Monthly Archives: July 2010

How to Write a Social Media Press Release

Back in the day, press releases were the primary means of communication between business enterprises and the media. However, the advancement of the internet has made the traditional format of a press release less effective as journalists, press members and readers crave small chunks of succinct details that incorporate social media, linking and multimedia to make it more digestible and relevant. Compare this to the multi-page press releases that dominated newsroom fax machines in the past and it’s pretty clear that the way information is assembled and received has changed.

If you’re used to traditional press release formats its evolution to social media press release (SMPR) won’t be too much of a challenge. Knowing what to include and how to format your SMPR will be a big help in securing media and blogger coverage for your brand’s news and happenings.

The basic SMPR parts are:

1.headline
2.secondary headline
3.overview
4.body
5.facts
6.about
7.multimedia links
8.relevant links
9.tags
Each part has been labeled and is featured in a sample SMPR outline to make it easy to follow along.

1. For your headline, state exactly what’s the SMPR is about. This isn’t the place to use jargon or slang. A keyword or two and you’re good to go.

2.The secondary headline isn’t always necessary, but if you want to add a bit more insight and push readers to read the next line then include it. Follow the same guidelines you used in the headline.

Once you’ve built your SMPR you’ll want to distribute it to your media and blog contacts. There are multiple distribution methods for your SMPR. You can email, fax broadcast, post and link on your website or use distribution services. Distribution services typically come in two flavors – paid and free.Services with payment are very costly ranging in prices from $350 to $3500 depending on length, images and circumference, local, regional, national or international. The advantage of a paid service is that media and blog contacts are kept current and you will often receive specific instructions that pertain to how each individual likes to be approached and contacted. Additionally, you receive access to syndicated newswires like the Associated Press, Reuters and others which aren’t typically available through free services. Newswires are the official method of communication used by most to receive news content. If you’re interested in paying for distribution visit PR Newswire or Marketwire to learn more.

Free distribution of your SMPR can take place via a multitude of sites. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it will be up to you to determine which one is the best outlet for you and your brand. Some of the more popular free distribution sites are PRLog, i-Newswire and Press Release Point. You’ll want to research what’s included in the free distribution service and find out what types of flexibility you have with customizing your distribution list. This will help you get your SMPR into the hands of the right people. For instance, if a site informs you that they distribute to all the major national newspapers you should ask if they have distribution points to journalists that focus on specific content like health, technology or finance.

Also, keep in mind that the SMPR above is a sample only. Feel free to tailor your SMPR to fit your brand’s needs. You many need to go bigger or smaller. It’s entirely up to you.

Courtesy of Social Media Today.

The Art of Storytelling

[tweetmeme]

Fascinating presentation about the power and art of storytelling, something every marketeer should master.

Courtesy of Ted.com

Social Media is Important for SEO

Social Media Really Is Important to SEO

Social media definitely enters the SEO equation. “Effective social media management can be a tremendous source for generating buzz, those all-important inbound links and just plain direct referral traffic,” says Mike McDonald of WebProNews, as he discusses a recent interview he did with SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin.

Facebook

Copyblogger has an interesting article about how Facebook is “killing SEO.” I think that’s a bit sensationalist, but the points made by author Mike Wasylik are valid, nonetheless.

Michael Wasylik “The rise of Facebook creates a growing segment of the web that’s completely invisible to search engines – most of which, Facebook blocks – and can be seen only by logged-in Facebook users,” he says. “So as Facebook becomes ever larger, and keeps more users inside its walled garden, your web site will need to appear in Facebook’s feeds and searches or you will miss out on an important source of web traffic.”

“What’s the best way to keep your links in front of Facebook users?” asks Wasylik. “The ever-more-important linkbait strategy.”

The term linkbait sometimes carries a negative connotation, but generally, again, it’s just good solid content that people want to link to.

Twitter

Twitter has gone from a confusing (to many) communication tool/social network, to that plus a way to  find information in real time. This means that it is a good idea to tweet regularly. When someone performs a search on Twitter, they are searching right now. The fresher the tweet, the more likely they are to see it.

Mihaela Lica But Twitter’s search implications are not limited to its own search. “Although Twitter is a social media tool meant to create community and relationships, it does have an SEO value,” says Mihaela Lica at Sitepoint. “For example, Twitter can affect positively your Alexa rankings by sending visitors to your pages. Usage data is a sign of quality for Google and all the other search engines. If you can make people come to your site via Twitter, then this is an SEO advantage you cannot afford to miss.”

With both Twitter and Facebook, good content that you create will be shared. The links within the social networks may not boost your rankings, but they can lead to more links outside of them. Either way, it is added exposure.

Wrapping Up

The roots of search engine optimization really haven’t changed that much. Creating great and fresh content is still your best bet. That’s what people will share, and that’s what will be considered relevant for searches it pertains to. For some great SEO tips and items of note, check out these recent articles:

What’s the Future of Search?

SEO Checklist with Vanessa Fox
SEO Ranking Factors for 2009Could Comments Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings?

Google Improves Flash Indexing Capabilities

Google Changes to No-Follow on the Horizon?Are SEOs the “Bad Guys?”

Google vs. Bing – Side by Side

Courtesy of WebProNews.