More than 500 million tweets are posted each day. Cat GIFs, political rants, travel updates… You name it, people tweet about it. The good news for PRs and digital marketers is that of these 500 million daily tweets, many are posted by journalists, bloggers and people that you probably want access to, making Twitter the perfect platform to make yourself seen.
Journalists and bloggers love Twitter. It’s where they hang out. In fact, Adweek reported that journalists make up 25% of all verified accounts on Twitter. They use it to promote their work, complain about stuff, rave about stuff… the lot. As a PR, there’s a few good reasons why you should be hanging out there too and making sure these people are present on your Twitter timeline.
Use Twitter as a professional diary. Talk about the new marketing campaigns that have caught your eye, weigh in on industry subjects and establish yourself as someone who knows their stuff, whatever that stuff might be. The more interesting and relevant you are, the more you’ll attract the people you want to attract.
As mentioned, a lot of important people are active on Twitter. That means free access to the people that you’d like access to. When you’re really struggling to find contact details for that elusive journalist, just search their name on Twitter and you’ll likely find them. If you’re really lucky, they’ll have their email address in their bio.
Failing that, engage with their daily tweets and make sure they become familiar with your username. Like that picture of their avocado on toast. Retweet that inspirational Monday morning quote. It’s a great way to get yourself seen without bombarding someone with boring emails. Even if you don’t have an agenda or an end goal, use Twitter to reach out to one new contact every other day. When you do eventually want to work with them or pitch to them, you won’t just be another PR in their inbox.
Whatever your field of work, you don’t want to be seen as stagnant and close-minded. The more active you can be on Twitter – and social media in general – the better. Take yourself out of your company bubble for 20 minutes per morning and see what’s going on in your industry. Follow your favourite publications and brands to stay up to date, engaging with their content and educating yourself.
It’s also great for sharing what you’ve been doing. Shout about good coverage, creative campaigns and any cool content you’ve been working on. Again, it gives you credibility and puts you and your business in a positive light. Similarly, work on building up those followers. The more you’re following and engaging with other users, this should happen naturally. It’s not all about the numbers, but a healthy follower list will only make you look more desirable to work with.
You can use Twitter to pitch an idea, or to request contact details, but it’s not a good idea to use it to follow up any previous contact. And it’s probably best to stay away from anyone’s DM’s, unless you really need to. The trick is to be seen, but not to be intrusive.
The most time consuming and often frustrating part of the link building process is prospecting. You could send hours compiling lists of websites and bloggers you’d love to work with, hours more emailing said websites and bloggers, and only receive one or two responses. Plus, sometimes it can just lack that personal touch.
Reaching out over Twitter is much more informal and casual than cold emails. The influencer in question can get a better idea of who you are and what you’re about. Use hashtags such as #bloggerjobs, #bloggerswanted and #journorequests to find relevant people or opportunities for you or your customers. Got a project that you need a finance blogger to work with you on? Tweet it out with the right hashtag and see who gets in touch. In a perfect world, you’ll get an opportunity secured and gain a new contact to work with.
Twitter is a super useful tool for any industry. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming and it’s a pretty fun and laidback way of sourcing and maintaining new industry contacts and keeping up with all the latest goings-on. Get yourself signed up and get yourself seen.