5 ways to interact with reporters on Facebook

Tons of reporters use Facebook for their work. You can use that to your advantage, but be cautious about how you do it.

Facebook is crawling with reporters, editors, bloggers, and other members of the media.

They often use Facebook as a way to find sources, generate story ideas, connect with the communities involved with stories, share their stories, and so on. In other words, Facebook is an important resource for them.

You should understand how to use Facebook to connect and interact with reporters on a meaningful level. Here are five easy tips to get you started:

1. Find the reporters you’re targeting. The first thing to do is add reporters to your Facebook network. Many reporters include a link to their Facebook profile at the end of their stories or somewhere in their bios. You can also check out MuckRack’s directory of publications and journalists on Facebook (and other social media sites).

2. Share their stories. Reporters are usually thankful when people share their stories and help drive traffic to them. Sharing the stories of reporters you’re targeting can get you on their radar and earn their appreciation. You can also leave nice comments on their wall whenever they write a story you enjoy.

3. Pay attention to what they share and post. By analyzing the content a reporter shares and posts, you can learn more about his or her interests so you can tailor your own stories to be more attractive to that specific reporter. You could even find a story opportunity among the things they post and share.

4. Be ready to jump on opportunities to be a source. Many reporters use Facebook as a tool for finding sources. You need to make sure you’re ready to pounce on any relevant opportunities that might arise when a reporter is looking for a source and you’re qualified. You should also make sure that your Facebook profile does a good job of explaining who you are and where your area of expertise lies.

5. Don’t spam them. Can you pitch a reporter through Facebook? If you have a relationship with them, you could pitch them, but that’s recommended only if you truly have a relationship with the reporter. Even then, don’t overdo it. Don’t constantly harass reporters on Facebook, and you certainly don’t want to send them pitches irrelevant to their niche. You’ll quickly turn into a pest in their eyes.

Do you use Facebook to connect with reporters? What are your best tips?

A version of this article originally appeared on the PR Fuel blog.

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