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Editor’s note: This month, we’re featuring interviews and guest posts from the fantastic minds speaking at the 2012 Blog World & New Media Expo! Anne is leading a session on blogger outreach. Shareaholic is pleased to offer our community a 10% discount with the registration code SHARE10 – so register today! Now, for Anne’s post:
In the past few years, bloggers have emerged as powerful influencers with large and engaged networks. There are blogs for every niche, industry, and topic – including yours. Just like traditional media, bloggers can be a great resource for spreading the word about your product or services, but unlike traditional media, they generally have a more personal relationship with their readers that can make them even more trustworthy and influential. Many companies, both large and small, have recognized the power of bloggers and begun reaching out to them to build relationships. If your company hasn’t yet, it’s time to start.
The following statistics from Technorati’s 2011 State of the Blogosphere illustrate the reach and influence of bloggers, as well as their relationships with brands.
- 38% of bloggers blog about brands they love or hate
- 65% of bloggers follow brands on social media
- 47% of bloggers frequently blog about brands they follow on social media.
- The majority of bloggers feel that bloggers are treated less professionally by brand reps compared to traditional media.
- Most prefer to work directly with brands, as opposed to working through an intermediary
- Compared with other media, blogs continue to outpace other social media and many traditional media in terms of trust and generating consumer recommendations and purchases.
Starting to work with bloggers can be an intimidating proposition; the blogosphere is huge and diverse. But if you’re just starting out, you don’t need a big budget and additional staff. You can easily work some beginning blogger outreach into your existing social media strategy.
The easiest way to start is by engaging bloggers who are already following you on social media or talking about your company – you can find them with some basic social listening. Did a blogger write a post about you that showed up in your Google Alerts? Did they tag you on Facebook or Twitter? Reach out and thank them, offer additional information that may be helpful, and be sure to follow them.
It should go without saying, but you should always treat bloggers like professionals. Be respectful and gracious and understand that their time and efforts are valuable. The foundation of a successful blogger outreach program should be relationships, and building relationships starts small. Let bloggers know that you’re listening and that you value their work. Once you’ve established a relationship with a blogger, they are more likely to be receptive to future pitches from you.
Don’t be afraid to dip your toes into blogger outreach – you may be surprised by the relationships you can build and the mutual benefits of brands and bloggers working together.
What blogger outreach tips do you have? Let us know in the comments!
Anne Hogan is the Community Manager at the Humane Society of the United States, where she focuses on Facebook engagement for a page of more than one million fans and manages a Twitter account with more than one hundred thousand followers. She also runs the organization’s blogger outreach program. When she’s not tweeting, you can find her playing with her rescued Pomeranian, Teddy.