Your best bet is using social media promotion to help get your prospect interview seen. It’s the final step of the interview process, and one of the most challenging. Now you’ve conducted your interview. You had a great and engaging conversation with your subject, you built rapport and the conversation flowed according to how you planned it out, you wrote it out and now it’s time to get it out there for people to see!
1. Leverage Both of Your Audiences
When you did you due diligence initially, did you note the subject’s social media following? Did you give them advanced notice of the interview and ask them to let their friends and SM followers know to watch out for the interview in the very near future? A good amount of time to schedule in advance is usually 4-5 days (ask Monday, interview Friday) so that both you and the subject can use your respective networks to spread the word – but you remember that from the previous installment, right?
Typically, you want your social media promotion to follow a certain pattern of places you wish to be seen. That pattern is:
- Your fans and followers
- The subject’s fans and followers
- People geographically linked to both you and the subject
- People linked by mutual interests
- People linked by neither, but who could potentially become interested in the subject based on the interview
2. Provide Your Subject With Canned Content
What you should be doing is producing ‘canned content’ which your subject can easily share via their social media – unless they have their own social media manager and delegate the task to them. ‘Canned content’ is pre-written and hash-tagged material which can be plugged into content managers like Hootsuite without needing alteration. It’s most likely that social media promotion isn’t their area of expertise, and if that’s the case, shoulder a little extra burden. It’s a great gesture.
It’s professional courtesy to offer to provide at least a week’s worth of canned content to a subject for use at their leisure.
A week’s worth of canned content for social media promotion would be:
- 5 Facebook/LinkedIn shareable posts with hashtags
- 5 tweets with hashtags
- 5 Instagram posts with hashtags
Components of Canned Content
- High-quality image
- ’Grab quote’
- Condensed URL
- TWO hashtags (they can add more if they wish, but two is the maximum you should provide)
The canned content will help you both share the article with ease, and the less time it takes for each share, the more time you have to share it in more places.
Both interviewer and subject should be leveraging personal and brand social media audiences for promotion, as well as seeking other places based on the pattern outlined above. Facebook groups catering to the geographic area and people with shared interests are a great place to start. Aim for ones with large memberships, but applicability matters far more than a large membership when it comes to circulating the article.
3. Write Effective ’Grab’ Copy for Both of Your Social Media Channels
When you write the social media copy to promote the interview, skip the Buzzfeed clickbait format. You’re not trying to go viral, you’re telling someone’s story, and should treat that privilege with the respect that they deserve as a person. You don’t need mystery or intrigue, you want to convey the 5 Ws of writing: Who they are, what they do, where they do it, why they do it, when they do it, how they do it.
Those are all covered in-depth in the article, so your social media copy should cover no more than THREE of the 5 Ws, and two should be WHO and WHERE. That leaves you with one more W to cover. Here are examples of employing the remaining Ws with Who and Where.
- “WHO is bringing WHAT to WHERE.” (“John Doe is bringing artisanal baking to the neighborhood.”)
- “WHO is making WHAT a labor of love because WHY.” (“John Doe learned his love of artisanal baking from his grandmother, and wants to share that love with you!”)
- ”Did you know WHERE has WHAT now? Meet WHO, the person bringing it to the neighborhood.” (“The neighborhood finally has its own artisanal bakery! Meet John Doe, the man making it happen!”
The grab copy should include enough information to identify what the article is about, but also a subtle value demonstration for audiences not associated with either you or the subject. Mentioning the neighborhood and what the business does helps broaden the appeal to those who would be interested based on geography or interest in what the subject does, without making it sound like a commercial or advertisement.
Above all else, you want the authenticity of the subject, your interest in them, and the value they offer to be apparent in the grab copy, without ‘over-selling’ what the article conveys.
4. Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose
Repurposing is a great method of social media promotion also. But it doesn’t have to be just social media. You can share it across sites like scoop.it and Medium as well.
For more information on how to effectively repurpose, check out this article!
That’s A Wrap
If you use all of the advice offered in this blog series, you’re going to take your interview game to a whole new level quickly, cost-effectively and dramatically. Interviewing seems fairly straightforward to most who don’t write regularly, but ask any professional journalist: interviewing is an art form not mastered overnight. It’s an evolving process which requires a commitment to constant improvement if you wish to get truly good at it.
The benefits of being a good interviewer go far beyond being a better writer. A good interviewer will learn a number of highly transferable skills which will help them in so many other aspects of their lives.
These skills include:
- Body language literacy
- Conversation skills (flow, confidence, segues)
- CONFIDENCE (in your voice and your approach)
- Likability (as you tie all of these together, your interactions will be more natural and comfortable; PEOPLE LIKE BEING PUT AT EASE!)
Now get out there and start talking to people!