Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Facebook’s latest changes are something you’ve been tracking. With some of the most recent Facebook changes, brands simply aren’t getting as much organic reach.
As your company fine tunes its Facebook strategy, it’s important not to overlook the impact of these changes on media relations. In a world where reporters rely on social media, in particular, Facebook, to research or connect with sources, content not getting into the newsfeed could have an impact.
A 2013 Oriella PR Network study found that 51% of global journalists rely on microblogs (Facebook and Twitter) to source stories. If reporters following your organization aren’t seeing your updates, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
Paid Reach on Facebook Isn’t the Answer
Many organizations are focusing more on using Facebook advertising to boost their reach, which is a smart way to ensure you can still reach your customers on the social network. While your clients may not realize this is paid visibility, the media and blogging community are far savvier and understand that you are buying your way into the newsfeed.
The credibility of this content could be diminished if it is paid for, much in the same way advertorial in a newspaper or magazine could be. Activity around your posts such as likes or comments are less likely to be viewed as a vote of confidence if you’ve paid for people to see them.
To continue to use Facebook as a way to reach reporters (or customers), consider ways to bump your organic reach.
Start by looking at your stats and seeing where you’ve been getting the highest level of engagement. What types of posts are working? Video? Images? Quotes? Focus on creating more of that kind of content. Be open to experimenting with the time of day, content you share and more.
The focus should be on engaging fans, so center efforts on content that elicits people to comment, click, like or share it.
Consider Amping Up Your Use of Other Networks
When it comes to media, Facebook is not the only option. This may be the right time for your media relations team to take a look at how to use other social networks to connect with reporters. You may be using networks such as Twitter already to support media relations, but other networks such as Google+ and Instagram are worth exploring as well.
On Google+, look for your key blogging and media contacts and add them to your circles. You are more likely to get them to circle you back here as there’s less noise and fewer companies vying for attention. Ensure that you take the time to build your company or personal profile so it accurately represents the value you can deliver as a source or expert.
Set aside time daily to interact with posts from your key media/blogging contacts by commenting, +1ing, and sharing their posts. The more real and supportive you can be, the more apt they will be to remember you when it comes time they need a source.
If your company is more consumer-based, you will likely be able to find your favorite reporters, editors, bloggers and media brands on Instagram. Take time to follow them, like their photos and comment on a regular basis. The goal is to get them to follow your company (or personal profile) so they get to know, like and trust you as a useful source. Be creative in how you get them to notice you.
Finally, keep in mind that building relationships takes time. Your overarching goal, whether it be using Facebook so you are in the newsfeed in front of media contacts, or connecting with them on networks such as Google+ or Instagram, should be to be of service. Being helpful and supportive will go a long way to get you noticed and put you at the top of a reporter’s list when they are looking for a source for their next story.