Social media has become more than just an opportunity for friends to connect with each other, or even for brands to connect to their consumers – it’s become a valuable tool for public relations professionals to establish and nurture media relationships. While emailing, phone calls and face-to-face meetings still play a key role in media relations, it’s important that we, as marketers, use social media on a daily basis to connect with influencers across the country (and world!) on a more personal level.
Tips to start actively engaging with influencers via social media:
- Follow food and news media – This is a fundamental approach that will allow for us to see what trending topics are for each media outlet, what their voice is and how they engage with fans on social media so that we are well prepared in our media pitching efforts via email, phone and in person.
- Follow the writers of each media outlet – this includes journalists, editors, bloggers, industry professionals/experts and TV personalities. This gives us more opportunity to get to know the individual personalities who contribute to the publication.
- Follow your competition – “stop, collaborate and listen” – following your competition is a great way to see what social media trends are working in the produce industry as a whole, as well as which companies are doing a great job interacting with their fans and providing compelling and shareable content.
- Engage, engage, engage – Like posts, retweet recipes, comment on great content and suggest new content. Remember that relationship-building is about a personal connection, so stay away from “sales talk” when engaging. For example, if an influencer posts a picture of fresh baked cookies, it would be more appropriate to comment with something like “Those look amazing – must have this recipe” rather than “Don’t forget to pair them with our product!”
- Show some love – Recognize the media that inspires you by tagging them in posts. If you find a great article about a topic that you know is of interest to an editor or blogger, let them know you thought of them. These personal interactions leave a lasting impression, if done genuinely.
- Take note – Use the information that you learn via social media to help with your email, phone and in-person conversations with the media. Ask the editor how her child’s soccer game went, or if he had a wonderful time on vacation last week. These interactions move us away from the Junk Mail folder and into the Follow Up folder.
Examples of various food media to follow:
- Every Day with Rachael Ray (national magazine)
- Food Network (TV show)
- LA Times Food (local online newspaper)
- TODAY Show (national TV news)
- Healthy. Happy. Life. (blog)
- Jamie Oliver (celebrity chef)
- Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth (blog)
- Cooking Light (national magazine)
- The Packer (trade magazine/newspaper)
- And Now U Know (trade magazine/newspaper)
- Bon Appétit Magazine (national magazine)
We spoke with Natasha Shapiro, Marketing Manager for Love Beets about their social media philosophy and she explained that they choose to place an emphasis on engaging with influencers.
“We work a lot with health-minded food bloggers that love to use and promote our products. This helps us reach an even wider audience of consumers who we feel would be excited by our brand and products,” Shapiro said.
And her biggest piece of advice for fresh brands? “We have fun! I cannot emphasize this enough! We truly have fun as a brand and team and we make sure this is reflected in everything we do. I think consumers and influencers quickly pick up on this and it makes them WANT to interact with and engage with us.”
We couldn’t agree more with Shapiro and her philosophy! What success have you found when it comes to building influencer relationships on Social Media?
If you’re looking to enrich your overall engagement on social media, this video will offer some inspiration: