Originally written by me for SocialFish.org, picked up by Social Media Today
SocialFish link: http://www.socialfish.org/2013/07/3-ways-to-identify-influencers-for-your-blogger-outreach-campaign.html
Social Media Today link: http://socialmediatoday.com/maddiegrant/1605636/3-ways-identify-influencers-your-blogger-outreach-campaign
So, you’re about to kick off a Blogger Outreach campaign. If you have a blog and you haven’t planned to do blogger outreach – you need to start planning. The point of this post isn’t to sell you on the idea of blogger outreach. If you’re not sure why this is important, check out the links provided. Once you have your blog implemented, and content ready to be consumed, you’ll need to figure how to identify which influencers with whom you’ll want to build relationships.
So how do you go about identifying these influencers?
1 – Old-Fashioned Observation
Observation, or ‘social listening’ in this case, is useful for companies or individuals without a ton of resources at their disposal. Because of this lack of resources, identifying which relationships will yield the most beneficial results is a must. You don’t want you and your team pursuing a relationship with someone with no history or intention of reciprocating in a social way. You’ll have to use your best judgment – which is only as strong as the individual wielding said judgment. What are you looking for exactly? Do they share other people’s content? Are they interacting in their comments section? Does it look like they’ll be responsive to your efforts?
2 – Third Party Resources
This resource can be a one-off piece of content like some sort of authoritative ‘Best bloggers in X industry’ type of starting point. Another type of third party web resource is a blog or influence ranker or even a web-site aggregator. I’m talking about resources like Technorati, Klout or even the blog roll that many bloggers employ for networking reasons. [Editor's note - we're currently checking out Grouphigh. Anyone using it? We have high hopes!]
3 – Social Media Platforms
These are resources that include features like an influence measuring algorithm or social listening functionality. Usually, this option costs some serious coin and is a solution that only companies or well-funded entrepreneurs might be able to afford. While these platforms aren’t necessarily as powerful as a discerning human eye, an algorithm or program can be good enough to plow through a lot of data much more quickly than a fleshy counterpart. The successful marriage of a machine and man is a powerful, powerful tool.
A combination of the first and second options is the way to go if you don’t have deep pockets on your side.
So, why are we looking for these people again?
Identifying important influencers before you start going through the slow, patience-requiring process of blogger relationship building is going to save you a lot of time. The last thing you want is watching all of that time spent commenting and re-sharing and looking for reciprocal action is not to pay out – your time is important, right? We want to increase our chances of establishing a mutually beneficial and rewarding relationship so we do not waste valuable resources connecting with people that will never have intentions of social reciprocation – sharing your content, writing guest blogs, etc.
And an enigmatic final tip, the person with the most Followers is rarely going to be your best bet.