The start of a new year brings New Year’s resolutions, new beginnings and new goals. And the beginning of a new year is also an opportunity to reflect on the previous year’s public relations successes and missteps.
If you find that you were just shy of reaching your communications goals in 2016, either because they were not specific enough or too ambitious, check out our end-of-the-year PR checklist below. Use it to help guide your PR strategies for the upcoming year.
Evaluate Competitors – Have your PR team perform a competitor communications analysis to identify the various tactics your competitors use in their PR and communication programs. Take a deep dive to see if they are doing anything unique and analyze what seems to be working for them or not. Most importantly, look for areas of missed opportunities. By analyzing your competitors, you can find ways to differentiate and more effectively position your brand.
Review Messaging – Does your messaging still resonate with your audiences? Have your messages changed overtime? If you think your messaging needs refreshing, it may be time to hold a messaging session. As your company grows and changes, your messaging will as well. It is important that your messaging stays current to ensure that all PR deliverables – press releases, social media posts, website content, whitepapers, conference materials and more – are in sync and consistent with what you want to communicate to your publics. Look for your use of jargon and overused phrases. Work to develop messaging that clearly communicates the compelling benefits of working with you and how you solve challenges. Make sure your messaging is as unique as your organization is.
Analyze Social Media – Examine your social media channels to see what type of posts resonate with your audiences. Consider updating your social media strategy to coincide with your messaging.
Social media is constantly changing. What is trending one day may change the next. It’s critical that you understand which social media platforms your audience uses most and what content results in solid engagement. Once you have reviewed your social media, create a new social media plan and calendar for the new year. Focus on goals you want to accomplish with social moving forward.
Update Website – Similar to social media, website trends continually change – everything from navigation to design to mobile capability, and everything else in between. We recommend refreshing your website at least once every two years. It is also important to update your website content to be concise, well written, and on target with your messaging. Look at your images and headlines. Sometimes just changing out the images and adjusting headlines can freshen up your website between major revamps.
Set Goals – Work with your PR team to determine communications goals for the forthcoming year. What are the most important things you need to communicate to your publics? Is there a challenge or opportunity you must address? Are there more creative ways of telling your brand’s story? Did you land the kind of earned media you wanted to over the past year? Did your press releases tell a story over time? What kind of content do we need to create? Ask yourself these types of questions and develop a set of goals, and at by this time next year, you will have a way to measure your communications success.
From everyone at Clearpoint Agency, we wish you a happy and prosperous new year!
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The expression “timing is everything” could not be more true when it comes to posting on social media. It’s one thing to create fresh and exciting content, but what’s the point of posting something if your audience is not seeing it? Posting content at the right time, on the right day, and on the right platform can make all the difference between comments, clicks and shares, to no engagement all.
However, the best days and times to post do vary across all social media platforms. Below, we created an infographic and listed some tips and guidelines when it comes to the best days and times to post on social media:
We’ve found the best days to post on Facebook are later in the week, with the highest engagement rates occurring on Thursday and Friday. The Huffington Post found the optimal time of the day to post is in the afternoon from 1 – 4 p.m.
According to Quick Sprout, content that is posted at 1 p.m. will get the most shares, while 3 p.m. will give you the most clicks. In general, if you post during the 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. time frame you will still receive higher engagement than posts posted before work or later in the evening.
- Best days to post: Thursday and Friday
- Best times to post: 1 – 4 p.m.
- Most shares: 1 p.m.
- Most clicks: 3 p.m.
- Broad timeframe to post: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Since LinkedIn’s audience is predominantly professionals, and used for networking and business status updates, the best days to post are during the core of the workweek – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. LinkedIn is the “professional” social network so it makes sense that an Elle & Co. study discovered optimal times to post can be from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., just before lunchtime, and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Just as people check LinkedIn before their workday begins, are getting ready to break for lunch, or as they wrap-up for the day.
According to the Huffington Post, posting on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. -11 a.m. can be the “sweet spot” for status updates, and will get a high number of clicks and shares. Avoid posting on LinkedIn from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. and on weekends.
- Best days to post: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
- Best times to post: 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- Most engagement: Tuesdays from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Audience is key when it comes to timing your tweets. According to Buffer, B2B organizations get higher clicks and retweets on Twitter during the workweek, with Wednesday having the highest click-through rates. However, B2C related tweets seem to perform better on the weekends. To get a maximum number of retweets, the Huffington Post suggests to tweet from 12 – 5 p.m., with around 5 p.m. being the most optimal.
- Best day to tweet for B2B: Weekdays; Wednesdays have higher click-through rates
- Best day to tweet for B2C: Weekends
- Best time to tweet: 12 – 5 p.m.
So the next time you are planning your social strategy, give the day and time some thought. It just might make the difference between posting to an abyss or getting clicks, retweets and likes.
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Pinterest is the latest social media platform that is being hyped as the next big thing. Is it really? Well, you be the judge. It does have some cool features which we’ll break down for you. Pinterest enables users to share photo content in theme-based image collections. Of course, users can upload photos, videos and other content, but the twist is that they can “repin” images of anything they find interesting, enabling them to connect similar tastes visually. You can have as many categories as you like, but some of the most popular ones are: bridal wish lists, recipe books, home décor, fashion photography and travel.
From a business perspective, consumer brands can benefit from Pinterest because they can target their fans and ambassadors directly through fresh and relevant content. Such successful examples are Whole Foods and Nordstrom.
If you like staying on top of the social media game and have a visual consumer product, you probably should start “pinning”! One sticking point is that unlike other social media platforms, you need an invitation to join Pinterest. If you need an invitation, why not ask Clearpoint Agency and make your life easier? Don’t wait for weeks or even months to get on this hot social media site if you’re ready to start “pinning” and promoting your brand on Pinterest.com.
This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive
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Clearpoint team member Lexy Haynes reviewed Jeffrey’s
Gitomer’s book “Social Boom! How to Master Business Social Media”. Here’s what she said.
Hi friends, first, an overview: Social Boom! covers just about everything social. Ok, not everything, but the biggies: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and even tips on writing. It’s a thorough review of the social media landscape and what you should do as a business person on each of the top platforms.
I thought it was a great book, definitely worth a read. If you’re a novice in business social media it might be a bit overwhelming, but just remember, small steps are better than no steps at all.
I’d call Social Boom! fairly high level, with helpful tactics. It was full of relevant and usual
information, including both precise “how-to” as well as “why-to” information. The book has several chapters written by guest authors including some favorites of mine such as Mark Schaefer and Mitch Joel. It was refreshing to hear tips from multiple industry leaders.
Here are a few key points I found especially truthful and useful, as well as some nuggets to pique your interest:
- “Business social media requires an investment: your time.” At least an hour a day. Thank you Gitomer for being open and honest about this! It is so true.
- “…with business social media, I can personalize it, and humanize it…” Be human, and be real. This is one point we often have to remind our clients – while it is business, it’s still social media. No one is going to like your Facebook page or share your information if you’re cold, boring and fact-laden. People like people.
- “Start (or restart) your business social media outreach with purpose, plan and design. And start (or restart) it with an understanding of what you want to achieve.” I find this especially insightful. Too many people start social media without a real vision of what they want to achieve…those are the profiles with
meaningless fluff that give social media a bad name. Take Gitomer’s advice and
have a plan.
- “Start with information, and then add insight.” Yes! Don’t just forward
information, provide your personal take on it and make it more useful to your
audience. Don’t just be a content aggregator, be a content creator.
- A 5.5-part process for starting your own Facebook business page
- The 15 imperatives of LinkedIn
- 7 ways to add value to your Twitter conversations
- How to build an audience on YouTube
Social Boom! was full of useful quotes and lists like these. A caveat on expectations: While I was expecting a book about social media for brands, the book really focuses on tools and techniques an individual can use. I still found it useful, but more for my personal use than for managing our clients’ social media. So, keep that in mind.
Jeffrey Gitomer’s Social Boom! was a quick, fun read, and inspired me to get my butt in gear for my own business social media. While I do it every day for clients, I’d been using
social media primarily for my personal life, I believe to my detriment. I was missing out on adding my professional insight as a PR and social media manager to the world of business social media. If you have smart things to say, I recommend you jump in, share your insight and personality, and get social! See www.gitomer.com for tips and how to get Social Boom!
How about you? Do you do business social media? What social media platforms are your favorites?
This post was contributed by Alexia Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive
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