Maximizing ROI: How to Share Your News Release on Facebook

February 29, 2016

By Jahana E. Martin, Newsroom Supervisor

Whew! The news release you’ve worked on for weeks just hit the wire. Job done, right? Twitter news on PewWell, not if you want to maximize the return on your investment (ROI). A recent study reveals that 46% of social network users share and discuss news on social platforms, with 64% of U.S. adults — 30% of the U.S. population — receiving their news via Facebook.

Facebook makes it easy to share news, but simply posting your release to Facebook versus having an actual strategy will mean the difference between reaching your intended audience and being Facebook roadkill.

So, what steps should you take to maximize your ROI?

Start crafting your post.
The first thing to do after distributing your press release through a newswire service and monitoring it online is to insert the URL to your release into a new Facebook post.

What will make your readers pause in their timeline to read your press release?
Simply put: your headline. Make it good.

After you insert the URL, your article will be visible in the post. Replace the URL with a headline that grabs readers’ attention and makes them want to share it. The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals suggests a good length for a Facebook headline is 90 -120 characters because it is easier to share and can be rapidly scanned as an email subject line.

Here are some tips to tailor your headline for Facebook.

  • Solve a problem.
    • “MEGA Shows How to Triumph in the Digital Revolution“
      “Tips to Triple Your Followers in 10 Days “
  • Pose a question.
    • “What is responsive design and do you really need it?”
    • “Why Do Start Ups Fail?”
  • Create a sense of urgency.
    • “10 Things you must do Today to Save your 401(k) “
    • “Before you go the ATM, Know This”
  • If you’re in a pinch, and don’t have time to craft a new headline, just use your news release subhead.

Many times, the subhead is more specific and could be more useful for your social media audience.

  • Headline: “It’s Time Again For Our Summer Loan Sale-a-Bration”
  • Subhead: “Refinance your mortgage at an unbelievable 2.85%!”

Is your multimedia compelling for social media?bw fb post with image
If you want to change the image that uploaded with the post, now is a good time to add the new image with the “Upload Image” function. Your picture, graphic or video should be engaging and relevant. Links with thumbnails and teasers receive 20% more clicks than links without. Which leads me to my next tip…

Be a Tease.
Your headline made an impression, but viewers must want to read your release, so give them a little teaser.

Here, under your new headline, add the most compelling data right up front to increase activity and shares. This allows you to tailor your content for your targeted Facebook audience and show why your press release is relevant to them.  The reader is now incentivized to click on the link back to the press release and also to share it with others.

Find your audience.
Your content is ready, now it is time to pinpoint your audience. FB targetingFor a fee, take advantage of Facebook’s “Boost Post” feature. First, you need to answer for yourself: Who is your ideal reader and what is your goal?

  • Goal: Enhance your existing audience. Use the “People similar to people who like your page” boost.
  • Goal: Find new supporters. Use the “People you choose through targeting” boost to select the location, age, gender and interests of your target audience.

You can use your Insights (explained below) to select the age, gender, location, relationship and educational status, language and interests of the user you want to reach.

Perfect timing.
This seems obvious: The perfect time to post on Facebook is when your audience is on Facebook. Paying attention to timing pays off. Posting on Facebook between 1 – 4 p.m. can result in the highest average click through rates. So, how do you find out when your audience is on Facebook?

when to use FB

Best times to post for your existing Fans
Once your page has accumulated 30 likes, you are able to use the “View Insights” tool located at the top of your Facebook page.  Click on the “Posts” tab, then the “When your Fans are Online” tab.  You can use this information to pinpoint the days and times your fans are online.

Best days to post in general – what the experts say
According to What are the Best Times to Post on Social Media:

Best day to post:

  • 86% of Facebook posts are published Monday – Friday, with engagement peaking on Thursday and Friday;
  • Engagement rates fall 3.5% below average for posts published Monday – Wednesday

Best time of day to post:

  • In general, the optimal time to post is early afternoon in your target’s time zone.
  • To get the most shares: 1 p.m.
  • To get the most clicks: 3 p.m.

You don’t have to schedule your days and nights around Facebook. Simply schedule your posts at the optimal time for your target audience and watch the results.

Using Facebook to reach your target audience with relevant, shareable content at the right time is an easy, effective way to get more out of your press release.  A user that promotes your brand by sharing your post can spend 13% more than the average customer, and 84% of consumers trust earned media.

You can’t afford not to have a tactical approach when you share your news release on Facebook. So, what’s your strategy?

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Maximizing ROI: How to Share Your News Release on LinkedIn

February 29, 2016

By Jahana Martin, Newsroom Supervisor

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, so chances are you already have a LinkedIn profile and use it to network with colleagues and prospective employers. You probably have read articles that your connections have shared or shared your own industry news.

Its popularity is no surprise when 93% of business-to-business marketers have rated LinkedIn as the top business-to-business social media lead generation source. If you issue news releases, you should use LinkedIn to increase the visibility of your company’s news, increasing the opportunity for internal and external audiences to see and act upon it.

How to Publish News Releases on LinkedIn
The first thing to do is log in.  Then get the URL of the news you want to share, and an image you can use to catch the eye of LinkedIn users.

LI updates

On your LinkedIn page, click “Share an update.”  Copy and paste the URL of your published press release into this box.  LinkedIn will automatically insert the news release headline in the Title field, the beginning of the release text in the Description field and to the left, the first picture associated with your news release.

You could push publish now, but to drive even higher interest in your news, try the following tips.

Instead of simply pasting the URL into the box, craft an introduction or teaser to your news release in this section. Use the title of your news release, or customize the title to be more relevant to this specific online community.

LinkedIn allows 600 characters, so try to incorporate a question or a call to action, and a relevant keyword or two. Some examples include:

  • Why do #PR Pros use Business Wire? Watch and find out. (Business Wire)
  • It’s CPI day! Use the Atlanta Fed’s myCPI tool to find out how you compare to the national average. (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
  • Do you see a lot of recruiter traffic in your LinkedIn inbox? How do you manage your current employment during a LinkedIn job hunt? We’re asking these questions and more on Twitter! (The Coca-Cola Company)

To find relevant keywords that are meaningful to your connections, observe the news for the week, what’s trending, and hot topics on your company (and your competitor’s) blog and online newsroom.    Use the words and phrases your clients and prospects would use when describing your news to increase the impact and potential shares and inbound clicks from your LinkedIn update.

Next, if necessary, revise the description and photo that LinkedIn automatically pulled in from your article URL.

Description:  In this section, you want to revise the text that LinkedIn automatically pulled in to drive even more interest in your news. Some suggestions would be to craft a new lead in or to copy and paste the sentences from your news release that most succinctly tell your story. Be brief, as LinkedIn does limit the amount of text you can add in here.

Picture:  If there is a graphic more suitable for LinkedIn than what was distributed within your press release, you can swap out your multimedia asset by clicking the “x” next to the current graphic and uploading your new image. Your photo should be no larger than 100 MB and you can’t resize it.when-is-the-best-time-to-post-on-social-media-LinkedInWhen to Post on LinkedIn
Because LinkedIn is mainly for professionals, most users post on weekdays during business hours. There are a variety of studies outlining what time is best for news sharing on LinkedIn.  The consensus is weekdays are best:

  • Midweek posting is optimal from 5 – 6 p.m.

or

  • The best times to post are Monday – Friday between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

or

If 19% of U.S. adults use LinkedIn, and consumers who refer friends spend more and refer business equal to 45% of the money they spent, then it makes sense to have those users sharing your news on LinkedIn.

Follow these small steps to see big impact in the reach and action of your news release within this business oriented news site. Try these steps with your next release and let us know how much more activity you receive!

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16 Easy Ways to Fix Your PR Program for 2016

December 28, 2015

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

In the last year, PR has changed. Drastically. If you are still distributing text only news releases, aren’t measuring your inbound traffic, not leveraging the power of social shares or are still thinking that media relations is a mystery, you have a lot to learn before we move into 2016.

2016 is the year of content amplification. As companies create more and more news and brand content, they are realizing that there is no such thing as good content, only seen content. Is your content being seen?

As 2015 comes to a close, we at Business Wire want to share the many ways you can utilize public relations and newswires to amplify your news content to ensure you are reaching your entire targeted audience, ultimately increasing impact and ROI.

Introducing our brand new weekly news series, BizWireTV, an embarrassment of riches.

9 PR Hacks to Increase Impact of Your PR Program

Optimizing Headlines

 4 Times Newswires Resulted in Big Success

Where your news is made

What is Business Wire? Why Amplify Your News?

We at Business Wire will continue to monitor and share emerging technical and behavioral trends that impact news distribution and news consumption in 2016. Stay ahead of the game by signing up for our blog RSS feed or social accounts: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIN. 2016 is going to be a great year for PR professionals. We’re excited to be in the trenches with you.

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Why Do PR Pros Distribute Their News Releases over Business Wire?

December 15, 2015

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

Earlier this year, Business Wire attended the 2015 International PRSA Conference. This event hosted thousands of communication pros from around the world for 3 days of discussing PR strategies and tactics and 3 nights of fun, food and, of course, networking.

This year, our team asked several attendees what newswire they used, and why. After all, we know the role we play in increasing the visibility and access to company news stories, but do leading PR pros know?

The answer is yes!!  So who do Allison Ilg, Ilg Communications and Tracy Schario, APR, The Optical Society, rely on to distribute their news releases? Business Wire. Why? Watch the video to find out:

Business Wire can increase the visibility of any good news program. Want to learn more about us? Send us a note today and let’s discuss how our newswire services can help you meet, and exceed your communication goals.

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Corporate strategy, content and philanthropy top discussions at the World Business Forum

December 2, 2015

By Zach Wallens, Specialist, Global Disclosure & Financial Reporting Services

Whether you’re an account executive at a boutique PR firm or a senior investor relations officer (IRO) for a Fortune 500 company, storytelling is likely among your most fundamental job functions. All companies, regardless of their industry, have long communicated stories to customers, investors, internal stakeholders and media. As we adopt various digital technologies, the platforms on which these narratives are consumed continues to change. To thrive in this evolving environment, we can often learn from those who are truly innovators –business leaders, entertainers or, sometimes, people whose profession falls somewhere in between.Panel-7-Herminia-IbarraEarlier this month I had the opportunity to attend the World Business Forum in New York, where, for two days, thousands of executives from around the globe gathered to absorb knowledge from some of the world’s most renowned innovators. With a lineup of speakers that included Herminia Ibarram the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning, and Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD, Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, the conference certainly provided the audience with thought-provoking business ideas, stories and laughs. The theme of this year’s conference was storytelling – specifically, how and why companies should disseminate their unique, compelling stories.

The event hosted by World of Business Ideas (WOBI), and its speakers lectured about wide-ranging topics, and some, in particular, are of definite interest to Business Wire clients. Here are the top business trends and strategies discussed during the conference:

  1. Brands must communicate their stories using several platforms and multimedia is no longer optional

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. news releases. blogs, email campaigns. In today’s business world, nearly all PR and marketing professionals are familiar with these storytelling channels. However, there is a distinct difference between distributing content via various platforms, and having high audience engagement. According to Facebook’s Carolyn Everson, successful brands don’t just tell their stories, they show them to consumers.Panel-9-Carolyn-Everson“Billions of photos are shared and uploaded, now we’re seeing an explosion of video. Eight billion video views a day on Facebook alone. Every time we estimate video growth, we under estimate it,” Everson said. “Brands love to tell their stories through sight, sound and motion.”

Because mobile devices and apps are such an integral part of consumers’ lives and purchasing decisions, companies must also consider how they can integrate these platforms with their core products, Everson said, noting that Facebook now adheres to a “mobile first” philosophy.

Kevin Spacey echoed many of Everson’s points, particularly her message about businesses needing to convey their stories using new platforms. He also stated producing the best content is still the most important.Panel-13-Kevin-Spacey

“What is it that really elevates these companies to be able to hover above the competition? I tell you, it is the story they are able to communicate, and when we tell better stories, our businesses have a better chance to provide a memorable experience and achieve success,” said Spacey, an Academy Award winner and star of Netflix’s first original show, House of Cards.

“The good news is,” Spacey continued, “with the emergence of new tools and new technology, I think there has actually never been a better moment to make vivid stories that stand out from the crowd.

“The storytellers who thrive are the ones who understand how to use these platforms to elevate their stories.”

Storytelling and content creation were two of the major topics throughout the conference, but other presenters, each from a different industry, spoke more about developing a corporate culture, collaboration and philanthropy.

  1. To build a successful, innovative company, it’s imperative that executives invest in their employees and promote a collaborative work environment.

Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, stated that for organizations to achieve sustainable success, companies must invest in their employees, through salary raises, wellness programs and affordable health benefits.Panel-11-Mark-BertoliniAccording to Bertolini, human capital is a company’s scarcest resource, and the ability to maintain engaged, front-line employees is vital to success within any industry. This sentiment was reiterated by Walter Isaacson, who has written biographies of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. Jobs, Isaacson said, once told him that the team at Apple was the most important product he ever built.

Isaacson further discussed the lessons he gained writing about the world’s most celebrated innovators, and he centered on the necessity for leaders to encourage collaboration among employees. “Innovation relies on collaboration,” he said. “It takes teams of people, rubbing up against each other, to make true imagination into real innovation.”Panel-12-Walter-Isaacson (1)Several of the speakers, including Richard Branson, said that successful business leaders hire employees who are better than themselves. The Virgin Group founder also wasn’t shy about his hatred of ties, his belief that employees’ dressing comfortably spurs creativity, and that Virgin’s corporate culture is an important part of its achievements.

“All a company is, is a group of people,” Branson said. “What sets Virgin Atlantic off against British Airways is the people on the plane, it’s their attitude. So we try to find leaders from other companies who genuinely love people.”

  1. To meet climate change and global development goals, the business community must get more involved.

Branson and Everson each spoke extensively about the philanthropic endeavors of Virgin and Facebook, respectively. The business community, Branson said, has made significant progress in its aim to curtail climate change and develop impoverished countries, but much more is still required.Panel-10-Sir-Richard-Bronson“If business people can join with politicians and social workers and adopt programs, and we’ll have enormous fun overcoming those problems, I really do think we can overcome most of the problems of this world so that our children and grandchildren can have as wonderful life as we’ve all had,” he said.

Everson cited Facebook’s internet.org, an initiative to provide internet access to the more than four billion people without it. Solving this problem, she said, would advance education, healthcare and business in developing nations.

“We believe connectivity is also a human right,” Everson said. “Because we can’t leave four billion people behind as we all continue to have access to information at our fingertips.”

You can see why Business Wire was thrilled to be a media sponsor for this event. These business tips and strategies were the main takeaways from the World Business Forum. Most interesting was that even with speakers from highly different industries and backgrounds, many shared similar opinions regarding the importance of storytelling and of embracing new content platforms. This advice holds especially true for PR and IR professionals, who must regularly communicate their companies’ stories, in press releases, videos and/or social posts. Brands are constantly telling stories to a wide array of audiences, and as the event’s speakers stressed, multimedia distributed over multiple platforms is essential for an effective communications strategy.

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Note:  Scribed images courtesy of @LudicCreatives. To learn more about visual scribing, rich pictures and infographics, visit their website at www.ludiccreatives.com.


Learn the Newswire’s Role in Making Your News with this Visual Journey

November 4, 2015

What role exactly does a newswire play in the journey of your news? An announcement makes an expedition before going public and influencing potential clients and consumers. That expedition involves many pit stops, including the addition of multimedia and determining the proper circuits to best reach interested parties.

Business Wire created a video to demonstrate the exact journey your news takes before becoming news.

You can view that video here and learn about each step in detail by reading Serena Ehrlich’s breakdown of How a News Release Becomes a News Story.

Serena Ehrlich is the Director of Social and Evolving Media at Business Wire and was one of the authors of Let’s Get Visual: Multimedia and the News Release, a free white paper identifying the science and trends behind multimedia’s impact on the success of news releases. Download this paper now: Let’s Get Visual!


How to Perfect Your Headlines

July 20, 2015

by Agnes Deleuse, Senior Marketing Specialist, Business Wire Paris

How to Perfect Your Headlines

Photo: startupstockphotos.com

Headlines are made to draw in readers.  They are bait to capture their attention.  On newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media, and, of course, press releases, this is what you see first. According to a recent survey by Copyblogger, 80% of readers don’t read beyond the headline. Thus, your headline better be a catchy one if you want your audience to remember you.

Here are a few tips from Business Wire to help you craft the perfect headline.

1/ Provide real information
No jargon.  Your headline should imply an interesting and relevant question.  You can include figures/data.

2/ Opt for short phrasing
It is a necessity.  Today, titles must be short. Think social media. Write headlines like a tweet or a post. Also, remember that if your release is going to be translated into foreign languages, English is one third shorter than French, for instance!

3/ Write your release first and finish by crafting the headline
It will help you focus on the main message you want to highlight.  You want to target the brain of your reader.  Don’t focus on news release discovery at this stage. To do this, integrate the keywords your audiences use to find your company information in the sub-headline or the first paragraph.

4/ Write at least three headlines, adjusting the order of the words and see which one has more impact.
Work like a sculptor. Add words, remove them, change them, move them around.  You can test the headlines on your colleagues.

5/ Think like a journalist!
If you want your news to catch a journalist’s attention, write a headline that is snappy, informative.  To think like a journalist is also a way to approach a subject the way a journalist would.  Journalists like it when they sometimes just have to copy and paste headlines and body texts directly from a press release!

Quality content, including well-written headlines, contributes to the entire process of delivering information to your right audience.

For additional information on how to craft an effective news release, click here:

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Each week we share information relevant to modern communications strategies and tactics.  Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!


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