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    June 2, 2011 // 9:00 AM

    How to Handle Blogger Outreach & Pitching With Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer [@InboundNow #23]

    Written by David Wells | @

    jason falls Jason Falls joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot's social media and inbound marketing podcast !

    Jason runs his own consulting agency, Social Media Explorer , which is also a very popular social media blog. In fact, it's number 17 on the Ad Age Power 150 list . He's also a very well-known professional speaker in the social media space.

    In this episode, we chat about:

    • How social media and email can work together
    • Building a customer base
    • Segmenting email lists
    • Subscribing with Facebook Connect
    • Blogger outreach
    • Forums and niche communities
    • Attracting and retaining guest authors
    • Some social media resources
     

    View the full transcript here: How Social Media and Email Marketing Can Work Together with Jason Falls

    To Subscribe to Inbound Now, Click Here

    How Social Media and Email Can Work Together

    "But the simple fact of the matter is the vast majority of the free world -- they're not social media geeks. They're not on Twitter and Facebook all day, and so email is still where most people live. Now that might be transitioning a little bit, but it's transitioning very, very slowly, and email is not dead by any stretch of the imagination."

    More and more people are paying attention to social media, but most people still live in their email. Email is far from dead. From a marketing perspective, email is still one of the most effective ways to reach customers and entice them into action.

    For social media and email to work together , you need to provide compelling content that makes them want to subscribe for more. Social media content is the foundation of what you're doing publicly, and then email content is the first layer of premium content that you can deliver. You want to capture that person from social media and get them into your marketing funnel by getting them to give you permission to talk to them in their inbox.

    Once you have someone on your email list, you're not done with the social media aspect. Make sure that subscribers have the opportunity to share that email content with others on different social networks.

    Check out HubSpot's Free 9 Step Email Marketing Guide

    Email marketing is an effective marketing strategy when used in conjunction with relevant content or information. Each email you create needs to have a goal and purpose, with the overarching goal of email marketing being to deliver relevant content and information to a segment of your leads or customers. This guide will help walk through those steps!

    Follow the 3 steps below to grab your copy!

    Building a Customer Base

    "What I like to try to tell people when they're thinking of their customer base or building community is that, unless you're a brand new product or a brand new business, you have customers, you have employees, you have family members of employees, so on and so forth. So you have a community already around your brand."

    From the get-go, you already have a community around your brand. It's your customers, employees, family members, etc. Social media comes into play when that already-built community gets something in their email and starts sharing it with each of their own networks.

    Segmenting Email Lists

    "The more relevant the message, the more catered the message is to that audience, the more effective the email is going to be."

    Jason has four separate lists to join if you visit Social Media Explorer.

    • The monthly newsletter, The Navigator, is a big-picture newsletter.
    • The Compass is a weekly or biweekly list that updates the members of the Exploring Social Media community (subscription-based community) on the latest happenings in the community itself. The email list is open to everyone, but the content the emails link to is part of the paid community.
    • The other two email lists are each for separate products.
    The point in doing this is to segment subscribers and only give them what they want, which in turn keeps them engaged.

    Subscribing With Facebook Connect

    "Every Facebook user now has a Facebook.com email address, and you can actually set that as default, and you can manage your email subscriptions through Facebook. That way you have a little bit more control over your inbox."

    Jason offers people the ability to subscribe to his email lists via Facebook . It shortens the sign-up process for subscribers and allows them to manage the emails through Facebook and have more control over their inbox.

    Blogger Outreach

    " You've got to pitch relevant stuff to relevant people at a relevant time ."

    PR companies need to get familiar with what a blog is about and pitch content or ideas that fall into that window.

    Build a relationship with bloggers first (don't pitch first) and you'll start to understand what you can do for them and what they will respond to. A great way to build a relationship initially is to reach out to them informally via social media. Then, when you eventually pitch something, you can do it very casually with someone you've gotten to know.

    Forums and Niche Communities

    "I learned more from just camping out on that forum and message board for an hour a week or what-not than I probably did working with anybody at the brands that I worked with, because I was getting a real, unbiased, third-party, consumer perspective."

    In the interview, Jason gives an example from when he was working in the alcohol, wine, and spirits industry. He joined a real targeted forum and listened, read, and learned. He would chime in every once in awhile, but he was never there to sell.

    Attracting and Retaining Guest Authors

    "It's really just about sharing that platform and letting their voices be heard and helping me push the intellectual line a little further than it's being pushed elsewhere."

    The easy way to attract and keep guest authors is to pay them, but Jason doesn't pay the writers on Social Media Explorer. Instead, he's invited certain writers (who didn't have a platform or had a small platform, but who are really smart people in the industry) to contribute in exchange for more exposure and help building a bigger audience.

    It's important to be picky about the writers you choose. Make sure they align with your blog's content, but that they also bring a unique voice and knowledge set to the table. Be clear about what the terms are. Put an editorial calendar and deadlines into place.

    Social Media Resources

    "I think one thing that I've been challenging myself with a lot lately is getting away from blog reading as my primary source of information and diving into more books and more magazines and more traditional media that are covering the space, because they're starting to do a better job of it."

    If you're looking for social media blogs to check out, head to Social Media Examiner , the HubSpot blog , Social Media Explorer (of course), Duct Tape Marketing , and Mashable .

    If you're looking for blogs that cover the technology aspect of social media and information on tools and such, there's TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb .

    Look to people who have marketing backgrounds, as opposed to bloggers who know a little bit about marketing. Some people to check out are: Dave Armano , Geoff Livingston , Liz Strauss , Chris Brogan , and David Meerman Scott .

    Connect With Jason Online

    You can follow Jason on Twitter @JasonFalls and connect with him on his blog . Don't forget to check out the learning community at ExploringSocialMedia.com for more information about the traveling events and such.


    Topics: Inbound Marketing

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