Tag Archives: Format

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 5: Marketing Effectively Through Social Media

The Mystic Media Blog has devoted our expertise into a five-part series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing, concluding with this post on writing for social media. The series covered several topics, including general techniques, suggested processes, press releases, and website copy writing.

The advent of social media had a dramatic affect on culture and society. The entire world became interconnected at the click of a button. Suddenly, everyone’s favorite brands and artists were available for communication anywhere, anytime using your smartphone. The newspaper became even more irrelevant to the younger generation as they could receive news updates directly from their favorite artists and brands, skipping the middleman.

All brands should have their marketing team running multiple social media accounts. It’s the cheapest and most direct route to consumers who want to hear what you have to say; who show by the act of following/liking the brand that they desire information and communication.

In honor of social media, we’ve gathered tips for writing for social media and structured them with the succinct, direct quips fitting of the format.

“BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT”

Most scholars agree Shakespeare would have killed the social media game. This famous quote from Hamlet rings true across all writing, especially social media. Rather than overloading followers with an abundance of wordy content, keep it simple, concise, and witty.

RESPOND/REACT QUICKLY

In order to engage consumers, it’s vital to reply and interact promptly with followers on social media accounts (especially Twitter!). Remember: direct replies don’t overload your Twitter followers’ feed, making them a great, more intimate way to communicate with consumers.

A favorite, retweet, or follow back can also engage a follower as much as a reply.

CROSS-PROMOTE

Tweet “Follow us on Facebook for more updates.” Post “Check out our Twitter page!” on Facebook. Tweet Instagram photos. Grow your fan-base and keep them aware of the multiple platforms of communication by cross-promoting accounts. As in all forms of promotional writing, the call-to-action is among the integral parts of posting to social media.

PLAY IT SAFE

Perhaps this should be the number one rule: don’t make people furious. Play it safe when it comes to topical events. Be respectful of tragedies and don’t post anything politically incorrect. A single tweet can have huge repercussions.

Be extra careful when attempting to create a trend through hashtagging. This McDonald’s horror story serves as a moral tale of how important it is to be conscious of potential reactions to a brand before posting.

BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET CHEEKY

Followers want to see a little personality out of the social media accounts they follow. Although you don’t want to offend anyone, you also won’t get any real response from boring posts. Try to keep it cheeky and create humorous posts. Analyze what connects most to your audience, take notes, and refine techniques over time.

MEME IT UP!

Memes are a great, modern way of effectively promoting a product while imparting humor. Check out this awesome article on memes for marketers.

FIND AN EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT TOOL

Social Media accounts require around the clock management. When you have separate accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+, it’s difficult to keep track of each account everyday. Social Media Management tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and more can be vital not only in managing accounts, but researching your followers and what posts are most effective.

INTERACT WITH CELEBRITIES

Cross-branding can raise awareness of a company and allow them to find their consumers in creative places. Interacting with select celebrities with compatible brands is a great way to attain exposure, gain access to new followers, and grow brand awareness.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE TUMBLR

Tumblr is among the leading social media platforms underutilized by marketing teams. Tumblr hosts over 130.5 million blogs, while WordPress only has 70 million. Tumblr users average 12 minutes of use per day on the network–1.5 minutes more than what’s spent on Facebook.

For more information on Tumblr, check out this article over at Social Media Marketing.

CONTESTS

Social Media, specifically Facebook, is an ideal place to host contests. Any and all action the user takes toward entering a competition through Facebook will be publicized to their friends and followers on their newsfeed. Facebook recently banned Likegating, which certainly represents a roadblock, as well as an opportunity for more innovative approaches to social media contests.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

This has been the theme of our promotional writing series, so it’s fitting close this conclusive article with the most important part of all promotional writing: know your audience. With regard to social media, it’s vital to understand what will connect with those who consume and who may desire the brand being represented. Know the lingo. Know the humor. Know what your audience is reading and redirect them to cool articles.

The goal of promotional social media is not exclusively to attain sales, but to cultivate followers who will pause and consider what you write. Engage and expand your fanbase, give them what they want, and be consistent.

At Mystic Media, our vast experience in strategic marketing and application development for both iOS and Android gives us expertise on the all formats of promotional writing: from social media, to search engine optimization, copy writing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or by contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 3: Generate Publicity by Writing an Effective Press Release

In the coming weeks, the Mystic Media Blog will be devoting our expertise into a series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing. The series will cover several topics, from general techniques and suggested processes, to press releases, website copy writing, and social media.

Last week, we gave you a thorough how-to guide about Perfecting the Method of Promotional Writing. This week, we’ll go in-depth into the format and process of writing a press release.

A press release is a published written announcement addressed to the media regarding a development in a business. The purpose of a press release is not only to announce the basics of exactly what is being released and when, but also to generate publicity. A press release is the quickest, easiest way to get an important promotional message out into the world and can result in multiple published articles.

The subject of a press release can be a new product, an upgrade, a new service, an upcoming event, a merger of two companies, anything NEW. The audience of a press release is not only consumers of your brand and consumers in your industry, but also reporters, editors and other members of the media looking for content relevant to their readers.

In order to garner the attention of the media, the writer must ensure that the announcement within the press release is in and of itself newsworthy. A newsworthy story contains information relevant to the general public. Relevant information can be a new rate on car insurance, or a new app which helps you organize your closet, or a new company intent on taking over the world – anything about which people would want to know. An effective press release properly explores the ins and outs of its subject (the new service or product or event), as well as the ramifications of its release in the context of the industry to maximize the reader’s knowledge of how the decision to buy or solicit could affect them.

An excellent press release not only informs the reader as to what is being announced, it also functions as an article written by a reporter in and of itself. The media isn’t going to publish your press release unless they are convinced it’s relevant to them and their readers. The press release shouldn’t just be an ad for your product or service, it should have an angle or point of view beyond trying to get the consumer to buy whatever is being sold. It should provide context on the industry in which the product or service is sold to further validate the importance of the unique contribution of the new product or service. If you can sell your product in the context of a news article about a specific subject relevant to readers, the media will pick up the story.

Check out this great example of a press release functioning as a standalone article issued by Microsoft about Windows Phone 7.

The Windows Phone 7 press release explores the negative impact of smartphones, then distances its new product from the negative, thereby selling a smartphone. The subject of the article, the negative impact of smartphones, could feasibly be found in any magazine. It indirectly attacks their competitors (namely the iPhone) by claiming people use their phones recreationally too much to avoid the real world. The Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, is optimized for efficiently managing tasks necessary for work so that the user can get off their phone and focus on the real world. The marketing department perfectly crafted an article which is newsworthy, including specific statistics, while simultaneously using the issue to provide a context for their product to stand out as a solution.

When structuring a press release, begin with a headline which captures attention. We went in-depth into how to attract attention with a title in Perfecting the Method. After your title, always front-load the logistics (the “what” and the “when”), then explore the significance of the release and the impact on the industry.

The second paragraph of a press release often contains a quote from the CEO or one of the higher-ups in the company. The quote personalizes the message and gives the executives of the company an opportunity to showcase their intellect with insight into both what makes the product special, and into the company’s relationship to the product. A memorable quote can be a news story in and of itself, so try to procure a quote which is significant, personal and precise.

The final paragraph of a press release often connects the new product or service being announced to the company’s other products and services.

When sending a press release out, always end with a line of continuous periods or number signs to show where the printed text ends. This makes it easy for journalists to insert their comments below your official press release, facilitating the readers’ ability to distinguish between your company’s official words and those of the commentator.

A press release should come with a press kit of some kind. A press kit is a collection of company information and articles put together to address questions the media might have on your release. It should catch the eye and include a gallery of photos to compliment your article. It’s recommended you invest money into the photography and visual presentation of the press kit to further validate the importance of the announcement by  attracting attention through crisp presentation.

For more information on creating a press kit, check this informative article out over at Entrepreneur.

Once your press release is complete, you will also want to attract attention to it and generate additional publicity. There are several techniques to approaching this.

First, you should start by publishing the press release on your website. Promote the link on your site to your consumers through social media accounts.

When it comes to generating external publicity, you can craft a query letter addressed directly to relevant members of the media who may want to pick up your story, and/or you can utilize external sites such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, PRWeb, and eReleases which offer distribution services, effectively promoting your press release for you at a cost.

The goal of a query letter is to entice members of the media to read your press release and consider publishing the release itself and/or an article on it. Keep the letter simple, personal, and persuasive. Address the recipient by name, state your purpose (to promote the press release), introduce yourself and your company in separate paragraphs. The goal is to tease them into reading your whole press release, so keep it brief and entertaining.

Be sure to know your audience and only address query letters to members of the media in your industry who will be interested in your product or service. You should begin by compiling a contact list of key media outlets where you can reach your audience.

If you can write a smart, effective press release complete with eye-catching photos and a press kit, then entice members of the media to check out the press release with a tight query letter, all that’s left to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the publicity.

At Mystic Media, through our vast experience in strategic marketing  and application development, we have accumulated expertise on all formats of promotional writing: from copy writing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or by contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815