I know. It’s hard to get excited about Spring when most of us are social distancing and working from home, but with this extra time you can focus internally and Spring Clean your PR, Content Marketing and Social Media.
I offer lots of advice to clients and potential clients on PR, Content Marketing & Social Media. Right now it is very important to make sure you are communicating clearly, to the appropriate audiences, with the right messages, checking tone, and frequency.
Hopefully communicating virtually is not a new experience for you or your brand and social media is not something you do once a day or once a week – it is something that you have embraced as part of your normal mode of communication.
Whether diving in because you are in a virtual-only phase or as a seasoned digital communications pro, your Public Relations, Content Marketing, and Social Media should be a match to your real personality and your company’s brand. As we wade our way through all of these economic and business changes, many business people may be struggling with new technologies. Whether you are totally up to speed or new to marketing now is a great time to get organized and settle on a plan for the remainder of the year.
One thing that I do annually on LinkedIn is to cull my connections. Any connection who has not responded to me or engaged with me for a year is removed. I’m not mad, I just really need to hang out with people who care and want to be engaged. This is not the same approach that I use for all social media platforms, just a specific Spring cleaning task for LinkedIn. For example, Twitter is different for me. I follow a lot of journalists and I want to stay up to date on their news, so I will follow someone without expecting a follow-back or any engagement. Like Anderson Cooper does not have time to tweet with me, am I right?
LinkedIn is a specific group of people that either I have worked with, work in the same industry, or possibly want to work with me. Since I rarely request connections, most are people who asked me to connect. I’m so happy to do that but if you ask to connect then ignore me for a year, what was the point? Plus social media is not all about engagement. Well, it is but also about doing business. At some point, I need to get hired, sell my services, get people to buy my stuff, or generate leads and traffic. LinkedIn is the best place to do that so a group of people who ignore me is not helpful for my business.
When doing this Spring cleaning activity, there will always be a couple people that within minutes of me removing the connection will pop back in to re-request connection. I sit there scratching my head because this is a person who never responded to my messages, never engaged with my content but somehow wants me to remain a connection.
Spring cleaning your LinkedIn Groups is a good idea too! The biggest lesson that I have learned is to focus and minimize. Being a member of 39 groups does not necessarily mean more contacts, referrals or projects. I have reduced my groups to one or two in each key category and then focus on being an active, contributing member to those groups. I have made excellent connections and raised my professional profile.
For Twitter, I have different following rules than I have for other platforms because I have my account set to public mode. My goal with social media is always to engage with people, so on Twitter, I rarely follow companies. The one exception is media outlets as the vast majority of people that I follow work in the media. When others follow me, I usually follow back if they are a person (real headline, real photo, real tweets.) If they are a brand or are simply there to sell a product or service, I place them on a list where I can still have easy access to their tweets. On Twitter, you will see that I occasionally post about my services but 80% of my content is conversations with others about what is happening in public relations, marketing communications, advertising, news, current events and the media in general.
For my other social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr) my profile is set to public and I allow anyone to follow me and I follow everyone back. The reason is that for each of those platforms there is very little conversation happening on my end. That may change in the future, but I have a post-like-go approach to each of those, including Facebook. The exception for most people would be to use Facebook for personal conversations, but I do not use the platform from a personal account, I only use it via my business page.
Tips for Spring Cleaning Your PR
Gather your media lists and update contacts
Segment contacts into super niche topics that you expect to cover in the coming months
Update your lists of government elected officials
Review your crisis planning (maybe you dusted that off already this month?)
Plan future media relations outreach with a calendar of topics and possible pitches
Research all of your targeted media outlets (they are closing and downsizing every day!)
Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Social Media
Update your profiles and photos
Look at your followers and lists (it is ok to unfollow people that do not engage or are not relevant to your brand)
Make sure you have updated the latest sharing and amplification tools so your accounts are connected
Maximize a scheduling tool for future posts, keeping in mind the general focus currently is on the coronavirus crisis
Find new accounts to follow and take the time to introduce yourself
Delete old or low-quality posts and photos
Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Content Marketing
Review older content and remove posts that are no longer relevant
Refresh and revise posts that are still relevant
Create a Content Calendar to plan and organize future content
Combine posts to create long-form content
Write 3 to 5 general pieces that will serve as your Evergreen content
Reach out to other websites and blogs to plan for shared curated content
Update your email lists, segmenting customers by type and by their level of engagement – not everyone needs to get every email
I know we’re in a bit of a crisis right now so I want to offer my services to those who are trying to keep their businesses afloat. Please reach out if you need help or have any questions related to public relations, how to create awareness for your business or how to promote your business during a crisis or economic downturn.
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You can read my blog PR From A to Z Group PR and get quick suggestions on how to manage public relations for your business. And you can visit me on social media to keep the conversation going.
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