Using Facebook distribution to broadcast your press release has various perks, not the least of which is not having to stand on a stairwell shouting through a megaphone at inexplicably thrilled people.

Lately there’s been a question floating around the PR community (dare I repeat it?):  is the press release, as we know it, dead? We recently discussed this very issue, here: Did Google Kill the Press Release? (No, Just Press Release SEO?)

So, what do I think?

Well, I think that the press release is still alive and well: it will always be an essential part of PR.  That being the case, the question I would like to pose is this one:

How can you get more traction for and from your Facebook distribution of press releases?

This article will help you get more eyeballs on your press release with Facebook.

1) Post Your Press Release Directly on Your Facebook Page for Sharing

For those clients or journalists already following you, you can post your press release on your Facebook page for more “shareability,” and wider Facebook distribution. This is ultimately both easier and faster for the reader than getting an email. And, don’t forget, even your untapped audience that consists of friends of those friends who share that post will be seeing your news.

Important note: if your releases aren’t getting any shares or engagement, it’s time to revisit whether your Facebook community is made up of the right audience for your brand.  Don’t just share your release with a link: use a great graphic and a catchy lead-in to sum up why people should care about it.

2) Make Use of Polls for your Facebook Press Release

Facebook polls are a good way to survey your followers to get their opinions – find out what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right, or what more you could be offering them.

EXAMPLE: Let’s say you’re launching a new feature to your app and a press release has been written about it. Rather than posting the entire text of your press release to your Facebook status, list just the headline and a link to the copy either on your website or a PDF. Along with that, just a brief blurb regarding the new feature and then pose a question to your audience with multiple-choice answers.

For example: “Do you think this new feature will save you time and/or money?  a). Yes, very likely b). It probably will or c). No, not much at all.”

Not only will this entice your followers to read the full press release, but by making your announcement interactive, it also gets the reader more involved. (And, as a bonus, it gives your customer that “feel good” perk that you cared enough to ask their opinion!)

Now, if you’re worried about their reactions, well… perhaps you might re-think whether that press release needs to go out at all.  If you’re feeling unsure of yourself, you might do a little social listening before you go to all the trouble of a release.

3) Use Graphics in your Facebook Distribution of Press Releases

Even if your press release doesn’t include a photo or graphic, include one in your Facebook posting. If you attach a photo to your post, this eye-catching element will give your release a much higher likelihood of being read than if it was just straight text. Mix it up: use a screenshot of your product (if it’s an app or program), a picture of the employees involved (if it is an event or other company announcement), or something from your favorite stock photo site that drives your point home.

4) Always put Links to Your Facebook Page on your Press Releases

Including a link will allow journalists who see your release on sites that publish it to connect with you there on Facebook, too. This is key because then the next time you have a product release, company event or make the ‘Top 100 Places to Work” list, for example, they will be following you and see your Facebook distribution of it. (Makes you realize how fresh you must keep your Facebook content to keep your followers returning, right?)

5) Always Cross-post to Twitter when using Facebook Distribution for Press Releases

To take full advantage of your social network, you want to be sure to connect with your fans on Twitter.   Remember that the shelf life of a tweet is 30 minutes, so you can push your release to Twitter more than once.

TIP: because the Twitter shelf life is short, you can also use Twitter to test positioning before you throw your release on the wire.  Try a few different angles and lead-ins and see what gets the most traction.  For more on this, check out our article on social listening for small business

These are just a few quick tips to maximizing the effectiveness of Facebook distribution for your PR efforts.  For more on press releases and, particularly, their SEO and yet another reason Facebook may be a good alternate place for them, go to our blog, here. To learn more about how to use Facebook for business marketing in general, see our comprehensive Facebook marketing guides, here.