This article puts together some sources and examples of the best social media campaigns I’ve read about. I present three real-life examples with screenshots of social network marketing success on Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Several weeks ago I discovered some interesting articles on SEOmoz’s blog. See here.
This whiteboard Friday is pretty blatant about the types of link building a lot of link builders and social media marketers do but should not be doing. Also, for those of you who don’t know, Rand Fishkin is the founder of SEOmoz.
I also came across this article by Kelsey Libert.
I think that this strategy is awesome! I’ve already tried it on Google+ and Twitter over the last couple weeks and have seen results. The only problem is that this strategy takes WEEKS, not hours before I can even pitch the writer, editor, etc. with an idea. That means that I have to build a relationship long before I send them an email or pitch. Quote from the article author below:
“This should happen weeks before you ever pitch. For example, from having this candid conversation, I learned Rae Hoffman lived in Florida for a decade, she now lives in TX, and we both have a deep hatred for palmetto bugs. The point? I’ve begun finding ways I could relate to her in a pitch. Don’t underestimate the power of little personal details; they make all the difference to publishers who on average receive 150 pitches a day.”
I’ve seen this already begin to work and I completely understand why. If someone knows your name by replying to your comments, answering your questions, just talking to you; then they will recognize you when you pitch to them. Get to know your targets. Read their articles, cite and quote interesting things they say in their articles, engage them on social media with questions and things they will be likely to respond to. It’s actually pretty easy and fun, but just time consuming. Here’s an example of me just yesterday on Google+
You might be asking, who cares about Guenther Beyer. Well, he is a high profile web and app designer for Opoloo. He also is a guest blogger and his most recent article was published on Creative Bloq. That’s a domain Mozrank 5.38 with over 20k visits per month and 40k Facebook followers. Both stats are growing big time. Why not get on the good side of a high profile guest blogger and collaborate? I’m hoping I can eventually approach Guenther with a pitch to collaborate again on creativebloq.com or maybe even ask him to do a guest post with me somewhere else. I think it’s a great idea to reach out to high profile guest bloggers. Build a relationship with them. Who knows where it might lead. I’d be happy to go over exactly what my strategy is on Google+ and Twitter if anyone’s interested. I have to give most of the credit to the author of the second article on SEOmoz for most of this strategy, although I like Google+ more and my initial research and prospecting is completely different.
How I Use Google Plus for Social Network Marketing Success
I like Google+ over Twitter because I feel like I can communicate directly with people easier and they are more likely to respond to me. I use both, however.
- Research prospects on Google+. What I did to find Guenther was simply search “guest post” in Google+, scroll through, and find articles that were shared that are relevant to any of your clients. Click through to the original post/publish location to find the original article live on the site. Figure out the guest poster’s name. Figure out if the site(s) they publish on are high enough quality and will yield enough points in our formula to make the time investment in building a relationship with them. I like to network with both high profile guest bloggers and editors. For example, find a high profile site you want a link from, search articles to find who published them, check to see if you can get a name, figure out if they are an editor, if not find the editor, go to the different social media channels to find their profiles. Begin engaging them.
- Read their articles. Find a specific detail. Engage them with it on their social accounts. Get them to respond and show that you are a real, interested person with insightful questions, comments, etc. 95% of people say, “great article”, “thanks”, “you’re so cool” don’t be like everybody else. Personally, my favorite is asking detail-oriented questions about one of their recent posts.
- Hopefully they respond. When they do, reply with something good. Show them you’re an intelligent, curious, real person.
- Rinse and Repeat.
I haven’t been doing this for long, only about 2 weeks, but it’s working and I can understand why.
Don’t stop there! Strategic replies are key to social network marketing success. The best social media campaigns are engaging and start conversations. Again, don’t just talk at people, but listen to them and engage them with thoughtful replies. Here is an example reply I sent to Guenther.
Basically, I’m not a web design expert/guru like him, but a little research can go a long way. I saw that he mentioned “Skeuomorphic was also a no go…” so I went and looked up what “Skeuomorphic” meant (honestly, I thought it was an Android app!). Actually it was web design lingo when I Googled it and went here. This is the part of the article that explained what it was to me:
“Opponents, on the other hand, deride it for putting the design in the way of functionality. On Quora, Web designer Zach Inglis suggested that the Apple Calendar violates Dieter Rams’s “good design is unobtrusive” principle. “If you look at Apple’s Calendar, the aesthetics are very over the top and don’t really provide a ton of usefulness,” he wrote. “It is obtrusive and distracting, and ugly for the sake of skeuomorphism. The big number, the calendar grid, the list interface – all this reminds us of traditional calendars. There was no need to turn the design up to 11.”
Once I figured out what “skeumorphic” meant, I realized that Guenther was right! Android has a huge problem with crushing the user with functionality/features even if it looks like crap and like I’m in a cartoon. That’s why I own an iPhone. Also, notice that I mentioned his app, “Timer” which he developed the design on. I saw a screenshot of his app on his site. Hey, it’s round like a clock! Genius! Throw that in their too to stroke his ego.
The point is, do the leg work, do your homework. Even if this doesn’t work out, maybe another will. Who knows what this will lead to? I think my chances of emailing Guenther in the future and him responding to me are way up. Plus, I just may be able to message him and get a response from him directly on G+.
Using LinkedIn Social Network Marketing for Successful Outreach
I don’t just use Google Plus either. I use any and every way to try and get in touch with the right person or community. LinkedIn is a great place to build a professional relationship.
This one was rather simple:
- I found Greatist.com by searching for “guest posts” + health (related words) in Google. You can also search “guest post” on Google+, Linkedin “Signal” or Twitter profiles using followerwonk, ask me about more if you’d like.
- I then went to Greatist.com trying to find the editors, guest authors, folks who worked there. I want to get their contact info, social usernames, etc.
- Whenever I found a social media avenue to connect with someone that I thought would be interested in me, I used that social network to ask an interesting, well-thought out question about their recently published work. The goal is to get some type of response. I did this for around 3 different people on Greatist.com (i.e. “staff writer” , “editorial assistant, “outreach and staff writer”) and clicked through to their individual profile pages to find out how I could contact them via social networks. Some team members only have certain social media accounts listed, or certain ones they actively use. Laura was a dead giveaway because her title was “Outreach”. For Laura, she had G+ and LinkedIn. When you go to her G+ page there isn’t much there. I added her to one of my “Health” circles and then went on LinkedIn and invited her to connect.
P.S. Normally when I ask to connect with someone on LinkedIn, I use the same strategy I use when I engage someone on Twitter and G+. Show you read something of hers, on their site, ask a question, show some knowledge, quote a cool fact from their article, etc. All we want to do is connect, not pitch anything to Laura at this point.
After Laura accepted my connection, I replied back to her. Check out our conversation below:
You might be wondering why I would approach her as a person requesting that she or Greatist guest post on Newsok.com or Integrisok.com if what I really need is a link FROM Greatist.com to Integrisok.com. Well, the answer is that I want to create a relationship and show trust, work with her a little and give a little, so that later on I can ask for something in return. In the meantime, Newsok or Integris gets a piece of amazing content from Greatist.com with their permission. It’s a win-win. The ideal would be to do a three-way publication. We would all benefit from the links and referral traffic from each other.
Now, in this example I’ve already suggested obesity in young adults in Oklahoma (this was a total guess on my part, as I have no clue about any real stats. I just wanted to sound prepared and smart for Laura. I could easily suggest something else if need be.) The point is to do your homework, be prepared, and be engaging. Have thoughtful things to say and add to the conversation. Don’t waste anybody’s time.
Using Twitter Social Network Marketing for Successful Outreach
Now that we’ve gone over Google+ and LinkedIn, I thought I would include a final example from Twitter. Twitter is a great social networking marketing site that can be used to engage one-on-one with someone pretty quickly; however, you have to recognize if someone is active or not. If your prospect isn’t active on Twitter and does not appear to engage with the medium regularly; then your efforts are probably better spent on another social media network or a network that they DO engage with. Your chances of getting in contact with someone go up drastically if you find where they “hang out” online.
Check out the example below of a conversation I had on Twitter with Your Local Security. Yourlocalsecurity.com is a great site in the home niche.
Here’s an example of an engaging Twitter conversation that set me up for a pretty straightforward request from me. Once I knew that my request would be seen and read by YSL; then I knew it was a good time to ask. Result below.
I don’t need to go into detail about the direct message, but I will say that everything worked out. Getting a direct message response on Twitter is like starting an email conversation. In addition, I ended up getting private email information within YSL’s direct message. Perfect!
This article will not go into detail about converting these contacts into links or content marketing, but was created just to demonstrate how one could build social network marketing success through social media relationship building. Using Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Twitter is a great way to meet and engage influential people online for free. Take advantage of it! Some of the best social media campaigns are successful not because they target thousands of people online or build hundreds of relationships per day, but because the few relationships they do build are high quality and long-lasting.
What does your social media marketing outreach strategy look like? Do you have any cool examples? Share below! This article was by Matthew Scyoc. For more information about him or to contact him, go to his profile on Google.