Using twitter to get free media coverage
I love twitter for the variety of topics on there and the many useful links I often find, but I rarely suggest businesses use it to promote their businesses. Whenever I look at Google Analytics for tourism business websites, twitter seems to refer very little business.
Twitter is brilliant for one thing though: generating free media coverage.
Journalists love twitter. They use it to gather stories, spot trends, find new contacts and – most importantly and useful for you – to ask for information when they’re writing articles or developing programmes.
Sometimes using the hashtag #JournoRequest, but often simply as a question, you’ll find travel journalists asking questions such as:
I’m looking for holiday cottages in really secluded locations, suitable for a couple’s retreat
Does anyone have any recommendations for unusual things to do in Autumn in xxx?
I’m writing an article about xxx and need some examples of zzz. Any suggestions?
By simply following a few journalists and spending a few minutes (literally just ten minutes scanning tweets) reading tweets, I’ve spotted so many free media opportunities. Then I’ve simply responded to their requests from an idea or two. A couple of sentences are often all it takes to spark an idea which the journalist follows up and then leads to articles in the Times travel supplement or a piece on BBC Countryfile.
How can you get a share of the action? Very simple: follow some travel journalists. Here a few to get you started.
You’ll soon notice that journalists talk to each other so you can find other journalists to follow via their tweets and followers. You can also search for lists such as ‘UK travel journalists’ where you’ll find many others, and when you follow one of them, take a note of the “who to follow” suggestions that Twitter makes, based on the people you’ve followed.
Give yourself a set amount of time to check Twitter and if you spot anything promising, respond to them. Just make sure that you respond in the way they have asked e.g. by DM (direct message) or email. It doesn’t work every time but can work often enough to make a small investment of time worthwhile.
If you spot something that isn’t right for you but could be good for another business you know, do jump in and make your suggestion. Journalists appreciate any help they can get and may note your name for the future.