Using social media to leverage press

So, now that you’re growing your online profile via social media – how do you actually leverage press coverage from it? As your profile grows, you’ll naturally get more attention and be on more people’s minds. But if you’re writing a post in response to a new story, tag BBC and the Guardian and the Telegraph (for instance) on Instagram, or mention them on Twitter, at the end of your tweet. Remember, these publications are always looking for stories and comment/opinions.

Follow all the editors, journalists, newsrooms, radio stations. As I mentioned earlier – keep an eye on the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter. Put yourself forward if journalists are looking for case studies and make it known that you’re available for comment as soon as a story breaks. When you have a substantial following, you’ll be viewed as an expert of sorts; the media will be keen to get your view – but also to reach your audience.

When Carrie Anne Roberts (@mre.soeur) discovered Old Navy had ripped off one her t-shirt designs, she tagged that company and told the story to all her followers. It was obviously shit that a big company was making money from a design so clearly poached from her but she at least got some good press from it, as stories like this and this were published online. She created a stir by calling out Old Navy, quite rightly. But she also engaged her followers and the press in a challenging business situation she was facing.

If you create a post on social media and it gets lots of traction, this means you’re writing about something that matters to people. In week 1, I mentioned the piece I pitched to Metro. That was inspired by a tweet I wrote that took off (about my grandma feeling lonely and being ignored in coffee shops). It got 89 retweets and 162 likes. I linked to the tweet in the pitch, explaining that this was clearly an issue that resonated with people , and I expect that gave impetus to my pitch. So if you write a popular post/tweet, on a particular issue or challenge, think about contacting the press. They may well think it makes a good story.

If you’re posting something that isn’t news-related but that a particular publication might be interested in – like a new product or service you’ve developed – don’t be afraid to tag them. You may well reach them at exactly the moment they’re putting together a gift guide and buying list. You are basically using social media to make sure as many people as possible know who you are, what you do and what you can offer.

I’ve written an article about how to grow a loyal Instagram following that you might find useful.