Sunday, January 19, 2014

Newsjacking & Social Media Updated

What is newsjacking?

Hi-Jacking Hotspot Sign: Close-up of a highway road sign reading HI-JACKING HOTSPOT located near Witbank, South Africa. A little roughly captured, but I didn't exactly want to stick around too long for reasons apparent on the sign.

Newsjacking is inserting yourself or your organisation into a story that is being covered in the media. You do this by commenting prominently on the story online or by providing a link to a relevant post on your blog or web site.

Examples of this include a marketing expert suggesting a marketing plan for Occupy Wall Street, a software company president talking about a major industry takeover and inserting his own company into subsequent media stories because of the relevance of his comments and the London Fire Brigade offering Kate Winslett training after she was involved in a fire on Richard Branson's private retreat in the British Virgin Islands.

The purpose of newsjacking is to get people to click on your link, to get traffic to your site and gain visibility.

And it works.

The rules of newsjacking are that you have to insert yourself quickly into the story, coming late means the story had played out, that you have to have something relevant to say, and that you post or web site supports what you say.

The PR industry is changing. No longer is it good enough to simply push out press releases to friendly journalists and hope they will cover your story. Now you have to find a real link between something happening in the media or in the world and whatever you are promoting.

Social media is the glue that binds all this together. It's where you contact journalists covering the story and refer them to your blog post and where you inform people that you have a post and a real connection to the media article.

My highest spike in blog viewers came when I made a relevant post on the UK Guardian book page and on the New York Times in one day. That day I got over 500 views. My comment was one of the first on that page, I had something relevant to say and the comment had a link in it to my blog.

Old fashioned PR isn't entirely dead, but it's changing fast.

To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Supercharging social media with storytelling techniques: #1 Conflict

Since time immemorial we have gathered by the camp fire to listen to tales of monsters, fair maidens and battles long ago.

An interest in such stories seems hard wired into our genes.

The challenge for social media strategists is how to use such genetic hard wiring to increase the audience for any given post and build its emotional resonance. I will use post to describe anything from a short Tweet to a longer blog post.

One of the first things to consider is conflict. Conflict doesn't simply mean having a bad guy and a good guy, an antagonist and a protagonist, it's also about taking on the "machine".

If you can frame your brand, your organisation or your output as a struggle between good and evil, then you can build the emotional involvement that will inspire people to retweet, mention or pass on your post.

You will have reframed your post using one of the oldest story-telling techniques.

To support this site - over 100 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or The Manhattan Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The 7 Pillars of Social Media Audit

If you are in a medium or large organisation it is likely that some divisions or individuals in the organisation are already engaging on social media. 

In order to integrate, coordinate and effectively manage social media the first step you will need to undertake is an audit of the current use of social media in every part of your organisation.

Below are the principles of a "7 pillars of social media" audit, which you will need to report on to senior management to ensure that you have a good understanding of where you are now in social media, and to allow you to develop a social media plan.

The key process in a 7 pillars audit is a staff questionnaire and interview process to establish:

1. All current SM identities and stats (followers/posts per day/engagement/content plan etc).

2. All planned and possible SM opportunities.

3. Existing or planned governance document.

4. SM engagement analysis by seniority/position (who/what/when).

5. SM monitoring (sentiment/mentions) current & planned.

6. Software Tools in use and planned.

7. "Best competitor" analysis of optimal SM usage. 

A 7 pillars social media audit can be undertaken every six months to allow you to update your social media plan on a rolling basis to include changes in all aspects of the 7 pillars. If you want further detail on each pillar and assistance on carrying out an effective social media audit please contact the author on

To support this site - over 100 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!