Bloggers are for Life not Just Christmas
Now this is a bit of a risk, I am going to give my views on social media and blogging. I am going put myself above the parapet to be shot at! Lets just hope this isn’t my Gerald Ratner moment 🙂
My advice comes from a business perspective not from a bloggers perspective. In other words how I recommend dealing with bloggers to make the whole thing pay for both sides. I shamelessly admit I only set up a twitter account to chat to bloggers and try to get them to promote my business, which at the the time was Cloggs.
My first step was to identify who I wanted to talk to. As I was trying to sell shoes I decided to track down fashion and beauty bloggers. The key was to find bloggers who preferably had as high a page rank as possible, as I was looking to enhance the sites SEO as well as brand build. If you use Firefox as your browser there are a number of adds on which enable you to assess various metrics of a site. So I googled fashion bloggers UK and began my hunt for high page rank bloggers.
Being a data nerd I logged each blog and their page rank and contact details, preferably twitter details. I then followed all the beauty and fashion bloggers on twitter off my list. This soon produced a new list of people to follow as bloggers tend to chat to each other and are a very supportive community. They compliment each other, so the number of people I followed grew.
Now came the real challenge. Some people don’t mind an unashamed sales pitch but on the whole bloggers have a strong respect for their art. They value what they do and won’t just be bought. (Some will, but if you alienate those who aren’t like this you can blow your strategy out of the water). So you have to engage with the people you follow, and make yourself interesting enough for them to follow you back and engage in conversation.
Being a late 30s man who was trying to chat to woman as young as 18 about fashion and beauty this isn’t always an easy gig. I would wait for people to talk about something I had a clue about, I would then reply. I direct messaged some asking for a few tips and found most were willing to help. The key is to be engaging and passionate about your brand. In this way people will want to know more.
I have now replicated this approach for a few other people and have found that a mix of fun and honesty is always best approach. If you target the right bloggers and you have the right brand then it should be a win win situation. Always chat first and introduce yourself – hard sell is off putting. After that it is easy to discuss how they are mutually beneficial relationships.
These can vary. Up and coming bloggers benefit from associations with brands so may guest blog for you. This gives you good content, and they help promote the blog through their twitter and other social media followers. In other cases letting bloggers have a free product to review is sufficient. You get the promotion, they get access to a product they are interested to write about, and don’t have to pay for the privilege. You can invite a number of bloggers to a bloggers day. This is suitable if you after looking to brand build, bloggers can be the best ambassadors for your brand you can get. The most successful blogs with the largest followings can charge. This can be money well spent for brand placement reasons – some bloggers have as much influence as leading fashion magazines.
My key piece of advice is to be yourself and treat each person as an individual and with respect. In this way you will find the blogging community welcoming and supportive.