Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Reaching Social Media Content Creators – March 12, 2008
This past month, I had been in a conversation with Matt Dickman (via his blog comment section) about how to reach social media content creators (i.e. bloggers, photographers, videographers, MySpacers, etc). It got me thinking, and as a result, here are my own suggestions on how to reach social media content creators:
1. Become apart of their communities in some way, shape or form.
- You don’t have to be 100% entrenched in the community, but at least participate in a way that shows you care and/or know what they are about. I suggest that the easiest way to do this is via the comment section. Try following the blog/Flickr/Tumblr feed for a few days to understand their sentiment and outlook.
2. Send a personalized introduction
- Reaching a social media content creator via email/phone is the fastest, more direct way to reach an individual, but I recommend that you first insert yourself into their community so that they recognize you. In the long term, garnering the attention of a social media content creator via a multifaceted approach will eventually get them to talk to you, however, it is by no means as rapid as an email or phone call. Either way, your communication must be on point and intriguing enough for them to give you the time of day.
3. Build a meaningful relationship
- Nothing is more annoying than getting a generic template email from a company or person, that says “Hello____, I really liked _____. We’d love to talk to you about _____. Write back if you’re interested.” Repeating this same message across different media (e.g. email, phone call, comment, etc) wont’ work either. Try extending an olive branch of sorts that is personalized and compelling. Give them a reason to want to write back or engage with you.
4. Reach out to many social media content creators
- Contact a lot of content creators, as it increases your chances of injecting influence into their worlds. Once you have identified key influential social media content creators of all shapes and sized that you want to reach, it is reasonable to begin to group them by unique characteristics, social status, outlooks, levels of interaction/participation within their community, and by theme. Tailor your approach for each group by remaining distinctive and unique according to their grouping.
5. Remember, everyone counts
- David Armano has a great philosophy about treating all social media content creators as equal. I believe in this 100%. Chaos in the social media sphere reigns, and sometimes topics in small places are exposed to the world that could never have been predicted. Also, don’t forget that small places turn into bigger ones, and that developing a relationship with small fries can lead to a very rewarding experience.
Overall, when I dissect the world of social media, I begin by forming groups of content creators by themes and indicate sphere of influence amongst those groups. When it comes down to execution and reaching out to them, I end up dedicating a larger part of my efforts to target more influential creators than less influential creators, but I don’t neglect the budding creators. I find that getting the big guys to listen can be much more challenging, and that the smaller guys (like me) seem to love attention and reacting to something (e.g. a question, a statement, a recommendation).