Last 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.
Let me boil my last post, Here’s why it make sense to use Google Plus, down to practical pieces. Part of what makes a technology premature is that you have to be careful how you use it, because it isn’t mature enough to just work no matter what you do with it. To help you carefully handle Google+ for maximum advantage, I’ve assembled eight steps that help you get the best search visibility from your Google+ posts. These tips are simple, but some are easy to overlook. I hacked this awful-looking graphic as an example:
Here’s a list of things that you need to consider before you invest your time and energy in Google+:
- Make sure all your posts are Public. You can add more circles in order to spur interest among your friends, but be sure you explicitly tell Google, through your willingness to share publicly, that they can index your content in their public search engine. Check this every time because sometimes Public isn’t always selected, depending on the situation. Here’s my Google+ public profile.
- Use a clean URL when you add your content to Google+. Google+ hasn’t been translating URL shorteners well, so use a link from the source. This will not only allow Google to better populate the content as you see above, including the Title, Blog Name, Description, and an Image from the post, but it will also allow that content to be cross-referenced to any Google +1 “likes” from others within Google+ and the rest of the Googlephere. Site URLs are translated the way they are on Facebook. You need to paste the URL into the “Share what’s new…” text box.
- Prefixing names with a plus sign links that name to the person’s profile on Google+. You can include your friends and people you’re connected to on G+ in a similar way you do in Facebook, but Google+ has a gimmick that you may know or not. In the graphic above, you’ll see a light gray-blue rectangular box around the names Arsh S and Jenna Levy — I did that by adding a plus symbol (+) before each name while I am writing the article. G+ then populates a pull-down, offering pre-populated names of people I am connected to. I just need to select and go. Sometimes the profile’s privacy setting prohibits the link reference to persist after posting. Linking to people is a good way to engage, inform, and initiate conversation.
When it comes to your direct mail campaigns, you’ve probably over-farmed your land.
You’ve been emailing and snail mailing the same donors you have done for a decade. It is time to leave the land fallow and let the lists rest. You have probably responded to lower donations and attention by relinquishing too much power to your direct marketing firm and they have been much more aggressive than you’re comfortable with, sending out many more snail mail and email donation requests than ever before. You used to blame the economy for decreased giving but you’re starting to believe it has more to do with the fertility of the donor list than it does with the economic collapse of 2008–or a lot less than you’ve been led to believe. You realize that the nonprofit space is ever more competitive, but your brand is strong and respected and comes up well in Charity Navigator, so what gives?
Well, in agriculture, it is possible to over-farm your land. Indeed, it is probable, in a couple ways:
Ultimately, you need to do one or more of a couple things: allow the land to rest, either ceasing farming completely or throttling down substantially, though this is impossible if you’re tending only one plot of land; enrich the land you already have with better aeration, nutrition, and pesticides with the expectation that you will be able to increase your yield; rotate your crops within the land you already have with crops that tend to enrich the soil that has been depleted by your main crop, naturally returning your field to a cycle of fertility; or you can expand your fields, distributing your yield over a larger plot of land, reaching into a greater diversity of quality of land, essentially hedging your bets over land of varying quality, durability, fertility, and health, resulting in a more consistent crop that is less dependent on any particular geographic focal point. Continue reading
Do you focus on the most popular and ignore the rest in social media?
Too 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
Look to the Long Tail to recruit brand ambassadors
Well, 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