If you’re short on cash and can’t afford to hire your own online PR agency, you don’t have to let your company’s website waste away into the abyss of the Internet. If you know what you’re doing, you can become your own Internet public relations expert – and doing it yourself is totally within your reach. Here are five DIY tips that will help put you on the path to becoming an online PR pro:
1. Sign up for HARO.
Short for “help a reporter out,” HARO is a great way to kick your Internet public relations into overdrive. With the free e-mail newsletter service, you can reach out to reporters looking to highlight products, companies and people in their print articles, websites, blogs and even TV and radio shows. It’s like free PR – how can you say no?
You may need to submit to a few dozen requests before anyone bites, but the extra exposure is often worth the added effort. If you want to improve your chances of getting coverage, check out this guide on optimizing your HARO pitches.
2. Streamline your social media management.
There are all kinds of free programs and web-based applications you can use to streamline your social media management, and you should use them to your advantage. Services like Hootsuite let you integrate your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts into one convenient place.
Hootsuite also allows you to track your stats and see which messages are most effective at driving traffic to your website – valuable information.
3. Keep track of what people are talking about.
Social media management tools, like Hootsuite, let you set up keyword monitoring streams, which can put you in touch with people discussing or looking for your products. Set up Google alerts for your name, your company’s name and keywords relevant to your industry. That way, you’ll always know what’s being said about you online (good and bad), and you’ll always know the latest industry news.
4. Post good content on your website (and then promote the hell out of it).
Part of a good Internet public relations strategy is staying in front of potential and existing customers. Setting up a blog on your company’s website is one of the best ways to keep fresh content on your site – giving customers a reason to come back and helping potential customers the ability to find you in the first place.
Post interesting articles and tips related to your business, and then link to them on your social networking pages (encouraging others to share, as well).
5. Know your SEO.
A little keyword research can go a long way in keeping you in front of consumers – the best referral is one from organic search engine traffic. Find out what keywords you can be competitive in and work them into your content and social media management strategy. After all, each tweet, blog and backlink has SEO value. Why not get the most of your content?
There’s a definite learning curve to handling your Internet public relations like a pro, but once you set up a system it’s pretty easy to maintain.