Wondering how you can write a social media press release?
Social media is a tremendous communication tool.
In fact, it is among the top communication tools in today’s society.
Since your press release is a way of communicating with the public, leveraging social media to distribute your press release doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
And it’s not.
In fact, more brands than ever are using social media for marketing and for communicating with their audience, and social media press releases are a part of that.
Social media press release, social media news release, or social media news release, call it what you want to call it, because the meanings are pretty much the same.
But the when you write a press release, your goal is to inform the people about an event and a happening.
While business communication is changing quickly, and the way brands communicate with the public constantly evolving as a result of the internet, at least in this area, something that is still used by the vast majority of brands to get the message out is the press release.
Sure, the majority of press releases today are distributed and shared on the internet, but their purpose and format remain the same as they’ve aways been.
It is mainly the way they are distributed and shared with the public that has changed.
In this article, we’re digging into the art of social media press releases, how you write them, what to think about when writing them, and everything in between.
But before we can dig into the practical part of how you write a social media press release, it can be good to know what a social media press release is. And maybe even what a ”regular” press release is. Including what differentiates the traditional from social media press releases.
What is a press release? What is a Social Media Press Release? – What’s the difference between the two?
The purpose of a press release is simple.
A press release is defined as a written communication to the public from a brand that includes brief and specific information about a particular event or happening. In other words, the press release is a communication tool to inform the audience about something.
And that’s exactly what the purpose of a social media press release is, too. The main difference between them is that they are distributed in different places. Then, there are a few other differences, such as the way they are formatted to best suit the medium they’re distributed on.
But you should remember that the idea of a social media press release still remains the same. You’re creating it for all the same reasons that you create a traditional one.
A press release is often focused on three specific benefits:
- To have media catch on and distribute the information to their audience
- To have media see it and create a story about it
- To let customers and potential customers know about something that is happening within a brand to promote the brand, and hopefully sparks engagement and interest
With that said, people sometimes get intimidated by things that are new and unknown, while in this case, the differences aren’t that huge. There are, however, a few other benefits that come with creating a social media press release as opposed to a traditional one.
But remember, one doesn’t have to exclude the other.
A great benefit that is often mentioned when it comes to social media press releases is the fact that they are far more shareable than traditional ones. This means that you can actually leverage your audience on social media to do a lot of the press release promotion for you, thus allowing it to gain more traction and exposure, and potentially even be picked up by media and press, which is one of the main goals of press releases.
In terms of formatting, social media press releases are normally created in a more easily digested way, including multimedia and other elements, whereas traditional press releases can include a block of text, nothing else. In other words, there are differences between the two that you have to consider when writing your social media press release, because if you don’t, it won’t be very successful.
And the reason for that is simple.
People’s attention span on social media is considerably shorter than, for example when reading emails, and therefore, the social media press releases need to include attention-grabbing images and be formatted in a way that encourages people to continue reading.
While you can often find long and boring traditional press releases from major brands like Coca-Cola or Ford, you seldom see those on social media And if you do, they aren’t very successful.
The good news is that if you know how to write a press release, writing a social media press release won’t be that much different. But the important part is that you identify what those differences are.
Your press release, no matter where distributed, is a form of communication, created to target three different people:
Consumers, journalists, and bloggers. The good news is that all of those people are to be found on social media.
You just need to figure out how you can create a social media press release which caters and speak individually to them, all at the same time.
What to think about when writing a social media press release
If you have experience in writing traditional press releases but are not familiar with social media press releases, you don’t have to forget everything you know, because as mentioned, they are not very different.
There are, however, a number of things you want to do differently compared to the way you do traditional press releases, and these things are preconditions for succeeding with your social media press release
Firstly, you need to understand that people’s attention span on social media is shorter than anywhere else, and as a result, you need to keep it short, clear, and concise.
The quicker you can get your point across, the better. Because the quicker you can get your point across, the more people will read it, thus increasing the chances of it getting picked up.
Moreover, you also need to remember the fact that millions and millions of pieces of content are shared every day on social media. As a result, standing out from the crowd is something you should always strive for. And trust me, presenting a social media press release which consists of a wall of text is definitely not the way to do that.
All social media press releases that have gone viral and reached great success are ones that have stood out from the crowd by being greatly unique.
Therefore, social media is not a place to share your regular, boring press releases, but instead, it is a place where you need to think outside of the box.
Something that is always relevant, when writing a press release is the fact that the information in it has to be informative, useful or helpful. If your social media press release is neither of those, it will have a hard time gaining traction, because there’s just so much content of that nature being shared every second on social media, which will make it hard for yours to stay afloat.
Emotions are always a good idea in marketing.
Be human and authentic
People’s bullshit detectors on social media are sharp, and therefore, they can smell inauthenticity, corporate talk, and sales pitches from miles away.
In marketing, you always want to reverse-engineer the platform you’re using, because only then will you be able to understand what truly drives success.
Rather than asking ”how can I get people to read my social media press release”, it’s better to come from another angle, which means asking ”why are people using on social media, and how can I serve them?”
And when you ask that question, you’ll soon realize that they’re not using social media because they are eager to have ads shoved in their face, and be sold to.
Instead, they are on social media to be entertained, gain information, or gain knowledge.
As a result, if your social media press release can provide people with that, that’s when you have a winning press release.
Social media is a communications tool, but far too many brands see it as a marketing tool and an opportunity to promote, promote, and promote, but this way of thinking is what is crippling a lot of brand’s success on social media.
If you can learn to use social media as a communications tool to engage, interact, and improve your customer relationships, that’s when you’ll find the most success. And the same principles should be followed when creating your social media press release, because it’s a form of communication, remember?
Traditional press releases are famously known for including tons and tons of marketing- and sales-speak, something which there’s no room for on social media because it will just lead to mistrust and people leaving you.
Make it easy to scan
As mentioned, people have a short attention span on social media, and therefore, you need to not only keep it short and concise and avoid sales talk at all cost. You also want to make your social media press release scannable, so people can extract key information without effort.
Split your social media press release up into short paragraphs, bullet points, subheading, and bold text.
By doing this, you can improve reader engagement, and increase the chances of impacting the readers by actually having your press release read.
- Links: Embedded anchor text links, as well as links to more information, are welcomed by readers if they deliver on the promise of providing more information or an answer to a question. The content to which you link has to be specific. It’s of little use to your reader, for example, to link from a product name in a press release to your company’s homepage. Don’t make your reader navigate their way to the information. Serve it up on a platter.
Avoid these mistakes in your social media press release
Making it all about your brand
Your press release is about an event or happening, and so, writing a press release on social media which is only circulating is a huge mistake. Why? Because not only it is most often irrelevant to the point you’re trying to make, and secondly, in your audience’s eyes, it will seem like you’re self-centered and are only trying to sell them things. And as mentioned a few times now, this isn’t something people are after on social media. So instead of making it about your brand, focus on the point you’re trying to make and the news you want to share, and let your audience learn about your brand when they are ready to visit your website.
Talking in a too salesy/boring tone
Social media is all about communication and conversations, and if you’re talking in a boring tone which has no personality, people will have a hard time resonating with you. This is why it’s so important to be human in your social media press releases. That the conversation takes place on social media doesn’t change the way humans interact with each other, and how they resonate with each other.
If your friend would talk like a robot, showing no signs of any personality, you’d have a hard time building a relationship with them, right? The same thing goes for social media, and essentially all form of brand communication, but a lot of brands don’t seem to realize that, or at least don’t want to accept that, out of fear that they’ll come off as unprofessional.
Yet still, there are numerous examples of brands who have embraced having a brand personality and being authentic.
And surprise, they’re finding tremendous success from it.
Because these brands develop a brand personality based on their target audience, using the same language they are using, and what happens is that the audience will resonate a lot better with them.
One example of this is Wendy’s:
The bottom line? Social media is not a place for corporate sell talk, and if you use that voice in your social media press release, it is doomed to fail.
Instead, the way you make an impact with your social media press release is by humanizing your brand by developing a unique voice and tone, because when you do, your audience will resonate a lot better with your release, be more likely to read it, and ultimately become more impacted by it.
Having too much text and too little multimedia
Humans are visual creatures.
I’ve said that many times before.
What’s more, on virtually all social media platforms, visual content has proven to perform better than text. Adding multimedia to your social media press releases is especially effective on social media platforms that are focused on text, such as Twitter, as it further helps you stand out from the crowd.
If people see a huge wall of text in your social media press release, there’s a great risk that they’ll just continue scrolling. And the fact that humans process visual content 60,000 times faster than text proves that getting your point across will be easier if you leverage it in your press release.
Writing to cater a too broad audience
As mentioned, the goal of your press release is to target consumers, journalists, and bloggers, which means your social media press release has to cater to three types of people. But that does not, however, mean that you’re targeting too broadly because the fact of the matter is those people should if done correctly, be people who are all interested in the same niche/industry – your brand’s industry.
In other words, while there might be three types of people you are targeting, they’re all interested in the same niche.
A mistake with social media press releases is trying to target too broadly, in hopes of reaching more people, but when you do so, what often ends up happening is that you go too broad with the way you write in your press release, and the topics you write about, so that instead of having your target audience resonate with you, now, no-one resonates with your press release.
Grasp all, lose all. Don’t try desperately to make your social media press release cater to a larger audience because there’s a risk you might end up losing everything.
The format of a social media press release: what elements should you include in your social media press release?
Now that you know the basics of a successful social media press release, what you should do and what you shouldn’t, it’s time to look at the format you should use when creating your press release on social media.
According to Shift communications, this is the format your social media press release should have:
Of course, your very own social media press release doesn’t have to follow this template blindly, but it is a great starting point.
These are the things you should at least include your social media press release, where some points should be exactly on the place where they are listed, and some are not that important to follow literally.
If you want to have your contact information at the very top, you can include that, but the reason that I don’t write it as a point is that you often see the contact information at the bottom of a social media press release (which I’ll go more into detail further in). Some have it both at the beginning and the end, and what you choose is completely up to you.
On every press release, you want to include a headline.
This is probably what most people will first see when they stumble across your press release, and therefore, you want it not only to tell your audience what your press release is about, but you also want it to be unique and engaging, which sparks an interest in people to continue reading.
Don’t make it too long though, you want it to be short and snappy.
While this isn’t necessary, it can be good to have a secondary headline after your initial headline where you give your audience short but sweet background information which helps give more context to the press release itself.
3. Introduction/delicious information
This is the part where you want to grab your audience’s attention and keep them glued to your press release. This is why, if you have some delicious information which you know will encourage people to continue reading, it is great to put it here. Ideally, you want to present this information in a bullet-point format so people can quickly extract the key points.
Now it’s time for the body of the text. This is where you present all the information and news that you want to share with your audience. Since this is the part of your social media press release where you’ll have the most information, it is also the most important part of your press release, and therefore, it’s crucial that you follow all the tips and tricks that I mentioned earlier.
Within the body of the text, or without it, you should ideally include a piece of multimedia to split up the social media press release from being solely text in order to keep your audience engaged. Here, you should include a relevant piece of content which helps you mediate the point you’re trying to make and the news you’re trying to convey.
You can include anything from a short video from an industry expert which has a first encounter with you’re new product you’re launching (if you’re launching one), you can have a photo which shows the news that you’re sharing, or, a sketch which shows the thing you’re sharing news about.
Remember that humans are visual creatures, and on social media, we have a short attention span. Both of these things are benefited by including visual content in your social media press release.
6. Facts in a digestible format
For many people, having to read a large piece of text just to access the key information can be a little too much. This is why, it is a good idea to share the key facts of the news you’re sharing in an easy-digestible, bullet-point format, so people can at least get the most important parts of your press release, without having to read it all, word-by-word.
7. About your brand description
Here is a great place to include a short description of your brand to help people who are new to your brand, including journalists and bloggers to get a better understanding of who you really are.
8. Social media handles and tags
Since you’re looking to get social, including your social media accounts for your audience to connect with you is a must in your social media press release.
Moreover, you should also include multimedia links where people can get further information, RSS feeds, etc. With further information, it can also mean information about other projects you’ve done, or other pieces of relevant information which helps you promote your brand.
If you want, the end of your social media press release is a great place to include contact information for your brand. You’ve already had people read this far, so chances are, they’re quite intrigued, and maybe want to contact you. Therefore, including contact information right in front of their nose when they are ready to do this is a great idea.
Remember that this is just a general format which you can use as a starting point. Most of these elements, you should include, but you should always strive to make your social media press release your very own, with your very own personal touch. Moreover, including more than one piece of visual content in your press release is a good idea since, as you know, visual content impacts us humans a lot more than text does.
How to measure results from your social media press release
The social media press release is obviously not like your ordinary press release, even though there are many things that are the same. So do you think the way you measure the success of it is the same?
Of course, not!
First off, when it comes to measuring any type of marketing efforts, it’s important to set goals before you execute the actual campaign.
Firstly, by setting goals, you ensure that everything you do in your marketing campaign supports your actual goals, and secondly, having set goals allows you to know exactly what metrics you should be looking at when it’s time to measure.
Social media has long been ”accused” of being a place where it’s not possible to measure results, but that’s just not true.
In fact, in this article, you’ll find that there are actually quite a few ways that you can measure the ROI of social media marketing on. And this also includes the results of your social media press release.
Generally, it is spoken about three types of metrics when it comes to measuring the results of a marketing campaign. Those three metrics are qualitative, quantitative and ROI.
Ideally, you should measure them all, because what happens otherwise is that you won’t see the true power of your social media press release and how effective it truly was, but depending on your goals and what position you are in, one metric might not be relevant to you whereas another metric is tremendously important for someone else.
This is why having set goals and objectives before you begin is a good idea, as it will allow you to directly dig into what truly matters.
Since you’re sharing your social media press release on social media, social shares is a relevant quantitative metric which you should pay attention to.
The best part is that measuring the results of this is quite easy because the number of people who have shared your press release is presented in exact numbers. You just have to look.
Since this is the most important metric of your social media press release, you shouldn’t only measure it quantitatively. You should also measure it qualitatively.
How do you do that, you may ask?
With qualitative measuring, it’s all about looking at what people are saying. Not just that they are saying something.
This means that you have to go a little more in-depth one-by-one.
By doing so, you can get a better understanding of the sentiment of the conversations and how your press release has impacted them.
Also, by looking at the conversations that are taking place, you can also extract key information which can help you perform better with the launch you’re running, or better succeed with whatever it is you are sharing news about.
For instance, if everyone says that your new product is awesome, but a lot of people might complain about it being too expensive, the price of your new product might limit the number of people who will buy from you. Therefore, if you use that information, it might lead to you lowering the prices and thereby is able to drive more sales.
Moreover, the number of social shares might be a little misleading in some circumstances, as it might mean that you misinterpret it. For example, you might be all happy about having generated tons and tons of social shares, but if you look closer, you might find that all of them are people who are roasting your brand and joking about how awful your products are.
And that’s obviously no success.
Lastly, you also want to take a look at the conversations you’ve sparked with your social media press release, not only in terms of social shares but essentially everywhere on the web, with an emphasis on social media.
People use social media got to engage and interact with other people, and therefore, your press release might have lead to a number of conversations in numerous places. Some might take place on your very own page, others under a particular hashtag. This is why you want to conduct social listening to identify those conversations, listen to what people are saying, and most importantly, engage and interact whenever needed.
For a long time, press releases have looked exactly the same, and they’ve been distributed on the same places. But now, with social media and the internet, it has opened up a lot of new doors for many brands to modernize their press releases and makes their audience a part of the release, not just bystanders.
Making your audience part of the process is key to getting people engaged and loyal to your brand, and the best part is that social media now enables just that between brands and customers.