For better or worse, I’m known in Charlotte as a social media marketing guy. My role as president of Social Media Charlotte is one reason for that. The topics I blog about also contribute to the perception. And I’ve been fortunate to leverage that perception into a growing business.
But lately I’ve been shifting focus.
Blogger outreach and blogger relations are where I’m focusing most of my energy. I’ll continue to advise and create content for social media clients, but I’ll devote most of my energy to blogger and influencer relations. Why? Several reasons:
Wide Open Spaces
Few agencies or brands in Charlotte seem to be leveraging blogger relations. Terrie Lee is doing a nice job for Lyerly Agency. Kathy Rowan and I have teamed up on a few projects. Logan Stewart is ramping up blogger relations at Discovery Place.
There may be others…but not many.
Brands need help connecting with bloggers. There’s no doubt it’s a powerful marketing tactic. Market need + first mover advantage = big opportunity.
Blogger Outreach = New Customers
Facebook and Twitter are good for reaching current customers. By all means, don’t stop urging current customers to buy more. But what happens when these customers are maxed out?
Bloggers can introduce you to new audiences. Thanks to the trust they’ve built trust with readers, they can influence the buying decision, too. Earn the respect of a blogger and you’ve got a powerful ally. I want to help clients connect with bloggers and grow their market share.
Managing Social Media Accounts is Impractical
The 24/7 attention Facebook and Twitter require is time- and labor-intensive. These channels require round-the-clock accessibility, promptness, and attentiveness. The value of timing is artificially inflated.
Now multiply that by 5, 10, 20 clients. It quickly becomes impractical.
Blogger relations, by comparison, let’s me build deep, two-way relationships with a manageable number of bloggers. Relationships here can develop over time, more naturally. I can meet the needs of a few bloggers effectively, rather than giving hundreds of Twitter users only the sliver of attention I can afford.
The Wizard of Oz Had Limited Influence
As a PR professional, I get to reach out to bloggers as myself. No more man behind the curtain. I’m more valuable when I introduce myself on your behalf than when I engage anonymously, behind a logo. Rather than “staying in character,” I can openly serve you…and put my network and relationship-building skills on the table.
Also, the more open I can be, the more effectively I can offer these resources to bloggers, too. And helping them ultimately helps you.
Too Much Noise on Social Networks
Too many companies hire consultants to manage their Facebook and Twitter presence, but short change content. How often can you Tweet about your drink specials?
A well-written review from a blog, on the other hand? With a photo? And links to your website? Pure content gold. It stands out in a sea of 140-character noise.
Better Results Than Social Networks
Recent research from PageLever reveals only 3% – 7.5% of fans see your Facebook Page posts. Let that sink in for a minute…
Now, if only 7.5% of fans see your Facebook status update, how many click on it? Or come in for today’s dinner special? Or make a purchase?
I’m not saying Facebook is worthless. Or Twitter. There’s no doubt owned media is a critical part of your marketing mix. But by shifting my focus to your earned media efforts, I’ll be able to move the needle more significantly in key areas: Brand awareness, likelihood to buy, new customer acquisition, market share, search ranking and reach.
I Dig Bloggers Because I AM a Blogger
Before I was “a social media guy,” I was a blogger. I love to write. I get bloggers. I love them for their passion, their devotion, and the ways they contribute to the world.
I’m a business owner for one reason: To make just enough scratch to enjoy my life. Redefining my business to spend more time working with people I enjoy? Every man should be so lucky.