The PR profession has been quick to understand how social be adapted to suit their needs.
For decades PR professionals and company press offices have press releases first by post then via email Now sites like Twitter, Google and Tumblr (www.tumblr.com) are perfectly placed as media to get your message across to a wide audience. In conjunction with a news feed they are very quick, easy and cost-effective ways to broadcast information.
It’s simply a case of filing in a short, catchy headline, then adding a shortened link to the URL where the press release is uploaded. The added advantage of issuing a release via Twitter is that it can be re-posted several times. using slightly different wording, to ensure that the message resonates-something that might traditionally be regarded as overkill.
More and more press offices as well as PR agencies are now migrating their press release distribution onto social media. either directly or using third party companies such as Cision (http://us.cision.com/press-release-distribution/social-media-distribution.asp)
Air France (www.airfrance.info) has a dedicated bilingual Twitter feed (@AFNewsroom), which it uses as its news distribution channel, as distinct from its customer service Twitter account, @airfrancefr.
As well as a news distribution platform, social media are also a very effective way to communicate messages about brands.
The vast majority of journalists, as well as traditional media outlets are now active on social media, particularly on Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ and will be monitoring what is being distributed online, looking for stories and case studies.
Many organizations incorrectly see social media as purely a lead generation tool. While there are many ways in which it is possible to drive sales leads-using both organic and paid-for methods- very often, social media may not be as effective as, say, using pay-per-click on Google,email or even a PR campaign.
Much will rest on the nature of your organization, your target audience and how you use the social channels to engage with audiences.
According to Hubspot (http://bit ly/ P8dCVJ), Linkedin is the most successful social network for lead generation the company found that traffic from this site generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (69%) and Facebook (77%).
One of the key things to bear in mind when using social networks for lead generation is that on social media, you rarely sell directly. This would be seen as spamming and is likely to alienate your fans or followers. Instead. you create the conditions under which people will naturally want to do business with you. Remember these are social networks, networking takes time and effort you need to get people to know you, like you. trust you-and ultimately to do business with you.
To build this trust and awareness we come back to the need for engaging. targeted content as well as specific calls to action and decent landing or splash pages
In order to respond to leads, you’ve also got to be listening’ in rather than simply using the channels as broadcast platforms. Far better to respond to a need than simply to push out irrelevant noise.
One of the most successful ways of using social platforms for direct lead generation is by using paid-for methods including pay-per-click advertising or sponsored tweets, videos (You Tube) or stories (Facebook). Not only can these be used to drive traffic to your social media sites. they can also be a viable way to drive traffic to your website or specific landing page
Pay-per-click advertising on social media channels works in a similar way to ads on Google. Adverts are put together, a target demographic is chosen, the advertiser then chooses how much they want to pay for each click and also what budget they are going to allocate. Ads will then appear within users news feeds or, in the case of YouTube, within videos or video searches. The advertiser pays only if someone actually clicks on their ad.
Another viable way in which social media can be used for lead generation is through competitions, specifically on Facebook. Using specially designed apps within Facebook Pages), it is possible to run successful campaigns.
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