June 27, 2012

Blogger outreach is earned media not paid, right?

Chris AbrahamMy definition of blogger outreach has always been about acquiring earned media coverage from bloggers and online influencers.

My definition–and my assumption–has always been that blogger outreach is public relations and not paid media. I may well be mistaken.

Continue reading

February 1, 2012

Can PR leave behind magical thinking for science?

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20Government/Communism/einstein-communist2.jpg

Don’t let your social media hypothesis dictate your conclusion

Chris AbrahamWhile neither marketing nor social media are sciences, one needs to use scientific principles to be most effective when it comes to both branding and prospecting online. It doesn’t take an Einstein to succeed in social media marketing, but to does take a scientist. Are you rigorously collecting metrics and data  to see if what you’re doing is resulting in sales conversions or extending your brand or are you relying on things you’ve learned from The Secret? Is your social media marketing campaign relying too much on magical realism, the power of positive thinking, and general superstition?

Or, are you so confident in your social media marketing plan that you really don’t care what your experiment says? That no matter how little pick-up you get in the media or no matter how few followers you garner or how little engagement, it isn’t your fault but must be because the market’s not ready for you or because you knew that social media marketing wasn’t effective anyway. Continue reading

December 7, 2011

The Social Media News Release explained in detail

http://www.wiretiger.com/images/press_release_distribution.jpgChris AbrahamLast week I dissected a blogger outreach pitch email line-by-line in Detailed analysis of the perfect blogger pitch as a way of proving that no matter how brief and conversational one of Abraham Harrison‘s blogger pitches may appear at first blush, the effortlessness takes a lot of work and the time of three senior agents. Today I plan to go through, line by line, a site we create to support all of our blogger outreach campaigns. You can call it a Social Media News Release (SMNR) or a microsite, a resource site, or a fact sheet. To those of you who are in communications, you’ll recognize the structural similarity between it and a traditional news release or press release.

Continue reading

October 19, 2011

Inbound marketing the way nature intended

Chris AbrahamLast week I asked my management team if what we do at Abraham Harrison is inbound marketing. Sara Wilson, my COO, told me yes, that our digital PR strategy of identifying thousands of topical blogs and then pitching them on behalf of our clients with the goal of securing hundreds of earned media mentions is surely the definition of inbound marketing–and maybe even the way that God intended. Or at least the deities who wrote the Cluetrain Manifesto, where markets are conversations.

Earned media is hard.  How do you get loads and loads of unpaid citizen journalists to make a gift of their valuable time and platform? It must be just short of impossible. Far from it, and we have been doing it again and again, week after week, since the Fall of 2006, about a half-decade ago.

This commonly-held belief, that earned inbound marketing is well-nigh impossible, has caused “fickle and unreliable” bloggers and influencers to be avoided in place of predictable but artificial inbound marketing.  This new version uses technology and SEO, fake review sites, fake blog sites, fake news sites, affiliate marketing, monetary incentives, text-link-ads, link trading. and entire “informational” sites similar to Wikipedia, distributed globally, on many different servers and under many different domains and sub-domains to emulate its “impossible” counterpart. Continue reading

August 31, 2011

Twitter success demands both top influencers and everyone else

Do you focus on the most popular and ignore the rest in social media?

Chris AbrahamToo many colleagues, organizations, and companies are keeping their circles of influencers small, believing it is better to invest limited time and resources on the most influential, the most popular, and the most celebrated. Happens in DC all the time. I’m rocking the latest dinner party, parlaying attendees with my wit and banter, when someone snazzier and trendier enters. Immediately I’ve lost my audience’s attention. The idea easily transfers to Twitter.

Other users focus exclusively on networking within their own space, effectively limiting scope and reach by preaching to the choir. If you’ve invested in running with the A-list, fine; however, that’s an old model reminiscent of old PR, of the golf club, the lodge, and the private club.

The Internet created something that not enough social media consultants and coaches support and advise: the ability to expand circles of influencers, to engage with anyone and everyone. Only recently has the Internet become ubiquitous and global in a real way. Previously, the digital divide was a barrier to not just many Americans but quite a few developing nations becoming part of the global conversation.

The value of the Internet is proportional to the number of connected users. It’s also living proof of Rule 34. No matter how obscure, vertical, or arcane your material may be, there’s an audience for it. Someone will show it love and attention. Online social networks have made all of this even easier to the point where it is becoming less of a potential and more of a promise, an eventuality. In short, there is real value associated with connecting to as many followers and collecting as many “Likes” as is humanly possible. For real effect.

There’s also a psychological benefit of large numbers. I have won contracts and business on the power of five-digit followers on Twitter, which is modest compared to most of my peers. However, for someone who only has a couple-hundred followers, 38,000 is a lot and suggests mastery. To be honest, I wonder how long it will take these “less is more” social media consultants to realize that it’s not good business to dismiss what the client wants out of hand. Continue reading

August 24, 2011

Build Twitter followers using the theory of everyone

Look to the Long Tail to recruit brand ambassadors

http://mariosundar.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/500x_rodolex-hlarge.jpgChris AbrahamWell, as regular readers of this blog know, I am a Cluetrainian. This means I put more trust in the value and impact of the online influencer long tail than I do in the impact of the couple of dozen top influencers that most social media consultants and digital PR teams recommend. This is the Internet, an efficient platform allowing easy access to what’s called the network effect: The value of your social network is dependent on the number of others using it.

While it may well be important to have the top 100  influencers on any particular topic following you on Twitter or Facebook, it is not essential. You can make up for it by attracting, retaining, and activating everyone else. In short, anyone who shares her time, talent, and experience online is an important online influencer and potential brand ambassador for my clients.

How do you get lots and lots of people to follow your brand? Don’t know where to start? First, make sure you share your Twitter and Facebook information everywhere your brand exists in the real world or in cyberia. You could spend months and months developing these lists and groups of followers, encouraging folks to retweet your content and so forth. Continue reading