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Friday, December 04, 2015

The Role of Social, Word of Mouth, and PR in 2016

With seemingly limitless energy, Business Wire's Serena Ehrlich gave attendees at a recent breakfast meeting the lowdown on the newest trends in social media and public relations. The event was co-sponsored by Minnesota PRSA.

Ehrlich, director of social and evolving media at Business Wire, right away shared the importance of public relations.

"PR is the number one tactic moving prospects through sales funnels," she said. Ehrlich noted that the number of touch points in the sales funnel has increased from seven in 1994 to more than 20 today. 

Given that 93 percent of online experiences begin with search, Ehrlich shared the good news that "Google loves news releases." She said that Google News places source news from press releases next to coverage, and that news is featured on mobile devices within Google.

Business Wire's Serena Ehrlich shares the latest social media updates.
Here are some of the other insights that Ehrlich shared about each social network.

LinkedIn

  • If five to 10 people share an article at the same time, an algorithm is tripped that increases visibility of the article.
  • If you have urgent news to share, include "breaking" in the tweet.
  • Twitter rolled out secret share groups earlier this year, allowing users to send group direct messages.
  • Remember to share your company or client's media coverage on Twitter.
  • Facebook is trying to compete with YouTube, and probably will be creating a standalone page of videos.
  • The world's biggest social network already is testing live streaming.
  • A fun way to involve company employees is to encourage them to post photos from their office with the popular hashtag #viewfrommyoffice.
  • "Social networks are aspirational networks," said Ehrlich. "They show what people want to be."
  • Pinterest is the most aspirational social network.
  • Pins on Pinterest get 70 percent click-through rates; users want the pins to connect through to a website instead of just an image.
  • When users pin something, the pin goes to the front page of the Pinterest feed again.
  • Ehrlich recommended that PR professionals create a news channel for their companies.
Ehrlich also touched on how media has changed. She mentioned that reporters are now measured on how popular their stories are based on social shares and views on their media outlet's website.

Ehrlich said that reporters are relying on news releases for accurate information and need elements for their stories that they can readily use, such as photos and videos. To make information easy for reporters to copy, she said that online corporate newsrooms should have documents in Microsoft Word instead of PDF.

With 2016 upon us, public relations professionals need to keep up to date with social media changes. While Ehrlich's energy can't be bottled, her popular Twitter account can be one way to stay in the know.