I went to a very interesting Social Media seminar the other day. There were a number of speakers from different agencies all seemingly saying the same thing about the future of social media engagement and currently the main message appears to be that IT’S GOOD NEWS FOR BLOGGERS!!
Seriously, the landscape appears to be changing very quickly – offline and online marketing and PR are merging and the Bob Igor “Trusted Voice” approach to life is coming through loud and clear.
There were lots of conversations all about “HOW ENGAGE WITH BLOGGERS” which amused me no end because they discuss “bloggers” like they are some sort of alien species that needs approaching with kid gloves. It is not rocket science. It is common sense. Developing relationships is the key and the way you do that is to get to know them. Offer them interesting things to do. Be personal and see it as a long term plan. Relationships fuel content and user generated content is what it is all about in the Brand (new) World.
It appeared to be generally considered that agencies haven’t done a very good job up to now so need to look at ways to improve the relationship. But the advice – such as – don’t send them irrelevant press releases, don’t give them products they don’t want, don’t get their names wrong and so on all seems so obvious. “Bloggers” are people with a blog. There are millions and millions of blogs in the world. We can all be bloggers. Anybody who uses Facebook practically runs a blog. Ergo, treat them the way you would want to be treated. It’s not difficult. It’s simply going back to good old fashioned PR relationships – which I think is great.
No more cold linking and rubbish content. It’s all about finding writers who are passionate. It appears to not even be a numbers game any more. It is not about targeting the blogs and Tweeters with the biggest following, it’s about finding the right “influencers” for the cause. The ones who will write relevant content and become brand ambassadors in whatever area you are interested in be it charity work, fashion, or kids. In other words it has become all about finding “real” people who can write intelligently about relevant subjects and experiences.
This is of course all very hard to measure as it’s an emotional response and there will always be a battle going on between “belief and science” – but working on a long term game plan and developing relationships is essential – be human, don’t take the piss and be useful. Honest, creative thinking – forward thinking, visionary ideas is way more exciting than merely adding links. PASSION is winning.