Bloggers can yield a great amount of influence with their readers. If you are looking to do Online PR, you have to learn to pitch Bloggers correctly. Just like journalists, they are constantly bombarded by requests. Yours has to stand out – for all the right reasons.

# 1: Select Your Bloggers Carefully & Then Reach Out

Which blogs are actually reaching the audience you want to reach? Don’t look for the biggest blogs. Look for the ones that reach your audience. If you want to reach moms, you probably want to go after mommy Bloggers. If you want to reach early adopters of technology, you want to go after technology Bloggers and also generic Bloggers.

How do you know that a blog has a lot of influence/readership? There are three clearly defined characteristics of an influential blog:

  • Check the page rank. Solid blogs generally have a higher Google page rank. Anything 4 and above can be seen as favorable
  • Check for comments and responses left by others. An active blog will have regular comments
  • Check for how many times they post. Generally, a Blogger who posts three or four times a week is more in touch with their community than someone who posts once a week
  • Also check for the tone of the posts, sometimes a positive post can be written with little sarcastic, this might leave many thoughts in the reader’s mind, be careful to look at that aspect
  • Research on where all, a particular blog is been referred, most of the times influential Blogs are referred on other Blogs, this will also gain insights of the reliability and genuineness of an influential Blog, not just referred on Social platforms
  • Never rely on the number of visits, as it can tweaked. Best thing is to look at the number of posts and number of years a Blogger has been writing
  • Have a check on the Blogs if there is an opening of Ad placements on the Blog, those Blogs can be too commercial and cannot be guaranteed of genuine reviews on a particular product
  • There are few Blog who just links to other Blogs, should not be considered

Tip # 2: Provide Common Ground- And Be Convincing

How do you convince Bloggers to write about you? You must make an effort to customize your emails to these Bloggers. Capture their interest first, and then work on building a relationship. Remember – they don’t have to care about you or your product. You have an obligation to show them how it can benefit them and their readers.

Tip # 3: Giving Them Control, Make Them Feel Valued as Bloggers

According to a recent survey, it was found that majority of the Bloggers believed that it’s fine to write about products and services, given that they are free to write about it the way they want to. Give Bloggers that freedom. You can also give them something that they can give away to their readers. The easiest way to draw in large ‘crowds’ of readers is by offering a prizes, Goodies to a reader or a bunch of readers who will win in a contest. As for the mechanics of the contest, leave that to the blogger. The blogger probably knows his or her readers better than you. Entrust the prize and let the blogger create the buzz as they see fit.

On a final note, remember that it takes time and patience. When we pitch bloggers for clients, sometimes it takes pitching a 100 bloggers to get 10 positive responses. And, that’s okay. You want to find the ones that your message resonates with in a positive manner.

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Social media tools for socialites that is becoming increasingly popular is the internet. Reasons could be many, but main one is the content generated by the users which is directly from the public. Social networking sites and very popular with the users, and plenty of them can be found online. They are free to use and are advanced in technology. The concept of social media optimization utilizes such forms of media for increasing your website popularity and value. As a form of online marketing strategy, it is also a part of functions carried out by the search engine optimizers. Optimization of your content by keyword is crucial here. Make sure you update your content on regular basis. Do not forget to use apt keywords and phrases, but stay within limits and do not over stuff your content. When starting SMO, you should submit your main site to as many social networking sites as possible. Social Media Optimization requires lots of effort and hard work, similar to Search Engine Optimization. One will not be able to craft web space and presence without being patient and hard working. It is the unlimited web presence offered to the website optimizers, that is the main advantage of social networking sites. To increase business popularity, Social Media optimizers can use its name and reputation. Some use a fictional name for this purpose, which is also OK. We can therefore craft a profile of our virtual and non-existing person, but it should be avoided if possible. No matter what name you use, it is crucial that your profile shows strong background and experience in the required field of business. The most common cause of the marketing tools and techniques failure is inadequate exposure to the business that is being promoted which later leads to brand anonymity. It is very important these days that marketing is done in proper and continuous manner. Promoting is very difficult with a new business, but if you do it in a planned manner you can have really good results. Online business, in order to be successful, needs you to put a lot of work and effort. Many optimizers have agreed that social media optimization is a good option for effective website optimization.

Social Media Optimization also involves a clear strategy of the specific tool adoption. Sometimes, the selection of tools are very important more than the Social Media approach. The selections of tools directs us towards a clear goal of reaching our target audience and this has to be planned to what is the overall reach one is looking at. In some cases this is tedious in nature ensuring every tool is connected to each other to ensure a seamless content distribution. But there are some tools such as Friendfeed, Facebook, Tubemogul which helps content dissemination easier.

There has been a significant evolution with the current tools which have come up with more integration options. Thus, hoping to similar evolutions in future which will make things more organized and smoother for any Social Media Programs

Conversations are built on the quality of the content used, it could be in the form of Pictures, Videos, text, link, captions or any form of the content. I am not just saying content, but it is all about quality content. “Quality Content!!” this sounds too tricky. Sometimes I would feel what quality content would be. Is it professionally shot pictures, videos, written text… Hey…. No not at all… What I mean about quality content is something which triggers you to express your views, something which tickles you, something which instigates you to raise your voice, opinions. In other words, something which involves you in a conversation, viewing of videos, viewing of photographs and much more. The content associated with every conversation should connect users with their expressions and views. Be it a picture or a video, we always have something to say about it, but sometimes it subsides within ourselves or sometimes the content is so strong that we cannot handle our expressions and the result would in the form of comments, liking etc. Though it might be just a picture or a video there should be something associated with it, as every picture or a video has something to say always. Many of us still feel that if just sharing content would be enough to trigger conversations, YES in simple words. Imagine in our school days, everyone of us would be very excited to share our new fancy looking water bottles, New school Bags, New Book covers, New pencil boxes with our friends. Sometimes you also drive attention of people who are not your friends, just because you have something unique with you to talk about or share about.

It’s the same thing, you do it when you share something unique and creative with the users. These are key elements to drive people’s attention and hence building conversations around the content. Now this content could be company facts, their developments, their expansions in the industry, their achievements, let people know about what we are doing, in this case we are giving them an opportunity to speak to us or about us.

There are some other ways to look at triggering conversations such as using some teaser messages such as “Government goofing up with people’s tax money”, the picture or video associated with it could be very positive such as the video might show the entire tax money getting utilized for the betterment of the country and also showcases important initiatives taken in the progress of the country. These kind of messages will certainly add lot of value and will also gain lot of conversations to its surprise value too. So, the idea behind triggering conversations are not building BIG ideas, but small idea pieces which builds regular conversations around a brand, service or an individual

Return on Time Spent

June 12, 2009

This logic is slightly philosophical, but I guess this will help a lot in understanding the characteristics of Social Media activities and its services available.

One can reap excellent benefits out of Social Media if he / she does enough research on Social Media, its characteristics, the way it works, they way it reacts to us. Many of us have a myth about Social Media is just to know about tools which will help us to communicate our key messages. But, the actual feel of how social media would react to our communications will totally depend on how much time do we devote online by getting engaged in Social Media activities such as :

  • Commenting on interesting topics
  • Participating in the Discussions
  • Participating in the Brainstorming activities on Brainstorming sites
  • Blogging and commenting on Blogs, its not about just saying “good post”,  “I just dropped on  this site and the content is good”, “good one”. All these are not comments or value additions. It is just a formality to increase their own visibility by establishing more number of backlinks. The real commenting is when you add some value additions to the existing article, which will give you more insights to the post or an article on a Blog. This will be appreciated even by the Author of the Blog and certainly develop good relationships with the Author
  • Tweeting – Tweeting is an important activity. It goes in a teaser perspective, due to its 140 character limitation. Moreover, tweeting is a very influential activity to spread the message across, it acts well to distribute the information across
  • Interacting with the unknown people who equally share like minded thoughts or totally different thoughts, managing conversations with the online people
  • Trying to make assumptions of their likes and dislikes
  • Getting anxious to their responses
  • Drafting responses to the unexpected and weird comments

    All this won’t be possible if an individual is not involved in these activities actively. The consequences of not being active and yet implementing the strategies would always end up in negative responses, negative reputation and unexpected reviews or feedback from the users.

    Yes.. It is a time consuming activity and lot of research is needed before one tries to indulge in these activities.  Moreover, to implement a smooth and flawless Social Media activity, one has to listen to what people are saying and also understand what do they expect. One has to be even Social in nature, this will help a lot in weaving new thoughts of triggering conversations or conversational topics.

    Good openings for people who talk a lot, think a lot, and likes to keep on conversing on Philosophical thoughts. 🙂 , But there can be saturation if you over do it also 😉

    India is still very aggressive in supporting Causes and CSR activities through Social Media. As it still works out with a common objective i.e “Support”, “Raise Voice Against”, “Save” and many more.

    There has been a major confusion amongst people about Tools and Communication strategy in India. Marketers are skeptical about engaging users with indirect communications as they are very much used to direct communications. This trend might take some time to entirely get changed into engaging users with their choice of content.

    PR Professionals, Advertising Professionals will have to spend lot of time through indulging into social media activities as being part of it and act like the end users to understand the clear kn0w-how of Social Media and other forms of Digital Communications.

    Hence, its time to take an immediate call and act like an end user and achieve excellent returns on the time spent. I dont have evidences to it, but it would be clearly evident if an individual is totally involved in Social Communities.

    Cost of Inactivity

    June 5, 2009

    I would like to thank to one of my online friend – ISABELLE who has been actively discussing with me on this matter, The Best part of our discussion was coming up with a  new perspective to look at “Cost of Inactivity” rather than analyzing it through ROI, Cost per click etc etc.

    Inactivity has been an important concern in the Social Media World especially in the Indian Markets. Social Media has been very successful in other countries. India has still yet to taste the response of Social Media. Yes there are many companies who have started using Social Media as one the mediums to engage people. But they are not completely in it. The current perception of the Indian market is still restricted to contests, Campaigns to engage users and not discussions, brainstorming and other Crowd sourcing activities. Indian brands are still skeptical to act transparent to the actual people and still looking at different ways to control these mediums in either restricting themselves on tools or content.

    But Social Media is more than just sharing a company’s information, their operations, their expansion plans, service etc. Social Media is also, giving an opportunity to the people to participate in one’s brand conversations, such as brand enhancements and many more. It need not have to be specific to the brand but a relative activity of the brand. Ultimately what people look for is an opportunity to converse with people on different possible discussions, express their views, frustrations, ideas etc. where they would like make some value additions. The Best example of is the Idea Campaign, it does have an emotional connect as well as involve people in the brand’s Initiatives.

    There is one more reason why Brands in India are not very keen in involving real people in their activities, as the fear of conversations going against them. But, its worth taking a risk.

    It needs a long term strategy to develop good relationships with the real people. An ideal social media strategy should span across between 3 to 6 months. Social Media strategies are little time consuming, but in this case we are building a communication support to backup our promotional activities. It just like somebody approaching you with a product which has no history and future. Everyone needs some supporting, not just appearing it on Hoardings, Electronic media, but also adding some personalized touch to it.

    Brands still look at one big Idea, than looking at simple strategies to support it. And this kind of practice is dangerous for a brand image. Moreover, just being listed on all popular social media services, will not be considered as being active on it. One has to talk to people, ask their reviews, involve them in the brand’s survey processes and also involve them in possible brainstorming processes. This will certainly place any brand to a customer’s expectation and also building brand loyalty. People wants their concern to be considered. So far we have been hiding and running away from their concerns, and naturally that leads a Brand Disaster in the coming future. Moreover, being active is so important as there is immense competition around the brands itself. Lets understand one thing, being inactive is far more expensive than being active. Here are some important aspects to look at it:

    1. Misunderstanding towards a Brand
    2. Loosing valuable customers without knowing
    3. Negative Influence
    4. Misinterpretation of the customers  expectation and hence ending up in a loose out
    5. Advantage for the competitors
    6. Negative conversations going out of control damaging the Brand Reputation
    7. Very difficult to convince and provide possible justification on a claim or an incident
    8. Loosing out good opportunities to connect with consumers directly and also understanding their expectations
    9. Spending lot of money on the research companies, with assumptive survey reports
    10. Unwanted Redirection of Valuable Conversations

    Looking at so many possible disadvantages, Is Being Inactive Worth a try ?

    Did we ever realize that we are far far,  far superior than Google.  I realized this, in one of our discussions with my friends & colleagues.  As usual, we were discussing about a brand and how can we leverage multiple platforms in promotion.  Let me start with Google and  its search logic. Whenever we key in any query in the search bar. It gives you many specific results and it also gives you related results. If you click these related results, we can see more related results on it, and this route map continues.

    I found this logic very much similar to our brain and the way we think. I also realized that this is the exact logic we should use it for any brand when it comes in implementing any digital program for them as the platforms are endless. So far, i have observed many people fail to think this way when it comes in implementing online marketing tactics, related to social media and the new evolved online technologies.

    Ideas on Social media and other digital marketing tactics are endless.  It depends on how far you can connect each idea and come out with a new sub-idea. But, it also depends how far you can implement those ideas. Lot of people call it as Brain mapping. But, yes it is actually brain mapping, which helps you to realize the endless ideas and implementations towards any Digital Marketing Program. A simple illustration is been illustrated on this perception, the image actually depicts a process on a patient, but the logic remains same to our context.

    brain-map-social-media-map, influential map

    I think nowadays, I am breathing  Search Engine Marketing & Social Media Marketing, as it is connecting me or rather i am getting connected at every step and every moment of my life.  As i was mentioning about a discussion with my colleagues on a brand, we went on connecting every parameter of the brand and further went on connecting platforms to be used to promote the desired brand.

    Initially when it came to me, of course, i had lot of things in my mind, but further i went on realizing many more connecting ideas to it, which very much worked as Brain Mapping. Many people say that it might be a brain storming process, but most of the brain storming session involve only debates and arguments.  Good, I attended one of the Brain Mapping workshops in the past. But frankly I literally got bored of it and even thought why would i think that way. But yes now it gave me a great platform to think that way. Thanks to that Brain mapping workshop which I attended.  Google exactly follows this logic. I think the owner of the Google was a Brain Mapping Guru 🙂 sounds funny right! No not at all. This is a very important aspect to any successful foundation, technology and identity.

    influential-brain-mapping, influential marketing, Network Marketing

    Did any one realize how brain mapping works, its exactly resembles our popular concepts of Social Networks and the great influential marketing. Where each of your thought is influenced by another thought. I have even added a picture so that it can be related easily.

    Every thought is connected to another. Similarly there is no reason why the logic behind Social Media is not exactly like a thought of a  human.