August 5, 2015

Tools to find and engage your true-blue fans


Chris details his online influencer process

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamToday I’ll share the how I go about researching, collecting, discovering, and populating my online influencer lists. A few of my offerings include online influencer outreach, long-tail blogger outreach, and social media marketing so a major part of my services include sifting through the entire Internet to come up with a hyper-targeted list of online influencers with whom to engage during the online influencer outreach, long-tail blogger outreach, and social media marketing campaigns I run for my clients.

Bringing SDL SM2, Inkybee & Google Search into GroupHigh

SDL-SM2-Logo-300x110SDL SM2Inkybee, Google Search, and especially GroupHigh serve very particular purposes to me. I am a long-tail blogger guy, which means I don’t limit my outreaches to a quick 100 social media influencers but across thousands.

To me, SM2 has the best bulk research tool because it’s a social media metric and analytics tool. While it isn’t meant to be a blogger discovery tool, it’s one of the most interesting because it’s just looking for keyword mention and not labels. So, it’ll dig as deeply and broadly as possible. I upload big batches of keywords and then take the results and chop off the fat and then take the resulting URLs and upload them to GroupHigh, where their powerful app takes those blog URLs a thousand at a time and populates each one with all of its related social media metrics.

inkybee logoWhen I want to be more blog and blogger specific, Inkybee definitely has the best blog research tool — and by best, I mean least tedious. Unlike GroupHigh, which makes one painfully click on little stars in order to select blogs for campaign lists, Inkybee allows me to pop in keyword terms and then go to sleep. The next day, I go in and collect big nets of blogs that I can later slice and dice using a much more efficient tool: Excel or Google Apps Sheets. Dicking around with a browser and database and Internet refresh lag is something I really try to avoid, and I really hate scrolling and clicking, one by one, in order to jump through an app-defined tool.

One thing I wish Inkybee had was a much better outreach and engagement tool, where GroupHigh thrives, and also the ability to take a bunch of social media URLs and find the associated blogs (Inkybee can’t do that but GroupHigh can) and integration with my email, something GroupHigh is the best at.

GroupHigh is truly a social media CRM and it works even better than if you were going to try to hack it using SugarCRM or even Salesforce. So, to me, Inkybee is the best research tool. The only real reason why I use SM2 at all is because neither GroupHigh nor Inkybee supports bulk upload of search terms, only the bulk upload of URLs. That’s a real blind spot for them both.

grouphigh logoSo, my process is: set up SDL SM2, add all the keywords I have collected through going down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, let it go to parse, search, and churn.  Then, I take those keywords and laboriously hand-add these same keywords into InkyBee, making sure I distribute them across lots of lists (otherwise, the app breaks since it only had a limit of 1,000 blogs per list, a ceiling they never mention on the site but do if you email).  If you break that ceiling, though, and you complain enough, maybe they’ll be able to crowbar it out for you — once (that just happened to me — I’m more careful now).

Finally, I go over to Google and do simple searches like “top government intelligence blogs” or “top mommy blogs” or “top government twitter profiles” and stuff like that. Whenever I find a page, I go to source, scrape the blogs and Twitter profiles using some mad Regex, and then I take those 50-record text lists and put them right with my SM2 and Inkybee lists and then upload all the URLs (blog, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, etc.) into GroupHigh’s Import URLs tool, which does limit you to 1,000 at a time but if I show line numbers in my TextPad, I can break my 4,000 record lists into 973-records each.

google searchThen, GroupHigh churns and scrapes and connects and searches and tries to find the blog associated with the YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram URLs I upload and the YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram associated with the blog URL I upload (Inkybee just can’t do this, it only accepts blog URLs and just chokes when I try to find a blog using other social media venues, though it will try to find all the blogs associated with all the followers I have on Twitter, so I know that tool exists, it’s just not packaged in the way I want or need it).

When all is said and done, I prune, prune, prune, prune, prune. I chop out all the mainstream media venues if they’re not germane to the campaign. I remove any zombie blogs, spam blogs, abandoned blogs, and any outliers with too few or no social media moxie or way too much, depending on the sexiness or generosity of the client’s offer or product.

YAMM Yet Another Mail Merge from Romain VialardMany clients want to dig through the list before we release the hounds (which is important especially if you don’t know the particular blogosphere or industry as well as your client does and might not be able to protect them as well as they might be able to protect themselves — even more essential when your client is controversial or political).

Then, depending on what the campaign requires, I’ll run the entire campaign from the GroupHigh dashboard by going through the hundreds or thousands of online influencers by hand, reaching out to them by message-modeled emails, tweets, LinkedIn InMails, or Facebook Messages; or, if it’s a long tail blogger outreach email campaign, I’ll probably use a combination of Google Apps for Business Webmail and Yet Another Mail Merge from Romain Vialard (great app and great guy, by the way — go for the paid version, for sure).Chris Abraham is a partner in Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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4 thoughts on “Tools to find and engage your true-blue fans

  1. I have been looking for a keyword search tool but SDL SM2 is well out of my price range. For now. Any suggestions for very inexpensive to free? I have one tool, very limited functionality but it’s on a laptop I don’t always have access to. Crystl. Ever heard of it?