Nov 25, 2008

Influencing Powerful Social Media Users To Generate Massive Traffic To Your Website

Generating a buzz to get massive amounts of traffic to your website is best done using social media websites?

The easiest way to accomplish this is to leverage the clout of influencers within the social media community.

Influencers are people within a social network that are respected and liked by others in that community and are able to popularize discussions on topics of interst in that community.Influencers stimulate the conversations, connect people to ideas and can capture the mindshare or opinion of an audience within a social sphere.

All social media websites have a few select individuals who stand out or their activity within the community and their expertise has gained the trust and support of the social media users.These are the people you are are looking for and the ones you want to influence.

There are so many social media sites and the points we make in this article can be applied to any of them.

We'll be studying how to develope your own strategy for targeting the influencers of these sites to engage their social network with your content.

Let's look at a social news site like Digg for example. Digg and other sites like it allow the audience tovote on the value of content with a simple thumbs up and thumbs down vote. By actively participating in the community you can develope a following and become and authority and with that comes influence.

Over time supporters will share your content with friends or add it to their websites and blogs. Social media users can be pitched just like a blogger or writer can be pitched with a simple introduction at first gradually building a relationship that's mutually benefitial. The goal is to leverage their brand of influence by influencing them to promote your website content within their community.

The main steps are Targeting, Networking and then Pitching the influencer in question.

Finding a social media influencer that shares your point of view about your content and is relevent to their website or sphere of influence is most important. Making your content in-line or coherent with the influencers interests makes it much easier to get them to promote or agree with your content.

Go to the public user ranking list of the social media site in question, in this case Digg, and visit each profile on the listed looking for who has influence and also who resonates with what you're promoting. Get a feel for what interests them.

You can also do a keyword search on the social media site looking for content based on your keywords and find the users that rank high within the site on those keywords. If they have consistently submitted content around those keywords they are likely to be open to suggestions of simular content.

You can also do a URL search of your keywords to find people that may be open to more content of that type.Using the site yourself will help you discover little details about the user you're targeting that can help you reach them and develope rapport.

For example, while top Digg user MrBabyMan submits a great amount of stories, most active Diggers are familiar with his avid interest in, a popular pop culture/men’s portal/magazine.

2. Networking
After you're done targeting a specific social media website you need to contact them and develpoe a relationship. You can get in touch with them from their contact info in their user profile and join the site as a registered user.

If contact info is not available Google them by their name and user name to see if you can find it elsewhere. Look for their blog or other profiles they may have listed on other sites.

Once you have their contact details initiate a conversation by just send them a note and thank them for their contributions. Trying to pitch to promote your content right away is very bad etiquette and annoying.

You can stand out from the crowd of self-interested crowd by genuinely showing your appreciation for their contributions.

Take a genuine interest in them and engage them in a dialog of common interests and do so continuously until you have a good idea what material they would support and do favors for the user by giving them publicity or links to free resources and interesting content (not your own).

Real social media users are always interested in buzz-worthy news or opinions that can boost their own authority within the social media community. Your content or anything else you offer should not only meet the integrity of their personal brand, but it should improve it and the reputation of the user within the community.

Offer them free invites to unrelated websites, give away exclusive information on certain topics. Share some links to excellent websites. Do little favors without asking for anything in return at all. Give them a reason to be interested in you.

Networking is really just about making friends. It’s that simple. This will gradually lead you into the third and final stage: Pitching the influencer.

So now that you've built a rapport with this person what next?

A. Ask Casually.
Do your pitching in a light hearted and casual manner and do notaggressively push the user to promote your content. This is a huge turnoff andyou should understand that the user has a perfect right to refuse you.

B. Disclose Your affiliation.
I would recommend letting the user know that youare affiliated with the specific website, particularly if you plan to have a longworking relationship with the user. He or she will appreciate your honesty and itwill also make it easier for you to ask the second time round.

C. Space out your pitches.
The biggest mistake you can make is to ask the influencerto promote every single piece of content that comes out on your site. This is a majorirritant so only offer the user your best work, while pitching your material only onceper week or every two weeks.Continue to keep aclose contact after they are promoting your site.

Step by Step Checklist to Follow
1. Here’s a quick checklist of steps to follow. Remember that these steps are sequentialand should be completed one after the other.

2. Pick several social media users who might be interested in your content. Make sure thatthey have some influence or clout in the community.

3. Confirm that your content is relevant to their publicly declared or observable interestsby studying their usage of the social site.

4. Make first contact with the user by sending a ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ email/message whileintroducing yourself.

5. Gradually develop a relationship by talking about common interests or the social community.

6. Do some small favors for the user, but do not ask for reciprocation of any sort. Avoid pitching theuser at this point.

7. After determining that your content is a perfect fit with the user and perfectly understandingthe interests of the user, make your first pitch.

8. If successful, continue to pitch the user but do it infrequently and only for excellent content.If unsuccessful, pull back a little and re-pitch after some time has passed.

9. Deepen your relationship with the user till the point where he or she will automatically monitorand share your content with the community.

You may use this article to post on your blog or website as long as you do not change anything in the article including the links and full give credit to the author.Copyright © Frank Tocco 2008

Frank Tocco--Marketing Mentor
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Anonymous said...

Great blog post Frank.
Thanks. Look forward to more blogs like this.

Anonymous said...

How long does this process take and what kind of results would be considered successful?
Ray Strong

Frank Tocco said...

Thanks for reading and commenting guys.(please leave your link next time)
To answer your question Ray, the article took some thought and time to write. Maybe a couple of days of research and a few hours to write. Some would, say why bother?

Well that was posted almost a year ago and although I don´t know how many people have seen or read this article I can tell you with 100% confidence that 28 people signed up on to my list and 5 eventually purchased something all while I was out doing other things.
1 of the 5 people that bought became an affiliate partner all on their own that makes me $20 a month. $240 so far this last 12 months. This will continue with no further effort on my part to keep pulling pre-qualified leads in every year.
People found it helpful and contacted me for more info so all in all I feel it was time well spent for just 1 article.
Any other questions don´t be shy.