Guest blog: How to use third-party media coverage to expand and engage your social followers

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

By Lee Esposito

Generating media coverage for your product or service has always been a surefire way to build and enhance a brand, so it stands to reason that you want to increase your social media reach by telling your followers about your successful publicity efforts. But that said, I'm always surprised at how many marketers leave money on the table by not posting their "earned media" mentions-publicity-to create "owned media" content on various digital outlets.

Creating this integrated public relations program is important because many people still get their news and information primarily from print publications and avoid going online, and those who live and breathe social media often avoid reading newspapers or general-interest magazines. When generating positive media coverage from journalists, you're getting critical third-party endorsements, but you also must post these online to increase reach and to engage with your social media followers. In many ways, it's a turnkey process.

Facebook

You should already be following major media outlets, and most certainly the one writing the spotlight feature on your company. Once your story runs, post the link to it on your Facebook page; when the story populates, delete the URL and post a short caption. Don't worry if the content is gated, which means only subscribers to the news outlet can read the entire story. Simply thank the outlet for covering you, and write a post about reach and how you're getting the word out about your service. Remember that copyright laws prohibit you from scanning the article and posting it as a file on your website.

Instagram

Many photographers working for news outlets have Instagram accounts, so if the editor sends the photographer out to take a picture of you "in the wild" at your location, tell the photographer you want to follow them on Instagram. If possible, have someone take a picture of the photographer taking a picture of you and post that in your Instagram feed, tagging the photographer and news outlet. Once the story runs, take a tabletop photo of the story and post it on your feed using the hashtag, #[yourbrand]inthenews.

Twitter

Tweet immediately after the interview has been completed and tag the media outlet in your post. Once the story runs, crow about it and include the link to the coverage five times, or more, during a three-day period.

Your blog

It goes without saying that you should make sure your blog has a fresh post. The last thing you want after working hard to generate a media story is for visitors on your blog to find a post that is 10 weeks old. Read the latest blog post carefully and identify future blog topics to keep fresh posts coming.

If your company is lucky enough to be featured by a reliable news source, it's now up you to take the news to your social media channels.

Lee Esposito is principal of Lee Esposito Associates, a public relations and social media management firm. He can be reached at (614) 761-0200, lee@newsangle.com, and through his firm's Facebook page.