Let’s say you’ve made a good start venturing into social media. You’ve launched your blog and you plug your posts by tweeting and commenting about them on your Facebook page. You understand that social media is about a conversation and you’re being conscientious about responding to tweets or comments on your blog.
However, you’d like to see more people blogging and tweeting about you and your work. Perhaps you have a big event or emphasis coming up and would love for others to be talking about it—providing much-touted “viral” marketing that can be so valuable.
So how to get that started?
One of the best ways is by maintaining a presence in social media circles similar to yours—circles that are likely to be interested in the kinds of things you are talking about. But as with any situation—even an emerging sphere like social media—there are some rules of etiquette. According to Dr. Richard Waters, social media professor at North Carolina State University, here are few to keep in mind:
- Be a regular. In other words, don’t just pop in when you need something. Choose a few blogs/Twitter accounts to follow and participate in. Offer valuable input and add to the conversation. That way, when it comes time to talk about your topic, you won’t be a stranger.
- If you have a suggested topic for one of your favorite blogs, email them off line. This kind of business is not for the public side of the blog. “Pitch” your idea in much the same way as you might pitch a local newspaper. Explain why your story would be interesting to the blog’s readers and add a few links for background.
- Figure out who the “influencers” are. Sometimes the most influential people are not the blog authors. They might be those people who comment on your favorite blogs. They might be the people who everyone else is always talking about. Figure out how to get them interested in your subject.
- Make sure your “pitch” really is relevant to their blog.
- If the blogger writes about your story, be sure to thank them privately by email, and publically by commenting on their blog and linking to their blog from yours.
In conclusion, form relationships within other people’s social media communities and you may find that their readers may begin adding your blog to their RSS feeds.