Leveraging the Social Web to Spread Awareness and Drive Business

This is a guest post by Ryan Critchett.

Social media is bigger than we think. I think it’s bigger than we think it is, even when we think it’s big. I think, it’s monstrous.

We all at least know there is an opportunity to reach customers in a different way through social, but not everybody truly grasps the kind of brand awareness, business opportunities and startup growth that can take place on these channels.

That’s what I want to talk about. I want to take you through a series of events and social media marketing strategies that have propelled my company to new heights and put us in front of some serious brands. First, I’ll start off by saying…

Your Results Are Up To You

The single greatest part of the web marketing world is the fact that your results are ultimately up to you. If you spend 8 hours a day, for 6 months straight engaging your brain, and engaging the web to find and execute ways of building a lot of awareness, you’re going to get better results than those who aren’t.

So what does that mean? To me, and what I want to submit to you is, this gives the aggressive marketer the full advantage. This gives anyone who has the ability to outwork everyone else, the chance to get picked up in media publications, and noticed by a lot of people. It gives the relentless marketing entrepreneur the ability to place their brands in the minds of consumers, at a large scale.

Let’s take this crazy situation for example: I decided, as part of my SEO strategy, to write a couple short press releases on the ever famous PR Log. They were succinct, but thorough. They were short, but detailed, and they catalyzed some curiosity in a reporter for a pretty large Pennsylvania business journal.

A call, some questions and a month later, my company was written about in one of the most prestigious, well known business journals in PA. Awesome!

The amount of recognition I got from that was tremendous. I got a ton of tweets from people saying they read the article, a lot of calls from people needing some of the services I provide, and a great lead on a big project for a worldwide brand.

Did I pay a PR agency to get that result? No, of course not. Everyone’s a journalist now a days. Did I contact that business journal and ask to get included in their next edition? Heck no, I’d get turned down in a heartbeat.

I wrote those articles. I put myself and my company out there, I put in the work and got the results. And so can anyone else, but I think you have to keep in mind that you must have:

A Multifaceted Approach

Can I attribute the inclination of the reporter to write the story about my company solely to those press releases? Were they the single determining factors?

The answer is no. The press releases were only the catalyst. They led the reporter to the robust social media and web content I had constructed and published in the previous months and that was, in my belief, the stronger influence.

So let’s examine that part. As part of my overall social media strategy, I roll out several videos a week on the core of my business right now, which is iPhone repair. We do iPhone repair in New York, Philadelphia, and all surrounding states.

So to reach people in my target market, what better strategy than video? To me, this is the answer. I started rolling out videos every week, sometimes twice a day. I launched video series after video series, started filming videos of stories about how my customer’s iPhones were breaking and I got them to as many people as possible through Twitter, and on the company blog. Here’s a quick clip of the “iGraveyard” video series:

The reporter, after checking out the press releases I put out there, went over to the site (via my link to the site on the press release) to inevitably stumble across the videos and content on the blog.

He found a multitude of video content that just because of the sheer volume, would get anybody to say “woah!”

So, the combination of a small fraction of my SEO strategy (the press releases), a couple video series’ and an everyday execution of noise making in the social media world, landed me a serious article, which carried enormous social proof, and landed me some really awesome ROI.

That article, and the awareness that has spread as a result will most likely continue to bring positive results. The social proof that article has brought is tremendous and I’m quite sure I can ride that wave for a long time.

So what’s the real takeaway here? What’s the gem of information? I’d say, it’s that the world is changing. In fact, the world has changed. Marketing has changed from a “go get” approach, where you become really good at interrupting people (traditional marketing), to a “pull in” strategy, where you have to tap into your creative reserves and create experiences that really mean something to people.

It’s that your results are in many cases going to be commensurate with the amount of hustle you put into it. It’s that excitement, and emotionally stimulating web content is going to influence people to help, promote and use your products and services.

It’s that when Hubspot writes a compelling PDF with real data on the state of inbound marketing, and puts heavy emphasis specifically on the amount of money brands are spending now a days to “pull in” customers through compelling inbound marketing, that we all need to be paying attention to it.

And finally, it’s that we all have an opportunity. We have an opportunity to beat out our competitors, to win the hearts and minds of our potential customers, and to truly make an emotional connection, that promotes both acquisition and retention.

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  1. says

    You are absolutely right Ryan! Far to many people would like to just do a few lighthearted steps and then sit back and wonder when the magic will happen. Most people have never been rewarded for just sitting and watching success, not sure why people think that is how it works on the web (or any business).
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  2. says

    Did PR Log work for you? I’ve had several problems with that website. I usually use Articles Base to release PRs, but I’d like to find other websites that work if possible. Thanks!

    • says

      Hey Robert – Interestingly, PRLog worked quite well. It certainly isn’t a great strategy to exclusively approach for SEO purposes, but it managed to convince the business journal reporter to further check us out. I’m definitely not advocating it as an SEO strat, it was 1 link, where the article conveyed a clear message to a reporter looking for something interesting. That could hint at the real strategy being: know how to write compelling press releases? Who knows!

      I don’t know of many other PR websites as I really don’t mess with them too too much for SEO. Now a days, it’s all about quality and authority!

      Thanks for coming Robert, :) great chatting with you.
      Ryan Critchett just posted iGraveyard Slideshow! Broken A** iPhones And iPads

  3. says

    Congrats on the article! That’s a big deal. I totally agree with your stance here and I think that the people that don’t adapt to social media marketing are going to fall behind. They’ll probably miss out on some big opportunities for gaining customers and it will only hurt their business in the end.

    • says

      Hey Paul – Thanks man :) It does. It’s powerful enough to land some really serious results. And hey, it may take a lot of plugging away before you see anything, and it also may have to do with the right person seeing it, among other things. But as long as we’re hustling, and being as good as possible at being everywhere, results are bound to come. I always think of it this way: I always seem to be a lot more lucky when I’m out there taking aggressive action. Thanks for your comment!
      Ryan Critchett just posted iGraveyard Slideshow! Broken A** iPhones And iPads

  4. says

    Yes – One of the greatest parts of the web marketing world is the fact that your results are ultimately up to you – it is directly correlated between the amount of effort and dedication you put in. Marketing is a never ending job – You can spend 12 hours a day doing it and still won’t be finished at the end of a working day. Success never came easy – especially not in the form of paid links.
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    • says

      Anton – So glad to hear you say that. It’s totally up to you, and that’s one of the best parts. So many people look at these platforms and try to pin the probability of success on the platforms themselves. That’s crazy. It certainly is what you do with it. They have no inherent value.

      Good point on marketing. Even though I agree with you, I go “grrrr” and “ahhhh!!” when I think about what you just said. BECAUSE YOU’RE RIGHT, and it stinks! But hey, gotta do it.

      Yea – I’ve never, ever been cool with paid links. I mean, I know some SEO’S use them on a small scale for certain reasons, but I’ve certainly proven (which we really didn’t even talk about in this post) that I could smash on SEO and not do anything paid. Posts like this, a post last week on Problogger, and many others on the biggest blogs on the web were the answer for us.
      Ryan Critchett just posted iGraveyard Slideshow! Broken A** iPhones And iPads

  5. says

    Congratulations Ryan. I think social media is a hotbed, with many people not knowing what they’re doing. Its great to hear how you’re leveraged this medium for your business. Great article!

  6. says

    Social Media will weed you out. That is, if your campaign has no real push. Playing the social game casually returns only casual results. You are what you put into it. So nobody has an unfair advantage. And that’s actually a good thing. When you hit a big wave like Ryan, enjoy it, but be sure you don’t ‘rest on your laurels’. Always look for more avenues to reach your audience, more ways to set yourself apart from your competition, and how you can catch your next big wave.
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    • says

      Samuel – I like your stern position on this. It’s true. No one has an advantage inherently. It’s how creative you are, and whether or not you can hustle your face off daily. I hope I didn’t give the impression that you could just chill after you caught a good press break. Definitely not! That’s more juice to step it up, because you know the kind of spread possible from getting good exposure.
      Ryan Critchett just posted iGraveyard Slideshow! Broken A** iPhones And iPads

    • says


      No – PR Log is definitely not a strategy. It’s just one simple way to grab (in this case) the attention of a press reporter who scans those press release sites for local articles. What got his attention, and made him call my phone, interview me and write this huge article in the journal was the robust social content I had on the site, and the fact that I had used social content distribution and digital networking to launch the foundation of the business. I literally did NO advertising to build the bottom layer of the business. All customers came from the web.
      Ryan Critchett just posted iPhone 4S Repair Snapshot!

  7. says

    Hey Ryan, nice article πŸ˜€

    I agree that the more time you spend on your content and website the better results you will get, I try my best to let me articles reach my targeted audience once I publish them, but even with the help of social medias it’s still pretty tough for me, perhaps it will get easier with time and as my blog gets more indexed pages.

    I never heard of PR Log before, I checked your article there and checked out their website, looks pretty interesting, added it to my bookmarks.

    Thanks Ryan.
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    • says

      Definitely. It’s like it’s an open game for anyone who wants to kick butt. It does get easier with time, and skill – I mean, you have to have something amazing for people. Even my stuff isn’t the best it could be, and we’re always improving. People need craziness!!

      PR Log isn’t all that, it just happened to catalyze some curiosity in this reporter. It was the social content and the craziness of the videos that got him calling me!

      Thanks for coming, glad you read the article Jacky :)
      Ryan Critchett just posted iPhone 4S Repair Snapshot!

  8. says

    Great article. I like your conceptualization of social media marketing as a pull in approach. I think it is a great way of describing the emotional pull of social media marketing. It’s also a more personal approach that captures the emotions of your audience.
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  9. says

    Congrats on your success Ryan, You did an awesome job writing a short yet informative press-release. Posting videos as part of your Social Media Strategy is undoubtedly a good one because you will not only be heard, you will also be seen by your prospect clients with the exact words. I’m sure credibility will be developed :) I hope to get the same press break one of these days. ^^ Many thanks Ryan

    • says

      Thanks Alicia – It was a good boost that created a lot of power. Gave me a good understanding of how these traditional press peeps are finding information, and how they rate it. Press breaks are cool! It’s interesting to see how many people pay attention to certain traditional mediums. But, I’ve been hustling my eyes out since to spread more awareness. The game never ends!

      Thanks for your comment :) Glad you came.
      Ryan Critchett just posted iPhone 4S Repair Snapshot!