Last week, Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation announced he is working on a project of best practices in social media marketing.
Here’s my third Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Reach out to others. Most people don’t find you by accident, they find you through referrals. No matter how large or small your following, you can increase readership and visibility by reaching out to others. Here are six ways to do that:
1.) Write a guest blog post for someone else. The key to making this work is that the blog you are guest writing for MUST have the same, or very similar, target audience as yours. If you write for a blog with a different target audience, there will be minimal beneficial effect. I found this out the hard way. I gave a big news scoop to someone else, but did not see much increase in traffic after the initial surge. And even the initial surge wasn’t as big as I was expecting. And I think it was mostly due to less overlap in target audience than I thought we had.
2.) Ask a popular blogger to write a guest post for you (simultaneously mentioning the guest post on their own blog). Figure out what you can do in return for the guest post, or perhaps the cross-promotion will be enough of a fair trade. Or you can ask others to talk about/link to your article on their blog. Again, the target audience must line up for this tactic to work. If your friend has a distinct readership from your own, his/her referral will drive traffic and awareness your way.
3.) Develop a blogger outreach program. I first ran across this concept being employed by Mabel’s Labels. Mabel’s Labels’ blogger outreach program includes giving away free samples. What kind of free samples or schwag could your company give to bloggers?
4.) Comment on others’ blogs. Many bloggers want feedback, critique, and reinforcement on what they are writing. By commenting on others’ blogs, you are increasing awareness for your own. Not only will the author most likely check you out, the author’s readers may also check you out (though the rate of readers clicking through to you might not be very high).
5.) Put your friends’ and target audience’s names in lights. People enjoy reading about themselves. When you blog about someone, be sure to a.) let them know about the fact that you blogged about them, and b.) tag your post with their name. This EverythingCU World 2.0 Adventure blog receives many hits on people searching for other people’s (or their own) names. When a person meets someone for the first time, and are interested in furthering the relationship, whether its business or personal, nowadays people will google their new friend to learn more. Why not have your blog come up in search results on the people you are writing about?
6.) Ask other bloggers to write about a subject that is important both to you and to them. That’s exactly what Mitch Joel did to touch off this meme. It’s only a few days old, and already its been written about by Chris Brogan, Corby Fine, Liz Strauss, Drew McLellan, SuzeMuse, and Kate Trgovac. A benefit for Mitch is that all of these blogs are now linking back to his blog, increasing his visibility among all of these blogs’ readership, as well as search engine rankings, such as Technorati. That Mitch Joel is one smart cookie!