A Social Media Release (SMR) is meant to engage the audience through the use of particular multimedia features that are present in it. But you need to know what will compel your audience to interact as well so here are some ideas thanks to MarketingSherpa.
Now you might be wondering what an SMR is, well we're going to tell you. It's a Web 2.0 form of a regular press release. That means that you can take a regular press release and fill it with content that is going to be of interest to online journalists and bloggers - embedded sound or video clips, images, etc - in hopes that they will pick some of it up and re-publish it. The great thing about this is that it also works with other people who might not be online-oriented. So between the regular release and the extra multimedia it's got a wide range of appeal.
An added bonus is that all the media will get indexed separately in the search engines and hopefully show up in a timely fashion on search results. So that added material works in your favor. But don't make the mistake of replacing a standard text-based press release with just other forms of media. You need to keep a cohesive whole in order for it to work for everything mentioned.
Back in December of 2008, Marketing Sherpa released what I would consider the most detailed and comprehensive video marketing report and guide for the industry, "Marketing with Video Report: Online, TV, and Mobile." As you can see from the chart above (courtesy of the MarketingSherpa report) videos came out on top of a recent survey in regards to effectiveness, fairly closely followed by photos and other graphics. While some said that overall, photos were more effective (with only 7% saying they were not) video seems to be far more effective according to those who thought it so (64% vs. 52%). The lowest of the low? podcasts and MP3s. Why? Well a picture is worth 1000 words, a video is worth a few million and a sound clip is just the words in it. So unless your sound clip were 1000 visually stimulating words, it just isnt' the same apparently. A full 17% stated they thought that sound clips were not at all effective.
Thanks to the extra content in the SMR you are giving journalists, bloggers, consumers and search engines more to work with. That will most certainly add up to more effective releases. Indeed the embedded links and multimedia could be the reason for a particular site picking up the story at all or for a consumer even bothering to read the release. Even a simple logo, head shot or diagram of an idea could further the reach of a single release, of course mileage will vary and so we recommend you experiment as you see fit.