Social buzz: How to get market leaders to talk about your content
Small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs often have a hard time building up a decent amount of social buzz, hype or interest around what they are saying.
Last week, I "made Guy Kawasaki's day", with this article entitled "Guy Kawasaki's 'Art of the start' outsells other titles by marketing gurus". Guy's share on Twitter drove thousands of hits through to my blog.
The way the Internet has evolved, it is now crucial to build social trust and authority to help drive traffic, in addition to the organic search traffic that comes from creating SEO enhanced, focused and relevant blog (or other) content. In other words, creating great content on its own is no longer enough.
But building up a social media profile takes a lot of time and effort. People have to see you before they can follow you or engage with you. But, how can they see you if they aren't already following you? It's a bit of a catch-22.
The way out of this impasse is to create content that other people are interested in sharing. What this does is bypass your initial lack of social reach by getting other people to pass on your content to their followers. Since the content originates with you, you still get to take some credit for that content in the form of back-links and increased visibility.
The best people to target with your "reach bait" content, are obviously people with well established followings. Like market leaders, visionaries, experts and so on. Some of these people have vast social media footprints and getting noticed by them can help drive traffic, trust and authority back to you via your content.
Basically, forget about your perfect customer for now and focus on building up your perfect army of marketers.
1. Find the right people to target on social media
Here's a short list of marketing and social media royalty (according to how many twitter followers each have). These are people you should be following if you want to learn about how to drive and engage traffic and convert it to meet your business objectives:
- Guy Kawasaki 480385 followers
- Ann Hadley 116029 followers
- Danny Sullivan 214976 followers
- Darren Rowse 153949 followers
- Pete Cashmore 2689643 followers
In fact, anyone who provides content that you find relevant and useful is a great candidate to follow via social media because that content gives you something to interact with and drive further visibility and recognition online.
It's the only way to get them to notice you.
2. Find the perfect social angle
Remember that you are dealing with real people. There's no point in pushing sales on them. You have to give them something that interests them on a human level, even though it may seem frustratingly obtuse to spend your time catering for the personal tastes of people in your industry when you should be out selling and marketing.
The fact is, that building up your reach and online visibility is one of the best things you can do for driving business online. Besides, with a bit of thought it often isn't too hard to come up with topics that both appeal to your market leaders, and show you in a good light to all the potential customers and connections that will come to you via that content.
Going back to the article cited at the top of this post. The reason that "Guy Kawasaki's 'Art of the start' outsells other titles by marketing gurus" worked, from the point of view of reaching readers far beyond the scope of my own blog, was that I found something that appealed directly to Guy. I showed, using RankTracer, that his marketing book outsells other competing titles by other leading marketing experts by a factor of 3 - 1.
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Naturally, any author would be proud of an achievement like this. It's good news, so why wouldn't he take a second to share it?
The post itself also talks about social media and marketing, which is my industry. The traffic that came through to view that post bounced less than my site average - in other words, they were interested in other blog posts, products and services on this site.
All in all, everybody won. Guy got some good news about his books that he could share with his readers, and I got plenty of Guy's readers. Many of whom spent a bit of time browsing around my blog. They may not have converted, but they know who I am. If they see me again, and again, they will eventually convert into followers and customers as trust and authority is established.
3. Build social relationships with market leaders
Finally, it is important to note that creating engaging and relevant content that appeals to market leaders has benefits beyond sending traffic to an individual blog post. It's a chance to establish a proper connection or relationship with the person sharing your content.
Take a moment to thank them for sharing your content. Make sure you are following them on Twitter and/or Google+. Be sure to share any follow ups, comments or interesting development regarding that content. By being on their radar in a meaningful way, they'll begin following you sooner or later.
Except if you're Seth Godin. Here's an interesting factoid:
Please retweet this article and drop Seth a tweet telling him to follow me. It'd be cool to be the one and only person he follows.
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