Skip main navigation

Earned media

This step discusses the pros and cons of earned media, and gives some examples of how to use it.

Media is ‘earned’ if a person or company was compelled to publish content about you or your product. It cannot be paid for, nor owned.

Whether or not you ‘earn’ this attention tends to relate to the noteworthiness of your offering and the recognition it receives. It is also referred to as word-of-mouth and amongst other things, it includes; reviews, blogs, journals and articles.

In social media, ‘earning’ coverage is first and foremost about creating a product worth talking about. This results in two things – share of voice i.e. people talking about you over the competition, and the opportunity to engage influencers and build relationships with them to gain access to their audiences.

A screenshot of a Tweet which uses the @VOXI_UK handle

To download a detailed description of this visual, scroll to the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this step.

This is an example of a Twitter user sharing the picture of the coffee they received for free from VOXI.

A table showing the pros and cons of earned media.

To download a detailed description of this visual, scroll to the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this step.

Join the discussion

Think of an example where a well-known brand or organisation ‘earned’ social media attention in an amusing or interesting way. In what ways do you think the business benefited from the ‘earned’ attention? Describe your example in the comments below or post a link to the content.

Use the discussion section below and let us know your thoughts. Once you’re happy with your contribution, click the “Mark as Complete” button to check the Step off, then you can move to the next step.

This article is from the free online

How to Develop Your Social Media Content Strategy

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education