Facebook Pixel: Diving into Analytics

By: Cait Crenshaw

If you’re a PR professional dipping into the world of digital media, the learning curve can be daunting. Don’t let the jargon of website code or analytics deter you. Digital analytics are powerful because we can prove an ROI and use the data to make creative adjustments. The Facebook pixel is a tool everyone should mobilize if you are running Facebook ads.

What’s a pixel? The Facebook pixel is a piece of code, and because it’s code it is not for PR professionals to shy away from. Within the Facebook ads manager, you can activate a pixel for your account and grab the code. The next step is when your team’s website guru comes in and installs the pixel code on your website.

It is possible to get more granular with a Facebook pixel. Facebook has given us nine different events for nine different actions that someone may take on your website. Keep in mind the Facebook pixel should align with the overall goal of the Facebook advertising campaign. Are you driving traffic to view specific content on the website, make a purchase, or sign-up through a form? Choose the goal of your Facebook ad campaign before making any other decisions.

By far the best advantage from using a Facebook pixel is custom audiences. Since Facebook can see when someone visits your website with the pixel, you can mold your audience in ads manager even more granular than audience targeting. With the pixel, it’s possible to retarget people who visited a particular page or who visited during a specific time. For clients on a deadline or e-commerce clients, these custom audiences can translate into ROI.

The Facebook pixel also provides powerful insight into how and where people interact with your Facebook ad. Are most people interacting with it from mobile or desktop? Little tweaks to the creative image or copy of a Facebook ad can give your message the competitive edge in the noisy online world that resonates with your audience.

What actionable insights can your team gain from launching a Facebook pixel?

Cait Crenshaw is a PRSA member and Communications Manager at Signature HealthCARE. She is an alumna of the University of Louisville. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Three Tips for Landing Your First Job Using Facebook

Three tipsFor those of you just entering the work force after graduating from college – first and foremost – congrats on graduating! It’s an exciting time to begin a new chapter and take new leaps of faith. It can also be daunting at times, with the vast number of options available to you as you begin your job search.

For those who take advantage of internships, you can utilize what you learn to help you narrow down what you might be interested in – agency vs. internal, corporate vs. non-profit, etc. And for a lucky few, these internships could lead to a full-time position post-graduation.

For others, we’re left with the boundless listings on job search sites such as Monster, Indeed or Media Bistro, among others. A tool that is often times forgotten or untapped, however, is Facebook. While it might seem silly, it actually works. I found my current job from a post on Facebook. To help guide you in using this platform in your job search, here are three tips.

Maintain your public profile

While many will recommend you immediately change your privacy settings the day you graduate, it can work to your advantage to leave your profiles public. An employer can get a sense of who you are, your interests, and how you would fit in with the company. Additionally, you can amp up your presence by promoting your blog (if you have one) or further demonstrate how you stay on top of current trends with your status updates. Be sure to be authentic and genuine about this.

But that also means you must be aware of what photos are tagged of you, what your friends post on your wall, etc. Bear that in mind if you do decide to keep your profile public.

Identify what you “Like.”

By going through and finding companies on Facebook, and liking their business pages, you can stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the office, the culture, and what clients they handle (if it’s an agency).

Most companies – especially PR agencies – will share when they are looking to fill a new position. If you already decided to follow them, you’ll be able to save the time you would spend deciding whether or not you would be a good fit for the company if you found the job listing elsewhere online.


While you shouldn’t like every post that the company shares (this comes off as spam-my and frankly, annoying), by engaging with the company through likes and quality comments in moderation, they are more likely to recognize your name when your résumé hits their inbox.

At the end of the day, social media is a large part of a PR professional’s job description. What better way to get your foot in the door with your dream employer than starting a relationship on Facebook?

Have a tip on how to land your first job using Facebook? Share with us below!

Shandi HuberShandi Huber is a senior account executive at Wordsworth Communications, a public relations agency in Cincinnati, Ohio. An enthusiast for all social media platforms, you can often find her pinning her dream closet on Pinterest or posting photos of her new puppy on Instagram. Connect with Shandi on LinkedIn and Twitter (@shandihuber).

Why Facebook and Twitter are Reviving PR

twitter-facebook-2When I landed my first public relations job in 2012, I sensed the field—and those within it—were experiencing a paradigm shift. Working next to seasoned professionals, I watched as savvy practitioners stumbled over using one of the most important public relations tools of our time: social media.

In my opinion, practitioners often lose sight of the purpose of public relations, focusing on output-oriented measures like the number of press releases sent out or the amount of media coverage received. Over the last three years, though, I’ve seen social media bring an exciting transformation to the field.

Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, publics expect honesty, quick responses, interaction and engagement more so than ever before. Gone are the days of hiding behind press releases and media outlets. Social media makes public relations operate on real time. More importantly, social media has helped PR rediscover its relational roots.

This public-focused approach has transformed the way my company operates and executes its public relations strategy. If you’re interested in harnessing the power of social media for PR, here’s four ways to step up your strategy:

1. Use social media to refocus on relationships. I firmly believe that relationships are the glue that hold public relations and social media together. As practitioners, it’s our job to know, understand and advocate for our company’s or client’s publics. Social media offers us the opportunity to do all three on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

2. Use social media to empower your position. Social media makes the need for a public relations practitioner mandatory. In addition, in order for the company’s social media pages to align with the business’ goals and values, the public relations practitioner in charge of social media must have support and approval from the dominant coalition, making way for opportunists to discuss and make the presence of public relations known.

3. Use social media to facilitate two-way and symmetrical communication. Social media enables businesses to practice two-way and symmetrical communication with their publics like never before. In other words, answer questions, create opportunities for dialogue and get personal! Social media efforts flop without a human touch.

4. Use social media for environmental scanning. Used as a tool for analysis, social media allows for practitioners to listen to the concerns of consumers and other risk bearers. In fact, I’ve started to track every single complaint we get on social media. It’s a great way for me to detect trends and a useful resource when asked for customer feedback.

What other ways do you feel social media has impacted public relations? 

Audrey Roeder HeadshotAudrey Roeder works as a public relations coordinator for two of the nation’s top-selling master-planned communities. She’s an alumna of Texas A&M University and the University of Houston, where she received a Master of Arts in Public Relations. In her free time, Audrey enjoys exploring her city’s ever-growing restaurant scene, binge-watching Netflix with her fiancé and posting too many pictures of her Siamese cat, Sibel, to Instagram. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Three Ways to Let Analytics Guide Your Social Strategy

DAY SPAEvery PR pro knows a good online strategy is nothing without great content to back it up. Social media should not be overlooked when it comes to strategic planning. As more and more organizations incorporate social media into their overall PR strategy, it becomes increasingly important to create content that sets them apart from competitors and builds trust with audiences. There are so many great tools available (for free!) that can help guide social content to maximize its benefit.

Here are a few ways to use them:

1. Find the Right Time to Post. Timing is everything. The great thing about social media is its instantaneous nature, so messages can get out to audiences in seconds. But is it really necessary and/or beneficial to deliver every message in real-time? Social media users can be connected to hundreds of other users or organizations, and every post is competing for attention. Most PR pros work typical 9-5 hours, so it might seem like it makes sense to post a link to a new blog on Facebook during your work day. But if those who follow a brand on Facebook aren’t online during that time, the post becomes buried among a hundred others.

Tools like Facebook Insights allow organizations to see the demographics of their Facebook followers. One of the most valuable pieces of information is a daily timeline that shows follower activity peaks. Insights is completely free to business/organization pages on Facebook, and it can help pinpoint the best time to schedule posts. It may turn out that time is at 7:00 p.m. on a Friday evening. There are plenty of tools available to schedule posts automatically so the prime posting window isn’t missed because it is outside of traditional work hours.

2. Figure Out What Content Works. It can be easy for a social media strategy to place too much focus on building an audience. Social media is a tool to engage in conversations with an audience. If the audience isn’t responding, something isn’t working. A large fan base does not equal a successful social media strategy.

“While the number of page likes or Twitter followers seems like an obvious metric to track, it is important to measure reach and engagement as well,” said Katie Hinerman, Freelance Digital Marketing Specialist.

Twitter Analytics is a new tool available for organizations to measure the engagement of their Twitter content. The dashboard shows overall impressions (how many times a tweet was viewed), engagement (how many users interacted with a tweet) and engagement rate (ratio of tweets to interactions). A good social media strategy should include a plan for increasing engagement rate across all social platforms.

“Social media marketing as we know it is changing,” added Hinerman. “In 2015, brands are going to have a harder time reaching users organically. This is why it will be especially important to track reach and engagement metrics when measuring your efforts.”

3. Measure Your Success. A strategy can’t be created without goals, and goals can’t be deemed successful unless they’re measurable (Click to tweet!). A social media strategy is no different than any other part of an organizations’ overall communications plan. Once SMART goals are set, they should be measured and tracked for progress. Lack of progress toward a goal could mean efforts need adjusted.

Google Analytics includes statistics on web traffic referrals from social media accounts. If increased web traffic is part of a social media goal, this tool is the best way to measure progress. The results are offered in real-time, and a variety of time frames can be analyzed and compared. Google Analytics is free to use and offers several tutorial videos to coach beginners through the analytics process.

In a world where PR pros are already stretched thin and wearing many hats, strategizing and measuring social media efforts can keep everyone on the right track. Using analytics to guide social media strategy is a great way to make sure that too much or too little work isn’t being done. Knowing what content is most engaging and when audiences are looking for it maximizes the impact with audiences and minimizes the drain on staff. And that keeps everyone happy.

Jennifer MaterkoskiJennifer Materkoski is a graduate of Kent State University with a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications with a specialization in Public Relations. She has worked as a writer and editor for both newspaper and television and as a member of a non-profit marketing and development team. Materkoski is the owner and principal consultant of a boutique public relations firm, Songbird Public Relations. She is an avid sports fan and a yogi. Materkoski resides in Wheeling, West Virginia with her husband and son. Find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @MrsMaterkoski. She can be reached via email at jen@songbirdpublicrelations.com.

Intro to Digital PR

What does a day in the life of the digital public relations professional look like? Today, your practice can be described in two simple words: you are “always on.” When the Internet became our stomping ground for public communications, reaction time had to be much more immediate. Of course, social media continued to fuel the “always on” feeling even more because networks don’t rest and brands have to be prepared. When you accept a position in PR, you quickly learn the nature of the job requires attention at all times of the day or night, and new skills and practices are constantly in development.

My book, “Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional,” presents many new practices that demonstrate this notion of “always on.” As a matter of fact, if you break down the average day of the digital PR professional, you will quickly see why you need to incorporate this idea of “always on” into your everyday activities and your daily regimen.

As a digital PR professional, you’re “always on” because you are:

Technology Savvy: PR people don’t have to code databases, unless it’s something you want to learn. However, you do need to know how to create a WordPress blog and build profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other major social channels. Understanding where and how your audiences participate on different platforms, with a good working knowledge of strategic use, is also critical. If you can’t answer questions about Pinterest vs. Instagram or Facebook vs. Tumblr, then you need to roll up your sleeves and learn those differences quickly. Ask yourself a simple question: How will you guide your executives’ brand communication if you can’t answer these questions for them?

Proactive: There is no sitting back (ever) and feeling complacent that your stakeholders have what they need. You must be proactively “listening” or monitoring their conversations, feelings, ideas and ways they want to interact with you. Being proactive means that you are using the latest technology to fully understand these conversations and the consumer perceptions they expose. You’re learning how to engage as a better partner, employer, resource and problem solver. Of course, actively listening and being connected through social media will also prevent negative dialogue from escalating into unexpected crisis situations.

Flexible: Thinking your day will be the same every day is almost asking for the impossible. Are you really able to predict what your day looks like? As a best practice, you can plan your initiatives, but in the age of public communications, your daily interactions may change drastically from hour to hour or even minute to minute. Having the flexibility to respond to your stakeholders in real time is where digital PR professionals can truly serve their brands. You also have to be open and willing to explore new ways of communication as technology continues to advance and platforms improve their functionality.

Strategic/Critical Thinker: PR professionals use tactics to support their communications programs. However, we are not just tactical doers. On the contrary, brands are looking for strategists who focus on a planned approach with goals and objectives in place, show a deep understanding of their audience, develop messages that resonate with stakeholders, reach people where they congregate and use measurement that will capture the desired actions. Sending out news releases, tweeting and posting to Facebook are the tactical elements of a communications program. Why, when and how we participate, through specific channels, is the strategic thinking required for communications success.

Accountable: PR professionals have to take accountability to a higher level. Accountability tied directly to the bottom line is the accountability that executives love to see. However, that’s not always possible. The good news is they also want to see communications impact in the form of customer satisfaction tied to positive sentiment and testimonials, editorial coverage across different media (including social media), reputation maintenance and greater awareness of the brand, which is often a part of the ROI puzzle. PR doesn’t always have a direct tie to the bottom line, but when our results are a part of a larger marketing and sales picture, the accountability becomes more visible. Another key takeaway here is that you can’t work in a vacuum and your accountability should be a part of a larger team effort.

Of course, these are only a few of the skills and practices that should be on your digital PR checklist. Call it a part of the job description of the future, or what you might see in a job posting for a PR position. Either way, it’s your opportunity to blend great PR skills with new media communications. To truly embrace the “always on” mindset, you must commit yourself to newer skills and practices on a daily basis and as a part of your professional development.


Deirdre BreakenridgeDeirdre Breakenridge is CEO of Pure Performance Communications. A 25-year veteran in public relations, she teaches at NYU and speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of PR, marketing and social media. She is the author of five business books, with her most recent book, “Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional,” published by Financial Times Press in May 2012.