Social Media Marketing Success Doesn’t Have To Be A Hunt For A Four-Leaf Clover

Four Leaf Clover Social Media

This is a guest post by Stacey Acevero.

The rise of social media has created all sorts of new opportunities for small business marketers to get the word out, but it has presented challenges too.

The days of sending press releases to media outlets with the hopes of being lucky enough to get some coverage are long gone, morphing into constant opportunities to catch the next social media sharing phenomenon.

Today, it’s not enough to hit just those traditional media outlets.

You need to create a social media survival kit to help your business’ content fly on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and countless niche sites across the digital horizon.

Take heart, shareable content is not as rare (or hard to create) as you might think. With just a few tweaks, your content could be the talk of the sharing community.

Try these four tips to help make your press releases more social media friendly:

  1. Understand your audiences. You’ve heard it before: make sure you are writing content geared toward your audience. Before you can write for them, you must understand who makes up that group. It’s more than just the specific prospects you are trying to appeal to; search engines are your readers too. This is where search engine optimization comes in. Make your content highly rank-able with optimized keywords and phrases. The computerized audiences will love them – but don’t forget that your primary readers are still human.
  1. Provide opportunities for sharing. Incorporate buttons that will allow readers to share on a number of networks. You may have thought of Facebook, Twitter and good-old-fashioned email, but you should also include sites such as:
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • Reddit

Making your content easy and compelling to share is just one more way to motivate readers to spread your word.

  1. Tap into viral trends. All those videos, photographs and jingles floating across the web are making the rounds for a reason.   Take a look at the top memes (virally spread ideas) and ask yourself, what can I do to make my content more playful, provocative or just plain different?

You may find that a simple video aimed at a niche site is the crux to a viral campaign that spreads to networks everywhere.

  1. Use your press release as a palette. Don’t think of your press release solely as a way to get out information. Put creativity into every element of your template by adding videos and photos to make the complete piece better positioned for social media marketing success.
  • Experiment with quirky or bold headlines
  • Use subtitles that ask questions or identify different takes on your topic
  • Use links, multimedia and photos to tell your story

Stay away from PR speaks; nobody has the time or interest to read it. Write like a storyteller and remember, there are millions of speed-readers on the net who skim content to determine readability.

Find a way to appeal to these scanners in an instant so they won’t just finish your press release, they’ll want to share it as well.

Think about the content you’ve been motivated to share. What about it drives you to let others in on the treasure you’ve found?

Translate that to your press release. If it’s important,  interesting and valuable, then with a few touch-ups you can make it eminently shareable too.

Shareable = Social Media Marketing Success!

So, your turn – how are you finding success in social media? Let’s hear your best practices below!

Stacey AceveroAbout the author: Stacey Acevero is the social media community manager of PRWeb, where she engages the online community through PRWeb social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn daily with articles and conversation about PR, small businesses, SEO, social media and more. She is all about creative social media marketing ideas as well as building the PRWeb brand. Stacey also pens of some of PRWeb’s case studies. Connect with Stacey on Twitter at @SaceVero

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  1. markaylward says

    Hey Stacey

    I am not very familiar with press releases as I’ve not really understood how my content could be considered an “event”, so I have two questions. Can posts, articles and e-books be “release worthy” and when you say use your release as a palette, is there not a proper formatting protocol that would preclude one from placing pictures and graphics on a press release?

    Thanks for all the other ideas too!


    • sacevero says

      @markaylward Hey there Mark—Regular content itself such as blog posts shouldn’t be considered an event for a press release, but the release of an e-book I think is alright. Blog posts and other articles should be used to supplement your online content efforts. Reserve your press releases for company news, relating your product to a current trend/event, or an announcement about an event you may be attending or sponsoring. There are plenty of ways to make things that are seemingly boring more “newsworthy” and that includes putting an angle on your news. I have some examples here:

      3 Ideas For Press Release Content :

      Creating Newsworthy Content:

      and many more tips for your releases here:

      As for your formatting question–every press release distribution service has different features and templates that have basic similarities in the layout. At PRWeb, we encourage a multimedia and social media rich release that incorporates photos, video, and links to your social media accounts online. Playing with the format may get you attention, but it’s important to stick to the basics: Headline, summary, a body paragraph or two, a boilerplate, links, photos and a video if you have it. Have the photos and the video near the top or on the sidebars to capture reader attention.

      • markaylward says

        @sacevero Hey Stacey

        Thank you, that clarifies a great deal for me about press releases! I’m going to put some these into play.



  2. says

    Love this post Stacey.

    I am not in PR but I have had success for a small biz client getting publicity and coverage in Los Angeles by courting the outlets on Twitter. Re-tweeting some of their content. Including them when my client does something in their area. We have gotten everything from retweets to their followers to actual press coverage in local and more high profile press like the LA Times and OC Register.

    With Social being a people to people platform, instead of sending out a blind Press Release to a bunch of email address, you can make friends directly.

    • sacevero says

      @HowieSPM Social, like PR is primarily about creating relationships first before hunting for success or press! Glad to see you’ve been doing well with it!

  3. Cowbrough says

    Stacey couldn’t agree more. Media outlets are now more than familiar with the concept of multimedia news releases. Take this recent example we did for a client quick piece of video and still pictures along with audio for radio and sent out as a packaged multi media news release resulted in some great online and mainstream media coverage and really kicked off some conversation around social media forums this initiative.

  4. OpEdMarketing says

    Great post Stacey. I think what’s important is to understand is that social media is not just a “push” platform, you have to “pull” people towards your news or story as well by being actively engaged in communities, forums, and other relevant online spaces. I use a great service called PitchEngine for social media press releases, should check it out.

  5. fergusonsarah says

    Having a business needs so much luck and determination to achieve your goal.. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts.. Keep it up! :)

  6. says

    Great recap – and thanks for the extra links in your reply to @markaylward

    We don’t handle PR but play more in the social media marketing pool but it’s always good to learn more about the other aspects of promoting your business. AND it’s good to hear that you PR folks look at the target audience as ‘humans’ …. I’m always surprised how many companies out there still talk in PR-eze and like car salesmen.

  7. says

    Hi! I visit this site. Thank you, that clarifies a great deal for me about press releases! It is relay a best.

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  8. says

    Very interesting article and I love the title since social media marketing actually isn’t jsut about luck – I feel its about understanding your consumers and platforms and making them work for you. Being a part of the industry and with a marketing company that does extensive social media marketing, MagicBuz is the company, I make it a point to be as savvy as possible when it comes to what’s out there. I can’t just rely on Facebook or Twitter to start conversations about my client’s porudct – I have to use video sites and blogs and any other site where organic and geniuene conversations are taking place. Companies like MagicBuz have to be savvy when it comes to social media considering our clinets come to use because they don’t have the experience.

  9. says

    Dear Stacy

    Great post, I failed to notice that it was a guest post and thought it was one of Danny’s while reading: Well Done! My intent is to incorporate multimedia into my posts more for 2012

    Of the other sharing sites: Tumblr, Stumble upon, digg, delicious and reddit, do you have a favorite or one you recommend? Is this just a personal preference or does one of these pack more punch?


    • says

      I do that deliberately – if folks miss the “Guest” part, my job at sounding smarter has been done. 😉

      From my part, I prefer Posterous for the multi-sharing options; Stumbleupon for the fast traffic hit (don’t look for loyal readers from there, though); and BufferApp for managing my scheduled tweets re. content I’d like to share.

      Hope that helps, Rajka!

      • says

        Thanks for the additional tips. Will check into the posterous. I just read about the Buffer App on one of Kikolani’s posts. The link is open on my computer to review!

  10. says

    Fantastic tips, Stacey! You’ve done an excellent job of demonstrating how traditional marketing and PR strategies are quickly evolving with the rise of social media. Thank you for circulating this information in such an accessible fashion!