Building Relationships with Reporters & Influencers via Social Media

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Michiko Morales

People are constantly checking their social feeds – whether Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook – to communicate with friends or share new pictures and funny quotes.

As a technology PR company, we use social media to not only promote our clients and ourselves, but to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in each client’s industry. When you’re pitching reporters every day like we do, it’s crucial to follow their social media presence and to keep an eye on what is hot in the industry, their opinions on trending topics, and – most importantly – what they’re writing about.

A few months ago, we welcomed Geoff Livingston, social media guru and president of Tenacity 5, for a discussion on social media best practices. One of the most important pieces of advice Geoff left us with was while it’s important to be active on social media with the occasional like, favorite, or retweet, it’s even more critical to truly engage. He left us with some great techniques to put to use, including:

  • Have influence in your networks – Build value in your brand.  Don’t be afraid to direct message followers who you have a strong relationship with if you need a favor or want help to spread your message.
  • Segment Social Channels – Every social media platform is different. Understanding each medium, how each works and what its audience expects is crucial.
  • Swag and prizes – Inform all of your social followers about new products, promotional giveaways, etc.
  • Live events make a big impact – If there is an event going on in your industry, chances are other people are talking about it! Attend the event if you can, but even if you can’t make it, try “hacking the hashtag” and get involved in the conversation.
  • Make a simple ask – Social media is an attention-driven economy. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans for retweets, favorites, likes, etc.
  • Thank and amplify – Be sure to thank people for saying great things about you and provide recognition to those who deserve it.

Scanning social channels has played a huge role in connecting PR pros with the reporters and influencers in each industry. It’s our job to know what reporters are including in their writing and what influencers are raving about, and social media has made that possible. In a nutshell, as marketing and PR experts, it’s our job to be on social media.

If you find something a reporter has written to be interesting, a simple “great story” or “excellent insight” acknowledgment on a social channel can go a long way. It never hurts to throw some kudos a reporter’s way – who doesn’t like to get an ego boost every now and then? Following social media best practices can improve brand awareness, connect your clients with influential reporters and individuals in their industry, and help to bolster overall PR and marketing activities. With that being said – happy tweeting!

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Leah Nurik