How to use Twitter to get press coverage
Twitter is the social media platform to reach out to journalists if you’re looking for press coverage for your pet business.
This week I’ve been doing a PR My Pet Biz Challenge and engaging on Twitter has been a big part of that.
I’ve found pet businesses are somewhat divided when it comes to using Twitter.
Some absolutely love it and use it regularly, others struggle to get to grips with it.
Data from Social Media Today has revealed the average social media user spends 58 minutes a day on Facebook and only three on Twitter.
This influences how much time we spend on a platform and I do this myself – I know my audience is mostly on Facebook so that’s where I hang out.
But that’s not to say being on there is a waste of time.
Having some presence on Twitter is key if you’re looking to connect with journalists and get press coverage
You don’t have to be on there all day every day but checking in a few times a week will certainly throw up some good opportunities.
To save time, you can schedule some tweets in a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite so there’s some activity on your account.
I’m going to share six easy to follow tips on using Twitter to get press coverage for your pet business
Create a list of publications you’d like to appear in and follow them
Publicity isn’t just about newspapers, magazines and TV stations.
Having a blogger or influencer write about your product or service can be helpful too.
Write a wishlist of where you would like to feature and spend some time researching.
If it’s traditional media, you might find one reporter on the newspaper or magazine writes regularly about animals, so they would be the person to follow.
If it’s a blogger or influencer you would like to connect with then find them on Twitter and take a look at the kind of things that interest them.
Put all your media contacts into a list
One of the things I noticed in the challenge was that people said they found Twitter hard to keep up with.
Things move fast on there so one way to make sure you get to see the posts the journalists put out is to put them in a list.
Then you can check in on the list every now and then and only see their Tweets.
Create ‘saved searches’ on Twitter
One really easy way to get media coverage is through #journorequest and if you’re in America try #haro which is ‘help a reporter out.’
I have #journorequest and dogs and #journorequest and pets as my saved searches because I try to help other writers with pet stories.
You could do the same, or maybe have your hometown too. Also, think about terms your ideal customer might put into Twitter to find you.
If you were a dog walker in Chester, you could use ‘dog walker’ and ‘Chester’ then if someone is asking for a recommendation, you can reply to them.
Think of Twitter as being like a party where you can engage with journalists
People often think it’s difficult to approach journalists or to get into conversations with them.
That’s why Twitter is so brilliant. They are there, talking about what interests them and asking people to help them with their articles.
You can jump in and engage at any point you like. You don’t need an expensive PR person to introduce you, you can do it yourself.
Become the helpful and friendly person whose name they remember.
Then when you make an approach or pitch via e mail you’ll already have done the relationship building groundwork.
Take a look at who likes and replies to their Tweets
One of the examples I used on the challenge was when I shared a photo of some personalised treats Patch was sent for his birthday.
My friend (also a journalist) had ordered them from yappy.com so I tagged them in the reply.
Lots of my followers are dog owners and many liked and commented on it.
The yappy.com social media or marketing team could look through the people who had liked my Tweet.
As some of my followers are journalists, if one of them had liked the post, it would be an opportunity for them to engage with them.
Remember none of this is stalkerish
Whenever I talk about using Twitter to track down journalists people ask if it’s stalkerish, and please be assured it’s not.
It’s the platform where journalists hang out doing their research and looking for help.
So it’s absolutely fine to pop and help them. That’s what they want you to do!
I hope I’ve explained just how much there is to be gained by spending an hour or so each week on Twitter.
It’s a free and easy way to get press coverage.
The key thing is to give value. Treat Twitter as you would a networking meeting.
You wouldn’t barge up to someone and say ‘buy my stuff,’ so treat journalists in the same way.
Don’t rock up and say, ‘You need to write about me.’ Give value and you will get it back in droves!
I am so chuffed to say there have already been some great wins from Twitter from my September challenge.
If you follow these tips let me know how you get on. I’m @rachelspenceruk on all social media platforms.
And if you’d like to join in the next 5 Day PR My Pet Biz Challenge you can get on the wait list here: PR My Pet Biz Challenge.
Finally, if you want to read a really inspiring story about how Twitter helped a petpreneur, check out How Kerry Jordan’s National Dog Photography Day went viral.
Hi, I’m Rachel, a freelance journalist and PR and content consultant and crazy dog lady!
I’ve written so many stories about animals and pet brands that I wrote a book on how pet entrepreneurs can do their own PR.
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