The Publicist’s Guide to Twitter
Twitter is not just for the irrational all-hours ramblings of the world’s loose cannon personalities; it can be a very resourceful tool for your public brand and for PR professionals.
Twitter, at its most basic, is a tool that helps people stay on top of the latest news and “follow” sources of instant information. As a publicist, you can use the social media platform to stay in touch with journalists, share your work, reach out to sources and build your community of clients (both existing and potential), media and peers.
During this time of distancing and isolation, people are increasingly turning to a wide variety of social media sites and apps to seek comfort and a sense of connection. On Twitter in particular, where conversations are boiled down into 280 characters of bite-size information, you’ll find celebrities, journalists, editors, business moguls, the President, your neighbor…you get the idea…eager to share their thoughts and opinions with the world. So join the conversation and make Twitter work for you!
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Build an Online Relationship with Journalists
Twitter can be a great way to reach out to a reporter, build a relationship and keep track of his or her beat. A simple scroll through a reporter’s feed will give you a feel for his or her interests and coverage. Pay attention to headlines, learn who they are and build your rapport from there. Along the way, you’ll likely glean some valuable insights into what they’re working on at the moment and how they preferred to be pitched.
The following editors took to Twitter to share their thoughts on receiving pitches about CBD in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — something that some reporters are very open to, but others apparently aren’t. As soon as you come across this kind of tweet, you quickly learn who you should and should not reach out to about a particular topic.
2. Follow Relevant Hashtags
Just as you can follow someone on Twitter, you can (and should!) also follow hashtags. Hashtags allow users to scan topics and see all the latest social media chatter on the subject. Journalists often search hashtags while seeking story ideas. Effective use of a hashtag linking your news to a larger trend might just result in a media placement. (Tip: Keep it simple — don’t use more than two hashtags.)
3. Join the Conversation
Whether you’re connecting with your peers, clients or journalists get in there and strike up a conversation. By responding to someone’s post, you show them that their feedback is important and that you’re listening.
Most media outlets have a presence on Twitter, so be sure to follow those that are relevant to your industry to stay updated on news and trending stories. Find something interesting to comment on? “Retweet with comment” to share the tweet and become a resource yourself.
Funnel some of the same energy you use to interact with other people’s posts into creating your own content. Tweet about your latest updates, blog posts and news, and integrate images, videos, and links to add visual components to your post. This will also help boost your social engagement. Make sure to use relevant hashtags to catch more eyes and target the people who are involved and interested in the topic. When relevant, tag the people and organizations that may take interest in and retweet your post.
5. Use Twitter Lists
Avoid getting overwhelmed with all of the latest tweets rolling in at once. Instead, create and organize lists to see the latest tweets from everyone you follow, and prioritize them. These can be private or available for the public to view and can help you monitor the chatter on specific people/companies/industries. Some helpful lists include celebrities to seed products, influencers to engage, customers or VIPs, media outlets, etc.
For more tips on using Twitter for PR, check out these do’s and don’ts of Twitter. Konnect is also hosting a live Q&A on Instagram this Friday, May 8th with our digital marketing team — stop by to ask your questions and gain some additional insights.