Bloggers (in their blogging guise) are not the most important parts of the social media system.
No, the most important cog is the respected sharer.
This is a person that has built up a loyal network based on the information he / she shares via Twitter, Facebook etc.
These people have, in effect, become the ‘new’ newsagents – hand-picking content they feel will be valued by their communities, and giving that content a chance to reach a wider audience.
Now, call me simplistic, but it would make sense to add value to these guys by providing them with content they might like, in the way they like it.
And, it definitely isn’t a 10 paragraph email pitch.
Package. Place. Ping.
This is the very basic process I’m using (more and more) when I have content that I think might be valuable to the social media eco-system.
But ‘ping’, often the most direct element, can’t happen until the first two steps are complete.
Package – the foundation
Sending someone embedded words in an email in this day and age is virtually pointless – how do you share an email?!?
Always ensure your content is available via a live and accessible link.
Then, take it a step further.
If it is housed within a blog or media centre, sum up the value / usefulness of that content as soon as the reader visits the page.
It could be as simple as a really well sign-posted introductory paragraph or a visual that tells the story in a split-second.
Treat these sharers like news editors.
They are short on time but hungry for good stuff – make it easy for them to see the value and increase the chances of your content being shared.
Place – the in-direct push
How easy are you making it for people like Danny, Blair and Gemma to find your stuff?
Apart from going direct (which we’ll touch on in a second) there is a lot you can do to get your stuff noticed without forcing it down someone’s throat.
Tactic one: Aggregation
Is your blog featured on Alltop?
Dubbed as the online magazine rack for blogs it is a really popular place for sharers to visit to find new and interesting information to share.
Alltop is broken down by category so if you wanted to put your content in from of people passionate about design, you could do a lot worse than have your blog featured there.
It is pretty straightforward too – just follow the process at Alltop.com.
You may not bear fruit from this approach every week, but you’re not robbing yourself of an opportunity either.
Tactic two: Pay attention
@AskAaronLee will quite often ask people via his Facebook page if they have any good links to share.
He’s asking for content, so give it to him.
It doesn’t always have to be an email, use a method that suits the sharer you’d like to reach and your odds will increase.
Tactic three: Participate strategically
There’s nothing more off putting than being sent a link via Twitter on the back of a semi-related conversation to a post you have just written.
Basically, it wreaks of desperation.
So, flip it. Align your Twitter participation with the purpose of your blog.
For example, you might be passionate about location-based services. If you add enough value into the eco-system about that topic you will eventually find people will search out your thoughts and opinions, primarily via your blog / hub.
It requires patience, but it is much more sustainable and valuable.
There are plenty more ways of doing this too.
Ping – delivery (plus)
This is almost pointless in reading unless you are committed to building solid, two-way relationships with your community members.
Now, let’s assume you’ve packaged the content appropriately, and the more in-direct placement methods haven’t come to fruition.
It is time to directly deliver your shareable gold.
This comes back to knowing what the sharer is interested in.
In developed relationships, it might simple be a DM via Twitter that says: “Hey Blair, I thought this one might be for you? “
In less developed relationships, an email might be the best route, but again, think about the recipient.
“Last week you shared a few links on social media strategy – I wrote this up about the evolution of social strategy and thought you’d find it worthwhile.”
That is one sentence.
It is a ‘take it or leave it’.
All you have done is saved that person a bunch of time by putting something in front of them they are interested in – you are not creating work for them.
And most importantly, you are not asking them to write a post about your topic.
(Eventually, if you are creating enough good content and doing other things like adding value to your communities the direct placement isn’t something you’ll need to do – your community will do it for you)
What so different?
Call me cynical, but I don’t think this is very different to what PR people have been doing for a long time.
The only difference now is that we have channels that can get our fully composed thoughts to a wide audience without someone else having to write them up on our behalf.
So, next time you want to get something in the eco-system, consider this approach – it just might kick-start an avalanche of interest in your content…in the exact form you created it in.
Do you create content thinking about how it can be shared in its original format?
Or, do you want someone else to do the hard work for you?
Images courtesy sxc.hu
COMMScorner.com is the blog from Adam Vincenzini which focuses on social media and PR. Connect with Adam on Twitter or subscribe to his blog. If you’d like to view this blog on a mobile device, visit COMMScorner.mofuse.mobi.