Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Building Blog Relationships for Social Media Marketing

Bloggers are a force to be reckoned with these days, as social media becomes the new marketing medium of choice. But when you're looking to build your social media presence through blogs, make sure that you're following the rules of the road.

Be Relevant

As Kivi Leroux Miller writes, you can't simply ask any blogger to post a link to your site, or review your product. You need to build a relationship with a blogger that writes about a topic related to what you're offering. Don't ask Gizmodo to endorse your shop on Etsy.

Be Transparent

Ann Taylor LOFT recently used gift cards to purchase the rave reviews of a group of fashion bloggers. I'm a big Ann Taylor fan personally, but I'd never endorse this scheme, unless the bloggers in question happened to explain the gift along with their reviews. Lena West at Lipsticking has a great post on the topic. For a great example of a transparent blogger, check out Corporette. This fabulous women's businesswear blog prominently posts its policy on endorsed links, and lists in each entry what links are sponsored, so readers are always aware when a click will generate revenue for the blog.

Be Kind

If you find a good blog that will endorse your product, thank the blogger. Create a link-back, post a #followfriday message on Twitter, give them a mention on your corporate blog. Everything in social media is about relationships and conversation, so if someone pays you a compliment, make sure to thank him or her.

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