How to Use Your Social Media Channels for Blogger Outreach
Blogger outreach has to be a priority in maintaining a presence in the blogosphere. It doesn’t come easily, and you should be prepared to put the work in, but luckily, there are some ways you can do this in a more targeted and efficient way. I have put together a list of the eight most effective ways of reaching out to other bloggers for long-lasting online business relationships.
In many cases (and when approached right), social networking has the benefit of being more personable than many other Internet communication outlets. This is because of the face-to-face nature, with open communication on an ever-updated forum. There is much more on a profile than in an email address (and a signature), for example.
One of the best social media benefits is that it allows you to create a real look at yourself and your abilities. This generates more credibility than an email, which can be sent by anyone from a legitimate business to a scammer claiming to be a Nigerian general with a fortune to give away. Potential outreach targets can look through your posts during the past few months, see your bio and decide if you are someone they could work with.
But to do this you have to actually look credible on your profile. That means taking the time to build it up to give a real glimpse into who you are and what you can offer while remaining professional and friendly. Use a real pic of your face so they can see you are a real person and not a logo and give useful information in your bio. Link any relevant websites, but don’t make it all about getting traffic.
1. Use Twitter Hashtags
Hashtags might be the best invention since Twitter itself. Easy to search, they are applied by journalists and bloggers to provide easy access to posts for people using search for any related purpose. They are so popular that people now use them just as a description, even on sites that don’t link them.
Using the internal Twitter search engine for hashtags like #journorequest, #journalistrequest, and #HARO will help you find opportunities for link building. You can use any relevant tags that will relate to what you are looking for, and since it is a real-time update site you will have the newest chances as your first results. But you have to act quickly.
But hashtags aren’t all there is in the world of Twitter. Using advanced search queries can be just as effective and sometimes even more targeted. Try combining searches like "guest post" plus keyword or "guest blog" plus keyword. While it doesn’t work like a help-wanted ad, it does provide you with a list of blogs that have accepted guest content in your niche before. This means they are more likely to again.
Seeing success using these two methods? Then try TweetDeck and other alert programs so you can regularly watch your results.
2. Organize Your Outreach Targets with Twitter Lists
As you go along, you should build up a pretty good list of people with whom you have started working toward a relationship. These potential outreach targets are important to watch, and setting up a Twitter list is a good way of doing that.
From there you can set up a customized pane on TweetDeck to watch them for chances to comment of their tweets, retweet their content and just interact. Just make sure the list is private – you don’t want them to know they are one of many you are trying to build to a link with.
If using a public list, you can also create some flattery, going back to tip No. 1. Name the list something positive, like, "The Best Tech Bloggers on the Net." A little cheesy, but it looks genuine, and hopefully, a few on the list will end up seeing it.
3. Use Social Media Instead of an Email
Using social media as a way of general contact is actually preferable to email in almost all cases. This might come as a surprise, as for many years people have been saying that an email is more professional than a PM on a forum or shooting off a comment on a Facebook page.
But you might have noticed that most websites now don’t have administrator emails on hand. They cover them with images that you have to click, use a replacement address with X’s or just have a general contact form.
Instead, they have endless links to social media profiles in posts, on contact and bio pages, in the sidebar … can they be any more clear about how they want to communicate? It is much faster to find a social media profile than it is to get an address, and you are more likely to hear back from them much more quickly as well.
If they don’t have links the same principle still applies. Searching for their name via the general search engine works or joining a fan page on Facebook or following the main business page on Twitter. You can even check out tools like FollowerWonk, WeFollow, and Twitter/Facebook’s internal search to find any accounts that are related to your particular niche.
4. Getting Introduced Formally
I use LinkedIn more as an online resume than anything else. But it can also be a valuable networking resource if you approach it in the right way. In this case, "the right way" is by finding a way to have you introduced to a potential target.
Start by checking of the box on someone’s profile that looks like this:
As you can see, it will show you any mutual connections and how closely they know each other. If there is a link with someone you know or work with, you can ask for an introduction. This is a simple tactic that has been used for years in business and has now moved into a digital format with the same basic idea behind it.