Oh, I know it sounds crazy…after all, Facebook drives 10 times the traffic of Twitter for news articles.
But it’s true.
“…journalists — and, quite often, the organizations that employ them — clearly prefer Twitter…. It’s true for every journalist I know, and it’s true for me, too.” Ezra Klein
Twitter is where journalists follow, tweet and comment on each other’s stories.
And that means that you should be there, too.
But here’s the best part of this news:
You don’t have to spend the entire day on Twitter, furiously reading every tweet to take advantage of the little blue bird as a publicity tool.
Hail to the hashtags
If you are interested in getting more attention to grow your brand, start with the right tools. Hashtags are one of the easiest resources to use to find journalists and bloggers who want what you’ve got: advice, information and experience.
The hashtag is that funny little crosshatch symbol, followed by letters, a word or group of words.
(Or for us old-schoolers, it’s that symbol formerly known as “the pound sign.”) On Twitter and other social media platforms, the hashtag is used to organize content around a certain topic or event.
Here’s how you can use hashtags:
- You can search for hashtags and then follow the virtual conversation happening around that topic.
- You can create hashtags for your own events or topics, to generate online conversations around your topic.
I’m on the board of a women’s business group, WXW, and we promote our events with hashtags like #WXWbusiness and #WXWForum15.
Hashtags are also used to generate conversation around a trending topic, a joke, an event or a movement. Whether it’s pure fun, like #Mailkimp or commentary on social issues like #YesAllWomen or world events like #BringBackOurGirls, hashtags help to draw attention online.
And if you want to draw a little online attention, here are four hashtags to follow for PR opportunities:
Who uses #journorequest? Journalists looking for information, case studies, expert quotes or products for articles they are writing.
And next, scroll through the tweets to find features writers you want to follow on Twitter.
#PRrequest is similar to #journorequest; it was created for reporters to connect with information and experts. However, most of the requests are now coming from bloggers requesting free items to review online. *Sad face.*
This hashtag was created by Swedish fashion blogger transplanted in the UK.
In the founder’s words, “#bloggerrequest connects websites and brands with bloggers.”
The bulk of the requests are for UK bloggers and brands in fashion, design and decor, so if that’s you, get on it, please.
Help a Reporter Out or HARO, for those in the know, is a web-based reporter-source matching service. You can visit http://www.helpareporter.com/ and sign up for 3x daily updates. (Get a little help on using HARO here.)
#UrgHaro is just an abbreviation of ‘Urgent Help a Reporter Out.’
Tweets marked with the hashtag #UrgHaro mean that the journalist is looking for a source NOW.
It might be that she or he’s looking for a witness or subject matter expert to comment on a breaking news topic. Or, they’re under deadline. Act fast!
Bonus tip: You can also use the same hashtags to pitch your own story ideas or quotes to journalists and bloggers.
Your fame boosting assignment:
This week, do quick searches for each of these hashtags to see what journalists and bloggers are looking for. If you see a request you can fulfill, jump on it!
(If you use a Twitter management tool, like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, make it easy on yourself and set up a separate stream just for tweets that use those four PR hashtags.)
Oh, oh, oh, the places you’ll go, superstar!