Love it or loathe it, you can’t ignore Facebook as it is the social networking platform with the largest number of users (2.936 billion active monthly according to DataReportal. Here are some top tips for making sure you and your clients get the attention you deserve on this site.
Use it to introduce yourself to future contacts
Nina Dafe, founder and editor of PR support agency for women Faraboverubiescollection.com: “Facebook is great for PR because you can build and maintain relationships with gatekeepers (such as podcast hosts and editors) by liking, sharing and/or leaving meaningful comments on their posts. In this way, when you finally pitch them, it won't come across as a disingenuous ‘cold’ email. They'll also be more likely to accept your pitch because you took the time to distinguish yourself and build that all-important ‘know, like and trust’ factor before reaching out to them.”
Think local, or global
Katy Bloomfield, director of client relations at PR agency Definition: “As one of the oldest, biggest, and most sophisticated social advertising platforms, Facebook/Meta’s gift is its ability to target billions of users across the four corners of the globe. This also means that it is a great way to target a specific demographic in a specific location - because Facebook’s local communities remain some of the most-used groups. It is a great platform to use for very broad, and very narrow, consumer audience targeting.”
Use storytelling techniques
Hannah Eyerman, account executive at agency Bottle PR: “PR activity and social media activity are inherently different, but alignment is key. Facebook lends itself well to storytelling, so it’s a useful tool for communicating the same messaging as your PR activity, but in a way that makes your brand feel approachable and invites engagement.”
Target your ads
Hannah Eyerman: “If you’re using Facebook for paid activity that aligns with your PR campaign, be sure to create audiences tailored to your PR’s target. Facebook allows users to create specific audiences for different ad campaigns - this is an opportunity for more control over the delivery of your PR messaging than you may get with media outreach.”
Keep the drumbeat going
Hannah Eyerman: “Facebook isn’t for giving the whole story away - it’s best for leading your audience to the heart and soul of your campaign. Beyond your big media moments, keep the drumbeat going with news and background to maintain an engaged audience.”
Create target lists
Jasmin McKenzie, marketing manager at agency Absolute Digital Media: "In addition to advertising products, Facebook Ads can be used to target employees of a company such as a blog or podcast you want to be featured on or to connect with influencers in specific industries. Using the platform, you’re able to save your detailed targeting outputs, giving you the chance to retarget the same media at a later date, helping you to curate a wider list of the companies you think will be interested in what you do or revisit those that have performed well."
Subscribe to specialist Facebook groups
Ross Stebbing media strategist at PR agency Kindred: “Subscribe to specialist Facebook groups that are specific to the sectors you work in. It’s a great way to connect with suppliers, experts and media that operate in the space - and invaluable for campaign planning and creative strategy.”
Take your time
Tim Gibbon, founder of communications consultancy Elemental: “To some extent, the type and tone of content determines how audiences respond. Marketers and PRs need to be mindful of how it takes time to build loyalty and rapport within communities. They can’t be environments where content is posted on a whim cold, presuming audiences will engage with and share it.”
Sanket Shah co-founder and CEO of online video editing company InVideo: “Video content is a great approach to increase engagement as well. Facebook users watch over 100 million hours of video every day. And it seems like the popularity of videos is only increasing. Every day, the number of video views doubled.
“Facebook is also changing the way its algorithm determines users' interest in videos. This implies that in certain of your followers' feeds, videos will probably show up first.”
Pause before posting
Jenny Stallard, business coach and founder of Freelance Feels: “Facebook can seem very 'instant' as we use it for social/friendship interaction - that can lead us to send an immediate message when we see a PR request or call out for experts. Hold off sending that direct message! Instead, begin to build a relationship with the person who has posted via other social media such as LinkedIn, and find their email to send a considered, more personal introduction that is the beginning of a stronger PR relationship (and won't get lost in 'Message requests').”
Of course, Facebook is not just a tool for your work, it is also a way of building your own personal profile - though please, try and keep the number of selfies to a minimum (unless your pet cat or dog is involved, people never get tired of cute animal pics!).
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