5 Tips for Founders: How to Use Twitter to Get More PR for Your Startup

Twitter is crawling with reporters.

Over 80 percent of them are active on the platform, and nearly a quarter say it’s their first go-to for finding news to cover.

That means there are tons of opportunities to get your company in front of reporters and, ultimately, their readers (many of whom are potential customers).

So if you want to be like this guy, whose comment on a reporter’s tweet later became coverage on a website with six million monthly readers, follow these five tips.

Tip1: Define Your Daily Tactics

It’s important to set clear tactics – the things you do day to day – to help you achieve your goal of getting more media coverage.

Some tactics to help you get more PR for your startup might include… 

  • Sharing a news article and your thoughts on it three times per week.
  • Commenting on a reporter’s story that they post on Twitter twice per week.

By establishing clear tactics, you’ll find it’s easier to stay on track, measure whether your efforts are actually getting you more PR, and ensure that your social media use is serving a real purpose that benefits your company.

Tip 2: Post About the Stuff That Matters

A good rule of thumb is to tweet or retweet at least once per day.

Some things you might post include the following:

  1. Blog content – either your own or someone else’s – that you find interesting.
  2. Your contributed articles on third-party websites.
  3. An article from a third-party site where you’ve been quoted or that you target="_blank"find interesting.
  4. Retweets of or comments on a reporter’s story. Your comments can either add to the conversation, tell the reporter something they don’t know, or tell them the opposite of what they think they know.
  5. Thoughts about a recent conversation you had with a customer, prospect, employee, investor, or partner.

When writing your Twitter post, remember to...

  1. Tag the person who wrote the article or with whom you had a conversation when it makes sense.
  2. Tag the publication where the article lives.
  3. Add a thoughtful comment to what you’re posting about.

Tip 3: Follow Relevant Reporters and Publications

Following reporters who write about news in your industry is key to staying in the know about what they care about.

It could even lead to reporters following you back. If that happens, then you have even more of a reason to post on Twitter because you know reporters are watching.

If you’re not sure where to start, pick three top-tier reporters (at publications like Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, etc.), four local reporters, and seven relevant trade publication reporters who write stories that are relevant to your industry.

For example, if you’re like Tillable, the farmland rental management startup, you should follow agriculture reporters or anyone who regularly writes about farming. If you’re a restaurant reservation startup like Tock, you should follow reporters who cover the restaurant industry or anyone who covers OpenTable.

Pro tip: When looking for a reporter’s Twitter account, try checking out their author page on the website they write for. There’s usually a link to their Twitter page.

Tip 4: Commit to Doing it Right

Nothing looks worse than a dormant Twitter page. An inactive personal social account can make you look like you don’t care about what’s going on in your industry. Or worse… it can make reporters question whether your company is still kicking.

And due to Twitter’s “always-on” nature, it’s even more important to be active on this platform.

So if you can’t commit to engaging daily, it’s best to delete your personal account.

Tip 5: Trust Your Gut

Interacting with reporters on Twitter can be a great way to get your company more media coverage.

But, as with email and texting, it’s easy to make assumptions and read something out of context. Just ask our founder what happened when he tried to be funny on Twitter in an area outside his expertise.

So when deciding whether or not to tag a reporter or make a comment on a reporter’s story, use your best judgement.

And if you want more resources on how to get media coverage for your startup, check out our blog on How to Get More Impactful Media Coverage.