For financial firms looking to grow their business (and who isn’t?) public relations can be a key function in your marketing mix. Not only can PR drive brand awareness and amplify your core message, it can also introduce you to new prospects and customers.
However, if you are still relying on ‘old school’ press releases that are mass emailed, or snail-mailed!, to newspaper editors, you may be stuck in the Dark Ages of public relations. Modernize your approach by incorporating a few social media tactics into your strategy and you will dramatically increase your chances of being seen by the right influencers and editors.
Create ‘Shareable’ Content
Before we even consider talking about how to find influencers on social, creating content that people will want to read and share must be addressed. When crafting content that you are hoping will gain traction, think about The Story. Stories sell.
The most attention-grabbing stories include these characteristics: they are clear, compelling, concise and consistent.
Also, consider the type of articles your Influencers have posted about; reach out to them about those articles and offer a different point of view or even ask if they would be willing to provide a point of view that you can then use in your piece (and of course, source it to them).
How to Find Influencers
Now that you have sharable, compelling content, it’s time to find those influencers. There are several methods for finding leaders and influencers via social media. In this post we will discuss the best methods for connecting on advisors’ three favorite networks: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Here’s how to seek influencers for each.
- LinkedIn Groups are a great way to find influencers in our industry. We like:
- LinkedIn Influencers is a fairly new program that allows thought leaders share content directly with uses.
- Search articles by keyword. This will take you to another page that will show you the authors of pieces using the keywords you have queried.
- Use the Search function to query keywords, and industry publications, such as @ThinkAdvisor and @NEWSfromIN. Once you find the industry pubs, navigate to their “lists” and you will likely find their journalists and editors.
- Follow Hashtags
- External apps such as Simply Measured, Followerwonk and InkyBee use Twitter Analytics to help you gather information on thought leaders.
- Now that you’ve found these influencers and media resources on Twitter, use Facebook search to seek out these same industry leaders. Being connected on multiple networks won’t hurt!
- Check out and join industry-relevant Facebook groups. (In search bar type: Groups named “keyword”)
How to Connect with Influencers
Once you create your media/influencer lists and start adding information, it’s time to make connections. The biggest shift from “Dark Ages PR’ and modern PR is changing your mindset from constantly pitching. You can build connections by being truly engaged in what influencers are posting about. Do this by:
- Reposting their content
ex. If you Tweet out someone’s content and mention them, they could Retweet you. This would expand your reach from just your followers to the large amount of followers that the publication or influencer has.
- Commenting on their posts
- Developing a rapport and starting a conversation
- Sharing their events
- Setting up a Google Alert for your most-targeted Influencers to stay on top of their happenings
- Sending non-spammy direct messages
Lastly, if you do ever use a quote or example from an influencer in your content, make sure your not only give them credit, but tag them and Tweet at them with you share it, and hopefully this will encourage them to share also (which dramatically increases your reach).
Just as PR has evolved, so has the way we share news. Make your news standout by crafting content beyond words. Consider posting your newsworthy content via Infographic, video, images, and podcast or by a pre-recorded webinar.
Remember consistency is key. Journalists and influencers get tons of pitches every single day; if your pitch is not relevant in that moment, it doesn’t mean they are not interested. Developing a rapport can keep you top-of-mind for when that magical media moment can happen.