissa Kimble, Founder of #blkcreatives and Senior Social Media Manager at Ebony

Melissa kicked off her portion of the webinar by posing several intriguing questions:

  1. Are you resting on utilizing social media as the “face” of your business or are you using it as a tool to leverage your business?  
  2. Are you utilizing social media to create noise or to create necessary relationships? How can you create a more well-rounded brand offline?

Strategy starts with intention and the goal is to utilize social media platforms to maximize the visibility and impact of brand communications. With all of the noise that social media creates, people are hungry for more substantial, real life experiences. They are authentic and tangible and they crave likeminded content. These experiences include in-person events, face-to-face meetings or even phone calls and allow social media to supplement what the brand is creating offline.   

Melissa explained that social media is a game that changes but brands need to keep doing what makes sense for their business and bottom line. The best way to approach social media, she suggested, was by staying focused on managing a few platforms well.

Creating a successful social media program starts with a deep understanding of your organization, your goals, your positive traits and your flaws.  Understanding who you are, and who you want to be is the first step in building an online branding program that connects with intended audiences and ultimately drives to your business goals.  Once you know what your organization stands for, you can select your platforms, create your brand voice and the content you need to translate your organization into a tangible brand online, and off.

Interested in learning more about using social media to amplify your news and content? Email us now!

This webinar is available for replay here:  http://bit.ly/2lAeZRQ and you can view the event Storify here: https://storify.com/serena/business-wire-and-black-pr-wire-2017-social-media-

Received Editorial Coverage? Here’s How to Amplify It

Your news received editorial attention and coverage giving you reason to celebrate. Although you should celebrate the identifiable ROI, the amplification of your news, generating interest amongst potential clients and customers… remember not to cheer for victory too soon. This is the digital age and there is still more work to be done if you want to maximize the impact of your PR campaign. The real impact of editorial coverage is directly related to its visibility, and what you want to do is increase the visibility even more. That is true amplification of your news.

 

In the newly released Social Media Amplification Guide, Business Wire outlines the role of editorial coverage in the customer-consideration and purchase journey, and presents a series of strategies and tactics designed to increase the visibility of news stories across social channels.

 

Why is editorial coverage important?

 

Nielsen’s 2015 Trust in Advertising study revealed that consumers trust editorial coverage (66%) and this trust was increased greatly when this same content was shared by a friend or family member (83%).

 

Combine this data with the results of the 2016 Business Wire Media Survey in which reporters noted that inbound traffic was a key success metric for their editors (a metric communicators can help meet by broadly sharing their secured coverage across their owned networks) and it becomes easy for today’s public relations practitioners to understand why editorial coverage is so important and why they must create a social media news amplification program to promote this content.

 

Business Wire’s free social amplification guide outlines:

 

  • Best practices in crafting updates that meet each platform’s user aspirations.
  • Best time to share and encouraging coworkers to participate in the share process. 
  • Features valuable insights into Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Reddit.

 

Download your copy of Business Wire’s free Social Sharing guide

 

Know a fellow communicator who would benefit from this guide? Click here to share it with your Twitter followers now.

Business Wire Webinar Recap: How to Amplify Your News Content with Reddit

 

On October 20th, the Business Wire team sat down with Noam Cadouri at Reddit to discuss how today’s communicators – from PR pros to reporters – could leverage the power of Reddit to increase visibility and engagement within highly targeted discussion channels called subreddits.

 

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a website that hosts highly active discussion groups broken out by topic or theme called subreddits. Reddit currently has 45,000 communities and 240 million monthly active users around the globe. While the community is global, conversations occur mostly in English.

 

Community topics range from very broad, like /r/news, to very niche such as /r/tuckedinpuppies.  Community members, Reddit users, are quite passionate and protective of their subreddit communities. Reddit is not a place to simply drop a news link and go. Smart communicators take the time to get to know Reddit, its communities and it’s users before sharing content into the service.

 

Why does Reddit matter?  Amplification and Market Research

There are many reasons why PR professionals and reporters may want to use Reddit to amplify their news, programming or information.  It is a highly engaged community, we at Business Wire have seen news releases receive tens of thousands of views simply because it was placed in an appropriate subreddit and received a high number of upvotes.  But inbound traffic is not a guarantee. Inbound traffic is simply a side effect of the relevance and resonance of your content. The more upvotes the submission receives, the more likely it is to receive strong inbound traffic.

 

But it is also smart to think of subreddits as potential focus groups – allowing brands to see arguments for and against their organization, products, service or industry at large. This type of data is perfect for product development and communication change alike.

 

How do you use Reddit?

First, you need to create an account and select a user name.

 

Reddit actively encourages organizations and media outlets to join Reddit utilizing their own names. If you plan on using this account for work, pick a user name that represents who are you and what you hope to achieve on the site. The Reddit community values authenticity so be transparent with who you are, your agenda, what you hope to achieve.

 

You can create a name such as CNNTeam and then each member of your team can use that same account to show the depth and reach of the team participating in conversations.

 

Once you create your Reddit account, keep in mind that all submissions and commenting you make as that user are public to everyone within Reddit. All they have to do is click your user name to see your Reddit usage history.

 

One suggestion – if you find you are participating in two equally strong but completely unrelated communities such as technology for work, but food for fun, consider creating two Reddit accounts so you can become an expert in each channel.

 

Tip! Join Reddit’s Media Partners Page!

The best way to ensure our clients and media partners get off to a smooth start with Reddit is to join Reddit’s private Media Partners page. This page is available to organizations and media outlets alike. 

 

To join this page, you need to send an email to media@reddit.com. Provide your Reddit account name so they can add you to Media Partners page. This page will provide guidance on how to best serve your content into Reddit or how to participate within certain subreddits in a more detailed manner.

 

But that’s not all the media page can do for you.  See someone on Reddit with your company’s name as their user name? Let the moderators of the media partner page know so they can help you secure your name. When it comes to organization names, Reddit has rules in place to ensure users cannot masquerade as your organization or media outlet.

 

Next? Search the site to find relevant content.

Reddit has a terrific search engine that will help you find the subreddits that are best for you to participate in.  Simply type in the terms you are interested in and you can find both content and subreddits relevant to you.

 

To join a subreddit, open that subreddit and click on the subscribe link.  If there are several subreddits on a particular topic or theme you want to follow, you can create a multireddit which is simply one landing page that hosts all the posts for the subreddits you selected.

 

Want to see if any of your content is already in Reddit? There is a tool for that!  Simply type https://www.reddit.com/domain/WHATEVERYOURDOMAINNAMEIS so for us at Business Wire, our content can be found at https://www.reddit.com/domain/businesswire.com/.  This is a great way to see what content you are currently creating that others find interesting enough to share, and the discussions each submission generated.

 

How to participate in a subreddit

There are two easy ways to participate in Reddit. One is to vote (up or down) submitted content, the other is to join the conversation via commenting on submissions.

 

Selecting and submitting your content

Submitting content is easy! Once you identify the relevant community, you can submit a link or write a text post that will appear on the community page.
 

The submitted content can be from anywhere. Your website, USA Today, a niche blog, even a tweet. As long as the content aligns with the subreddit, it come from anywhere.

 

If you do want to actively promote more than one piece of content into one particular community, the simplest way to find out if the community will allow it is to ask the moderators.  On the right side of every subreddit, there is a list of subreddit moderators. Click the message button and let the moderators know what you are trying to do and why and they will work with you on the best way to achieve your goal.

 

Remember a good headline is key to content engagement in Reddit. Be interesting without being misleading.

 

Using Reddit content in your published works

You can now embed Reddit comments into blogs and other published works. You can find step-by-step embedding instructions here.

 

Tip! Avoid these content submission blunders

When people think of Reddit, they frequently think of being attacked by Redditors.  The truth is, Reddit users are pretty good at sniffing out one’s agenda for submitting news to the site or joining into conversations. 

 

Try these two tips:

 

  1. Redditors want authentic discussions. Some Reddit users are on the site all day long, others just a few hours a week.  Do not submit content into subreddits you have never looked at or participated in. Community members are very protective of their group and “drive by submissions” are frequently irrelevant and off topic.  Instead, research the groups out in advance and spend some time in the group, commenting on posts, participating and building up your own reputation within the group.

 

  1. Do not submit content without reading the rules first. Each subreddit has their own set of rules. You can find these on the right side of the community page above the list of moderators.  For example, while posting a How to Use Reddit blog into /r/socialmedia may seem like a no brainer. The rules on the page specifically note no blog promotion. In this case, it would be better to submit a text post outlining the top theories discussed in the blog post, and the rationales of why you’re sharing it, with a link at the end in case others are interested in reading more.

Handling negative reviews:  Protect your Rep

One of the most asked questions Reddit receives is how companies can overcome negative reviews or negative sentiment within Reddit.  The truth is, this is not something you can necessarily control. Reddit users are individuals who come to Reddit to have an authentic discussion about a topic – to share what they love, and what they hate.  Organizations must be mindful of the context of that subreddit. These individuals are not interested in being converted but they are interested in being heard and respected.

 

However, some groups are specifically negative groups.  Do not attempt to convert these groups to you way of thinking via content submission.  Do not go into the group /r/antiFacebook and promote your Facebook tool. It would not fit into the context of the group. Instead, consider joining /r/socialmedia to find more likeminded individuals.

 

Hosting an AMA:  Build your Rep

One of Reddit’s most powerful promotional tools is called Ask My Anything (AMAs). These are heavily promoted discussions in which the featured individual answers questions submitted by Reddit users.  AMA participants range from people you’ve never heard of to Bill Gates and Donald Trump.  It is a terrific way to showcase your company experts!

 

There is an AMA calendar and to schedule your AMA, email your speaker and topic to ama@reddit.com and they will tell you when is a good time, good day, any requirements and ensure you’re up and running when you’re kicking off the process. Consider supporting your AMA with paid ads in relevant subreddits to ensure a vibrant discussion. Click here to see previous AMAs.

 

Drive Impact with Ads

One of the most interesting parts about Reddit is the ability for users to advertise within a subreddit.  

 

You can craft a text add and pay just to promote it in a particular subreddit or category, you can promote your own post or you can promote someone else’s post. Each of these options ensure your content is seen exactly where your audience is.  And the pricing on advertising is not that expensive! Advertising on Reddit is a terrific way to expand a product launch or industry changing news, by ensuring your news will be seen by some of the most vocal and passionate members of your community.

 

The future of PR is changing. It is no longer about one story for millions of readers. Today’s consumers want highly customized, frank discussions about the organizations they are interested in and these discussions are happening in a big way on Reddit.  With millions of passionate users discussing everything from your company news, to their favorite non-profit, to the impact of global warming on kittens, if you are looking to increase connections with your audiences, this platform is for you.

 

Interested in learning more about Reddit? Click here to access the 90 minute replay of this webinar or contact us at serena.ehrlich@businesswire.com

 

 

[EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR] The Year of News Visibility: Introducing Reddit

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire

When it comes to moving people in to and through your organization’s marketing funnel, one of the biggest tools in your toolkit is the news content you create. Why? News is always hot. News has impact. News drives engagement. Everybody loves news.

News within Search and Social

Google places news coverage at the top of search and news is the top content-type shared on social media channels every day. Pew Internet continues to release studies showcasing how many U.S. adults are using social channels as news sources and Nielsen studies confirm that that editorial coverage, when shared across social media, can increase consumer trust in your news by as much as 83%.

Your news has impact when it is seen. So when the Business Wire team had the chance to meet with Mark Luckie, Reddit’s head of media and journalism at the recent Online News Association (ONA 16) conference, we jumped!  And we have seen Reddit shares drive millions of viewers into individual news releases triggering deep engagement within highly targeted subreddits (topic-specific discussion-based groups). And after a few minutes with Mark, it became obvious you need to meet him as well. 

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a massive, global website built to drive discussions within topic-based communities such as news, public relations, knitting, pasta, and of course cats. Organizations that properly engage in highly relevant Reddit communities see an increase in the visibility of their information, are able to identify and build brand fans and receive immediate feedback on their news and programming.  But engagement is not as easy as submitting a link. You have to find a community, join it and build your presence. 

In our October 20th webinar, Mark will speak exclusively to our clients to teach them how to identify relevant Reddit communities, engage with key audiences, conduct Ask Me Anythings and how to identify and submit the content their communities wants to see.

Date:     Thursday, October 20, 2016

Time:     12 PM ET/ 9 AM PT

Register here:   http://go.businesswire.com/increase-message-impact-with-reddit

Studies continue to show that there is no better time to promote your news content so why not learn how today’s pros are using Reddit? Register today to determine just how integral this site can be in your news visibility program.

8 Numbers from Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report That Will Change PR

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

Those interested in the current state of the digital marketplace can rejoice because Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report has been released and the data it presents is telling. Over the years, the internet has grown to become an integral part of daily life. That evolution continues as the uses for this technology are now starting to reflect the needs of current generations. For PR pros it is important to understand how important the internet is as a bridge between brands and the public. The following are 8 figures from the report that exemplify how much the internet, as well as society has changed in recent years and how those in the communications space must adjust their plans of action for reaching audiences locally, regionally, and around the world.  

TECHNOLOGY

27% of the US Population

Millennials represent 27% of the US population. That accounts for almost 1/3rd of the population and is a portion of the population whose spending power is expected to rise significantly in the next 10-20 years. This is the largest generation found in the US and according to the report, they’re financial approach is described as “earn to spend.” Because Millennials represent a significant audience for brands, it’s important to understand their internet habits. For this generation, technology is integral in day to day life. Just how integral has it become? 

4 Hours

On average, worldwide mobile users will spend 4 hours using their device per day. That number rises to 5 hours per day for US mobile users. When excluding hours needed for sleep, it becomes apparent that much of person’s time today is spend on a mobile device. Think about what else you do for 5 hours a day and it starts to put this number into perspective. It’s difficult to emphasize just how important mobile devices are to users and the range of activities that are accomplished using one.   

3 Billion

The internet is a tool that connects people around the world. The amount of people it currently connects is mindboggling. Global internet users is now at 3 billion individuals. When taking into consideration the amount of time people spend on the internet, and on their mobile devices, it’s impossible to ignore how important these platforms are for reaching audiences with your message. The delivery of your message should be designed for optimal distribution across all digital platforms because that is where your audiences are most likely to be looking for it.  

MULTIMEDIA

5 Screens

The Millennial generation grew up during the growth of easily accessible internet technology. It is a generation that speaks the internet language and is tech savvy, using two screens at once. What does a generation look like that came into this world with the internet already an integral part of day to day life? This is Generation Z and they use 5 screens at once. In just one generation we went from users being tech savvy to having an innate knowledge of the internet and mobile platforms, as natural an understanding as learning a first language. What’s more fascinating is that Generation Z communicates using images. Using the features that mobile platforms present users, Generation Z takes full advantage and communicates using visuals assets.  

3.25 Billion

The importance of multimedia as a communications tool has grown exponentially. Over 3.25 billion photos are shared each day on select platforms (snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook). As multimedia continues to grow as a form of communication, the number of photos shared will grow even higher. Multimedia is now expected as it is the normal site on mobile and social platforms. Communicating with multimedia is the new way to communicate.     

SOCIAL MEDIA

48% of Millennials 

Millennials are the largest generation in the US and knowing how to reach that audience is vital for all communications pros. Almost half (48%) of Millennials prefer to be contacted via the internet or social media. When compared with the previous generation, Gen X, whose primary choice is telephone or electronic messaging, it’s easy to see a transition in technology use. We are now fully in the digital age and future generations will be born into a communications-culture of internet, mobile, social and multimedia. 

55% of Pinterest Users 

Multimedia is ubiquitous and serves a purpose greater than just entertainment. Pinterest, a platform self-described as a visual bookmarking tool that helps users discover and save creative ideas, has evolved and the PR space needs to take note. According to Mary Meeker’s report, 55% of Pinterest users utilize the platform to find and shop for products. Multimedia is now an important tool in educating and converting potential customers and clients. Pinterest needs to be viewed as an example of how audiences are seeing visuals across the internet, and how visuals can be used to reach audiences around the world.  

Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, and those that preceded it, show an overall trend that reflects how we communicate and consume, and how we will communicate and consume in the future. As technology, already integral to our daily lives, continues to develop, so will the way we use it. Multimedia is expressive and a quickly growing form of communication, with Generation Z already utilizing images and other visuals as a standard form of communication. Social media is also evolving, becoming so much more than what the individual platforms were originally designed to be. Facebook is a growing news source, Pinterest a place for consumers to learn about and shop for products, as well as other developments for Twitter, Instagram and more. The internet, and the platforms it offers invite users to innovate what it can be used for. Communications professionals need to learn from this report and build better bridges between brands and the public. These 8 figures show us exactly how to do just that. 

Learn about Business Wire’s Global, Mobile, Social, Measurable tools designed to amplify your news on digital platforms and reach audiences where and how they want to be reached.

Make sure to tune in on June 16th as Business Wire presents a webinar on increasing awareness, coverage, and conversions with visuals.

Twitter Tweaks Rules Around Character Limit

by Amirah Bey, Marketing Associate

Like a kid let loose in a candy store, social media users are excited by the sweet new options they now have with the announcement of Twitter's latest news that photos, links and usernames (oh my) no longer count toward the 140-character limit. Clever copywriting options abound!

Get clever with your 'Tweet this' quotes
Embedded in every Business Wire news releases is a "Tweet this" quote. The tweet generated from using this functionality automatically includes a link to the release, so previously we only allowed 89 characters here.

With more characters available to tweet, you can make your 'Tweet this' messages more witty, informative and purposeful. Think, "If I saw this tweet, would I share/like?" This will increase shares of your release aka increased reach of your message.

If you're unsure how to properly use Business Wire's social features, check out this easy how-to video.

Photos for every Tweet!
Photos have been proven to increase social media engagement, so not including images is to choose to leave engagement on the social 'table'. 

Many practitioners opt to include one photo with tweets, but now that images no longer take up precious characters, you can include multiple. Twitter allows you to include up to four photos and in effect, tell an even more impactful story than you would with just 140 characters. 

In tandem with ensuring the inclusion of photos on social, you should include photos in your news releases. Attractive images can entice social media users to tweet your release - garnering even more views! 

 

Include all pertinent usernames
Often times a tweet will call for the mention of various organizations and people. Before, some of these parties just didn't make the cut. Now that usernames no longer count toward the character count, you can ensure everyone you need to mention is included. 

This is especially important when composing social to promote your 'partnership' news releases. Mentioning all the relevant entities will increase engagement and hopefully shares of your release.

How do you promote your news via Twitter? It'll be interesting to see how Twitter's tweaks will affect our timelines moving forward. What do you think? As many social media marketers rejoice, do you think these changes are for the best?

The Role of Pinterest in Your News Release

(Image above from left to right: Sean O’Neal President of Adaptly, Michael Akkerman the Head of Marketing Developer partnerships at Pinterest, and Brian Magida, Director of Digital Marketing at Warby Parker)

By Hannah Herreid, Media Relations Specialist at Business Wire

 

Using social media platforms to tell your story is one of today’s best and most crucial tools for communications professionals in order to be part of a 24/7 global conversation. Now more than ever it is imperative to take advantage of the social features that are at your disposal. Every Business Wire press release that is distributed is ready for sharing on the top social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest. When an article, multimedia, or release is pinned on Pinterest, it lands on a platform that is quickly becoming known as a “conversion machine.” 

Pinterest has more than 100 million users who have contributed over 50 billion images, or “pins,” so it comes as no surprise that Pinterest has become one of the highest sources of conversions and traffic for e-commerce businesses.

The platform allows users to curate virtual boards that show the world who they want to be and how they want to be perceived, but also helps assist pinners in planning for the future. Pinterest’s Michael Akkerman, Head of Marketing Developer Partnerships, states it best, “Pinterest is a future planning mechanism and a catalogue of ideas. Users curate what their nirvana is and retailers have the opportunity to play and win in that story.”

Last month, Social Media Week-NY hosted a panel discussion, “Pinterest: From Inspiration to Conversion,” which offered tips, strategies and previewed the future of the platform. The panel, moderated by Adaptly President, Sean O'Neal, featured Akkerman and Warby Parker's Digital Marketing Director, Brian Magida. Here are the key takeaways for brands:

 

KNOW THE MINDSET OF A PINNER

There are more mobile conversions through Pinterest than any other channel. Why? It's the purpose and reason users are there. Unlike Facebook and Instagram—where users are on the platform to view and interact with their friends and family—Pinterest is primarily used to engage with brands directly.

A typical pinner’s path is to “discover, save, and do.” When a user signs onto the site to plan for the future, consumers are in what Akkerman refers to as the “consideration phase.” Whether pinners are planning a wedding, baby shower, DIY project, or simply researching recipes for dinner that night, pinners are more open to trying new things, making it is easier for brands to drive action.

“The fact that users are searching and discovering more content is indicative of the platform,” said Michael Akkerman. During this “consideration phase,” Akkerman also noted that 72% of pinners say they find new brands on Pinterest that they wouldn't have found otherwise in their online searches. This provides ample opportunity for smaller companies and brands seeking to increase online visibility and engagement.

 

SERVE RELEVANT CONTENT

The key to connecting with consumers is to focus on serving relevant content and to understand the planning cycle. Pinterest is largely a mobile-first app with a staggering 89% of pinners interacting with the site on a mobile device, as expressed by Akkerman. The good news is that Pinners are ready for action. According to Akkerman, 9/10 users that click on a pin and visit the brand’s website, convert that day. Consumers use Pinterest to find items to purchase, it’s what they are there for.

SEO marketing is certainly not a thing of the past as it still adds up to around 60% of search results, however, a large portion of pinners have replaced search engines.

Adaptly President Sean O’Neal argues that the old way of marketing was to look at platforms as solely social media channels. Instead, brands need to see the bigger picture and understand that similar to search engines, these platforms can help brands achieve many, if not all marketing goals. 

 

PROVIDE COMPELLING IMAGERY

Earned media plays a huge role on Pinterest because organic and paid content offer the same value to pinners. 75% of the 50 billion pins currently on the platform come from brands directly. This includes brands posting on Pinterest or users pinning from the brand’s website. Each pin lives on the website forever regardless of whether they are organic or paid.

Pinterest is a great tool for marketers to curate content directly to users. Not only does it provide awareness and easy discovery, but it delivers immediate action.  When it comes to press releases on Business Wire, having multimedia in your release encourages users to pin your images and engage directly with your brand. In addition, posting your multimedia to Pinterest with an embeddable URL to your release provides an easy way for users to click directly to your press release and learn more about your product. 


To increase engagement and visibility for your news, check out Business Wire’s Global-Mobile-Social-Measureable features, providing global data, social sharing tools and more.  

The Best Kept Secrets on How to Reach the Media

 

 

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

On the morning of Friday, April 8th, Business Wire brought together some of the media’s leading journalists and reporters to shed some light on how they find story ideas and leads. A lot was revealed during the conversation and the credit for putting the event together goes to Hannah Herreid, a media relations specialist at Business Wire.

The panel included:

Michael Herzenberg @MHerzenberg

Michael is the General Assignment Reporter for NY1. He joined NY1 as a full-time general assignment reporter in July 2011. Prior to NY1, Herzenberg worked as a national correspondent for CBS News' affiliate feed service. He also spent two years behind the anchor desk and four years as a Legislative and Special Assignment Reporter in Albuquerque, NM, where he covered everything from military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay to forest fires. Michael is an Emmy Award winner and began his TV career behind the camera as a production assistant in New Orleans and as a producer in Baton Rouge. 

 

 

Alyssa Vingan @Alyssavingan

Alyssa is the Editorial Director at Fashionista. She spent her college years in New Orleans before moving to New York where she took her first big-time internship at Fashionista. Since starting out at the site, she's written for Paper, StyleCaster, Marie Claire and Elle.com. Though her first love is fashion, you'll often find her going on about music, models, fitness, and pop culture. 

 

 

Andrew Zimmer @Addzim

Andrew is Time Out New York’s Deputy Editor. He oversees the production and promotion of the magazine and all digital content. Before Time Out, Zimmer was the New York Editor at Thrillist Media Group. He's an experienced eater, researcher, reporter, photographer, editor, and writer. Zimmer puts together food and travel related stories that include things like: where to find the best dumplings at an underground mall in Queens, reporting on New York City's secret supper club scene, and basically exploring and eating everything he can. 

 

 

 

The Secrets

It’s a digital world: mailing in media/press kits is no longer the best way to reach a journalist or reporter. It’s a digital world and the best way to communicate is via digital avenues. If the goal result is media coverage, the recommended method for reaching out is with a USB, digital copy, or email. Hard or print copies might be great for building a relationship but aren’t very useful for building a story.

Know when to send: journalists have set schedules that they like to follow (when they decide on a story, when they write a story) so knowing when to send could be the difference between getting lost in a sea of emails or successfully engaging a member of the media. Try to know your contact’s schedule, but a general guideline of when to make your move is between 8am and noon, the earlier the better.

One journalist, one email: make your pitch relatable and personalized. When you copy and paste your release and send out a mass email blast, the perception is that your message is spam. Take the time to know who you’re pitching to, understand the stories they cover and the audiences they reach. Why would your story work for them?

"Do your research and write a subject that is akin to a title I would write." - Alyssa Vingan, Editorial Director at Fashionista

 

 

 

Exclusivity is key: journalists and reporters want to feel like they’re getting the first look at your pitch. They don’t necessarily need to have total exclusivity on the story, they just need to have it before it’s been stuffed into everyone else’s inbox. It’s not news if everyone has access to the same information, and it makes it difficult for a journalist to approach their boss with a “hot new story” if they see the same email in their own inbox.    

Flexibility: Journalists and reporters are responsible for presenting their audiences with what they consider to be an interesting story. They don’t want to work with agencies who want to completely control the whole story because that ignores their role in the process of news making. They want to be able to add their own flair to the piece. Remember to work with the media for best results.  

Use professional avenues: when contacting a journalist or reporter, try to find their email or LinkedIn profile. These are the preferred communication methods and lead to the best results. Each journalist is different so do your research. For instance, some state that reaching out via a Facebook message should be avoided at all costs, while others are more open. If you’re not sure, stick with email or LinkedIn.  

 

 

 

These secrets are no longer secret and should be utilized, especially with your next release. When a release crosses Business Wire’s patented distribution network, it reaches the media points you select through specific targeting, from regional to global, in a number of industries. Now you know what to include and how to reach out to the media. Give them what they want!  

Include multimedia, make the release sharable on social platforms by utilizing all available social features, and remember to reach out to journalists and reporters, letting them know your story with a link to your release.

To learn more about how Business Wire can amplify your message read here and let us make your news.

How to Use Business Wire's New Social Features

Business Wire's New Social Features and How to Use Them from businesswire on Vimeo.

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

 

The news release is going social with Business Wire’s new social features, a series of tools that amplify your news and promote the sharing of your message over the top social platforms. These features are now available for you to include with your next announcement.

Social media provides a great opportunity for your announcement to be viewed by audiences that engage with and act on the news they consume. According to a study by Pew Research Center, the role of Twitter and Facebook as a resource for news is on the rise. In 2015, 63% of Facebook users "say the platform serves as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family." With Business Wire’s new social features you can better reach your audience, and grow your audience, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other top platforms.

New social features include:

  • Live Twitter feed of your choosing.

  • Preselected Tweet this message.

  • Social media profiles.

  • Hashtags and cashtags.

These features enhance your news release, help maximize your exposure and facilitate the sharing of your message. To include them in your next release, fill in your social media information on Business Wire Connect. To learn how, watch the instructional video and start using these great tools with your next release.

To read more about the importance of social media and other enhancements for your news releases click here.

 

How to Increase YouTube Video Views in 3 Easy Steps

by Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire

Earlier this month I attended a Digital Hollywood panel devoted to building audiences and awareness on YouTube.

This is a very common topic here in Los Angeles.  With filmmaking, celebrities and the history of Hollywood permeating every corner of the city, we were the first region to truly embrace YouTube for what the platform could be – a way to entertain, educate, delight and shock audiences with amazing visual content.

So if this is a common topic, something Hollywood content creators and the marketers they work with should know inherently, why is it still on the Digital Hollywood agenda?  Because no matter how great your content is, it means nothing if your content is not seen.

Almost the entire panel discussion, fueled by questions from the audience, focused on how to generate views of the variety of videos being uploaded every single day.  There are hundreds of thousands of beautifully shot, high quality videos on YouTube that no one has ever seen. Why is that?  Because the concept of if you place it here, the audience will come is antiquated and completely misleading, even for producers creating content featuring famous celebrities.  The simple truth still stands, there is no such thing as great content, only seen content.

So how do YouTube video stars get their visibility?  What makes one video go viral, while another video fails?  Just like every other marketing and communications program, video programs need to be supported with paid, earned, owned and shared marketing programming.

In this session, the three top ways to ensure views of your YouTube videos are:

Create relevant content – This may seem obvious but there are still a huge number of marketers creating aspirational content, or content meant to activate new fans, versus content meant to create actual audiences. In reality, content should be made for every touch point in the customer journey, but if you are on a limited budget or time, focus on creating content for the most active of your prospects and customers.  Create content that these existing brand fans will enjoy and share with their friends and reap not only views of evangelism.

Tag your content for search – When it comes to placing your content on YouTube, the description and keywords you use are just as important as the content itself. Utilize titles and descriptions to entice audiences to view your video.  Include relevant keywords and well as real-time keywords, and while you don’t want to use an incorrect headline, writing a compelling, interesting headline will increase views dramatically.

Pay to promote your video – If you spent money to create content, you have to use money to promote it.

Videos should be promoted via earned, paid, owned and through partnerships.

Smart brands are increasing impact of their content by increasing potential audiences.

Paid promotion: To promote your YouTube videos there are two successful kinds of paid promotion that you can do.  First, consider paid advertising across active social channels and via Google AdWords to help relevant audiences find you via search and social.  Secondly, issue a press release to alert media outlets, bloggers and more that your video or video channels exist.  Include a short summary of the types of content you include and, if possible, frequency of updates, to generate views

Earned outreach: Don’t forget to alert your PR contacts of your new content marketing program.  Media outlets are always looking for visual content to accompany industry pieces; let them know your channel may contain the content relevant to their readers.

Owned channels: You have to tell people about your video; how else will they know your program exists? Promote your new YouTube content on your website, social channels, email signatures and intranets to increase views and shares of your content.

Initiate partnerships: The single fastest way to increase the views of your YouTube videos is to ask likeminded, more famous YouTube personalities to share it for you. Yes, this may require an exchange of money but it works.

Leading marketers know that video is one of the top tools in today’s marketing arsenal. Not only are desktop and mobile video consumption rates through the roof, the medium is so impactful that within seconds it can build, and deepen the relationships between a brand and its customer. But first you have to distribute it.

What other ways are you finding success in promoting video content?  Please let us know in the comments below.

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