One of our stars recently developed a presentation on how her team has been participating directly with consumers, on behalf of clients, via Facebook.
I just want to share some of the key points from her presentation.
First off, some of the Facebook groups that she recommends PR pros check out, to increase (and share!) their general knowledge, include:
- If I can help a reporter out, I will…
- The Official Facebook Public Relations Group
- New Media
- Social Media Measurement
She also pointed out some of the many mainstream publications with a Facebook presence, including their own private networks:
NY Times – 778 members in network
USA Today – 335 members in network
WSJ – 356 members in network
LA Times – 338 members in network
BusinessWeek – 121 members in network
Associated Press – 840 members in network
Reuters – 4,120 members in network
And reporters who are on Facebook? They include heavy hitters such as:
Ed Baig, USA Today
Peter Burrows, BusinessWeek
Melanie Wells, Forbes
David Kirkpatrick, Fortune
Jon Fine, BusinessWeek
In other words, whether you’re reaching out to bloggers, consumers or mainstream media, Facebook probably should be a consideration.
However, in the case of these top-shelf business writers, you shouldn’t try to “friend” them if you don’t already have a relationship of some sort. Spam is spam, folks, whether in email or in the form of a “Super Poke.”
But let’s talk about “edgework.” Forget about the biz press. How should you reach out directly to Facebook users?
At SHIFT, one approach we’re fond of can be summed up in a few sentences:
Identify appropriate groups. This is easily accomplished via Facebook’s search engine (which, by the way, handles over 600 million searches per month!)
Are there enough members to make outreach worthwhile? Are they active? We define “active” by the frequency of new-member sign-ups, the volume and recency of discussions on the group’s Wall and Discussion Board, the volume and recency of uploads and shared posts, etc. So many Facebook Groups were started and abandoned on a lark (i.e., a waste of your time); this part is critical.
Research the Group Type. Is it an “Open Group”? If so it tends to allow for more, and more diverse, users. Closed groups tend to be insular and neutral/hostile to outsiders. Leave ‘em be.
Befriend the Admins. Too many PR pros simply join an Open Group and post their items for all its members. This is spam, in my book. We prefer to respectfully approach the Facebook Group Admins. It was their passion that started the group; they use their personal time to administer the community. Respect them like you’d respect a business reporter. For our outreach, we explain to them who we are, who we represent, what we’d like to share with their community members.
If we’ve done our job right, our content is totally appropriate for their group. We ask if we can share/post our content to the Facebook Group, and, very often, these admins either agree or even volunteer to do it for us! This latter approach not only provides instant credibility, but also means that the content is “pushed” to all Group members’ Facebook in-boxes.
Here’s a handy slide to remind you of what to look for when considering the appropriate Facebook Groups for your pitch (it’s linked to a Flickr jpeg):
If I am counting right this is the 9th installment of PR-Squared’s Social Media Tactics Series. Do you dig it? Do you digg it? (Actually, I prefer a save to Magnolia or StumbleUpon, if you care to share the love.) In any case, as always I love your feedback.
Posted on: March 14, 2008 at 10:57 am By Todd Defren