Has your company invested time and money in public relations this year? What are the results of your efforts with earned (news coverage), owned (website and blog content) and social media?
The end of the calendar year is a great time to look back and assess your PR performance, then apply the findings to your plans for 2016.
In the spirit of leading by example, here’s a look at the best earned, owned and social media created by Lawrence & Schiller in 2015 plus some key takeaways.
1. Campaign with Greatest Earned Media Reach
The “You can live in South Dakota” campaign for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development won by a landslide. We needed to attract more workers to fill jobs in South Dakota, but research showed people weren’t thinking about South Dakota jobs because no one ever talked about the state.
To get attention, we looked at trending conversations. Just so happens at the time of the campaign people were volunteering for a one-way ticket to Mars. We simply asked, “Why die on Mars when you can LIVE in South Dakota?”
The buzz around Mars blasted the campaign off the expectation charts, garnering more than $4 million in earned media exposure. We showcased how living in South Dakota is better than certain death on Mars with social media, banners and native content that used topics like the discovery of water on Mars and the release of the Matt Damon movie “The Martian.” See elements from the workforce development campaign and watch a case study video.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Tapping into trending topics can provide a huge boost to the reach and publicity value of your campaign as long as you’re timely, relevant and clever.
2. Best Facebook Post
We saw two winners in this category: one for reach and another for engagement. The post announcing the promotions of 14 Extra Milers had the greatest reach in 2015. In fact, it outperformed the next best post by 33%.
Our collection of Halloween costume photos generated the most clicks on Facebook;visitors clicked on this album 20% more than the second best performer.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Know your audience and what it wants. Pictures of people and company culture perform much better for us than updates on new campaigns, case studies or thought leadership blog posts.
What performs on Twitter can be different than what excels on Facebook. Most of our top tweets for 2015 have a news feel to them – informative and time-sensitive updates about clients, campaigns, news interviews, agency news and thought-leader blog posts.
The tweets generating the most impressions and engagement announced a job opening at L&S and shared a link to a news story about Dakota Roots, one of our clients for whom we had just launched a new campaign and website.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Use Twitter to share time-sensitive updates and industry news. Don’t forget to increase your reach by tagging relevant accounts and using popular hashtags that are appropriate with your content.
Not a big surprise what sparked the greatest engagement on LinkedIn: posts about new hires and employee promotions. The update linking to a blog post entitled “Lawrence & Schiller Adds 14 Team Members” performed the best, generating an engagement rate of 5.31%
Our simplest post had the greatest organic reach. The update shown below didn’t link anywhere; it simply said thank you to the United Way, yet its reach was 39% greater than any other organic post in 2015.
KEY TAKEAWAY: LinkedIn is built on career advancement, so it’s the perfect platform to announce new hires and share promotions.
5. Top Blog Post
Half of our most popular blog posts shared company news with thought leadership, campaign updates and intern posts rounding out the top 10. “Fourteen team members promoted at Lawrence & Schiller” earned the top spot with 59% more page views than the next post.
When it comes to time spent reading blog posts, the list is turned upside down. Stories about new campaigns and industry insights rise to the top. “L&S Loves Pets. Pets Love Lewis” actually posted in 2014 but it’s still a popular read, averaging more than five minutes per visit.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Sometimes a smaller number of views is okay if visitors are spending more minutes reading your content. Focus on creating posts that provide value to your target audience.
According to Small Business Trends, YouTube was the fifth most popular social media platform in 2015, ranking ahead of Instagram and Pinterest.
At L&S, we use YouTube primarily to stream campaign and case study videos. This year, our top performing video was watched more than 37,000 times, accounting for 77% of the organic views on our YouTube channel…but it wasn’t created this year. It dates all the way back to 2010!
When the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety commissioned L&S to create a spot illustrating the dangers of texting and driving, we knew the ad was good, but we never imagined its staying power. Over the past five years it’s been viewed nearly 360,000 times. Teachers show it in class. Good Morning America has referenced it. And yet, more than 60% of its views come from suggested video lists and YouTube search.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Maximize your reach by optimizing the title, description and keyword tags when posting new content on YouTube. You may be able to connect with relevant audiences long after your video is uploaded