While many people have many different ideas of what social media means, we define it in pretty simple terms: conversations people are having online. Basic, yes? Easy to understand? We certainly hope so. Because the more we remove the mystery surrounding social media, the more likely our clients and partners are to take advantage of it.
The reality is that a social media strategy is no longer a nice to have; it’s a need to have. As you can see from our Media Spheres of Influence, we don’t view social media as a separate entity; we see it as simply one of the many channels for spreading your story. But that doesn’t mean you use the same strategies in every channel. In fact it often takes a much more personal approach to break through the clutter and build a relationship with bloggers.
We’ve learned that first hand and we thought why not share what we’ve learned with our loyal be on the bloggers. So without further ado, below are five proven tips for building relationships in the blogosphere.
- Get to know the man behind the man – or the man behind the woman or the woman behind the… You get the point. Most blogs at this point are run by a team even if they are led by an individual. We have had a great deal of success going through influencers from full-time employees to part-time contributors to designers. Sometimes building relationship with these people can be more valuable than dealing with the head, or “figure-head” blogger.
- Spread the Story – When a blogger writes about an initiative or idea that we give them, we put all our might into spreading that story. We re-tweet it, bookmark it, Facebook it and do whatever we can to make sure our story, and that bloggers reach, spreads.
- Brief is Better – Bloggers are always on deadline and always getting something else emailed to them. We know that and we respect it. Our pitches and interactions are as to the point as possible. We say if you can’t tweet it don’t pitch it. 140 characters isn’t a lot but if you can boil down your idea to that level and make it compelling, you’ve got a winner.
- Don’t Forget Face to Face – Bloggers get inundated with electronic correspondence and you have to be a part of that – after all that’s the medium. But similar to our mainstream media contacts, we push for face-to-face meetings with key bloggers, whether it’s at an industry event or we make a special trip to meet them. That face-to-face interaction is invaluable as a relationship builder for a long time to come.
- Nominate them for an Award – Flattery will get you everywhere so if we see an award a blogger could compete for we nominate them for it – and then we tell them about it. Again it has to be authentic, but bloggers love the recognition and this can go a long way.
These tips work. Give them a try and spread your story in the blogosphere.
Got some tips that have worked for you? Share them with us. We’re always looking for ways to spice up our next online conversation.