Driving Brand Journalism Through Social Media (Pt 2)

In yesterday’s post on using social media to drive brand journalism (co-written by Tim Gray, content strategist at online marketing/web design firm Blue Fountain Media), we discussed  moving beyond the traditional self-centered PR mindset. Today we go into greater detail about researching and creating great content–and making it social.

We’ll start with the second step in the journey toward successful brand journalism:

2. Establish “The Newsroom Effect”

Brand journalism requires marketing/PR professionals to start thinking like journalists (or, at the the very least, bloggers).

Learn your beat by listening through social media channels. If you have a personal Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account, then you’re already something of an expert—you just have to practice observing channels that are relevant to your target audience through their eyes.

  1. Share and share alike: You don’t just need to share your own content—send your audience a few pieces from other sources that you follow. They’ll appreciate the effort as long as the material is relevant to them.
  2. Develop an editorial calendar: Everyone likes consistency, and readers want to know that they can expect fresh content from you on a regular basis. If scheduling is a challenge, encourage team members and others at your business to contribute ideas or posts of their own.

Social Key: As we wrote yesterday, search engines now rely on social media signals to indicate which content is the most popular in terms of “shares” or “likes”. The brand journalist’s goal: To lead the conversation by encouraging the audience to share, thereby identifying trends relevant to the industry in question. The only way to do this successfully is to learn what your audience likes and cater to their tastes.

Case in point: Those looking to make waves in the maternity clothing industry should set up “listening posts” in places like the popular website Café Mom by following its feeds and joining its community page in order to learn more about what moms-to-be are discussing at the moment. Learning this new “beat” will help you craft relevant, engaging stories that will draw eyes to your page–and your brand.

Example: Cisco SystemsThe Network, a site featuring independent technology news. Their material remains a little too “me-focused” for our tastes, but they’re getting there.

Tomorrow we’ll bring you the last chapter including some more varied examples of brands that are doing it right.