Outreach is most commonly associated with the idea of ‘building links’ through emailing bloggers, however there is a lot more to outreach than some people may think. Social is a good way of engaging people and can be a great way to add a personal touch when reaching out to customers.

Why is social useful when it comes to outreach?

Nowadays, nearly everybody has some form of social media account, so this allows businesses to reach a much broader audience. Here are just some of the figures from 2013:

  • Facebook – Over 500 million users
  • Twitter – Over 232 million users
  • LinkedIn – Over 100 million users

 
Although blogging is still a good way to communicate with customers, using social media is an easier way to contact and engage in a faster and much more interactive way.

Examples of outreach through social

Twitter

In 2006, Twitter was created for people to share a short burst information to their followers, making it easier to communicate and to engage than any other social activities. In 2007, the first hashtag (#) was used in a tweet as a way to related thoughts and information. This makes hashtags and tweeting a useful tool for outreach.

Here is an example of a good way to reach out to bloggers using Twitter:
#prrequest example from Twitter
This tweet was retweeted 13 times and has 13 favourites, this is why this tweet is a perfect example of why social is important for outreach.

It’s very personal and engaging as she approaches the bloggers in a public yet personal way, instead of ‘cold calling’ them through bulk emails. Being contacted by a real person, rather than a faceless email address, also contributes to the personality of the contact. You would also be less trusting if it was a profile with no image.

She has used three very important hashtags: #interiors, #homedecor and #prrequest. These hashtags are ones that are related to the audience she is trying to contact so anybody searching for these topics will instantly find this tweet. However, if no hashtags were used then it would most likely get lost or have requests from unrelated people.

Asking people to retweet is also a good way to get people to spread the word about her request, without her having to retweet the same tweet again.

Facebook

Since 2004, Facebook has been growing bigger and bigger. Once just a site for social use, over the past few years it has become a great platform for business.

Mark Zuckerberg - CEO of Facebook‘Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do. And people are trying to communicate in a certain way on Facebook – they share information with their friends, they learn about what their friends are doing – so there’s really a whole new opportunity for a new type of advertising model within that.’

Mark Zuckerberg
 
Facebook is great for sharing and engaging people as long as you write the perfect post. Here are some tips on how to engage people through posts:

  • Make it feel personal – Use names, profile picture
  • Hashtags – Use relevant hashtags so people can easily source your post.
  • Ask questions – Asking is much more of a kind approach, rather than telling people.
  • Blogger Facebook Group example - useful tool for blogger outreach

  • Use media content – Adding images or thumbnails will give people the ‘click factor’ as it’s more interesting and appealing.

 
Facebook communities and groups are another great way to reach out to potential customers.
This post is from a closed group, which allows PRs/outreach guys and bloggers to have open interaction.

Here you can see that this post has loads of description about the company and what they have to offer. They received 151 comments and 24 people liked the post.

This is a good way to engage people with just one post.

What tools can I use?

Sometimes trying to reach the relevant customers can take a lot of time. Here are some tools that will help you easily reach the target audience:
Followerwonk screenshot - useful tool for blogger outreach

Followerwonk

This free tool is a perfect, easy way to find people related to what you are trying to market.

You can sign up with your/your company Twitter profile. Then you search what you’re looking for by typing into the top search bar. Also you can specify the location of Twitter profiles you would like to reach.

Followerwonk will then bring up a list of all the people related to the topics you have searched for. You can then follow those people, which is a way of reaching out to a relevant target audience.

Search bars

Although it’s quite simple, it is also very useful.

On Twitter if you typed in ‘cars’, you will then have a Twitter feed of people who have mentioned or who are interested in cars.

The search bar for Facebook can help you find relevant groups and communities.

BuzzStream

BuzzStream is a really useful tool for blogger outreach. It can be used to build up a database of target websites, their contact details, stats about their site and also the social profiles.

By using BuzzStream you don’t need to separately search for blogs and their social profiles and this makes contacting them a lot easier. This also means that once you have contacted a blogger on social you can then approach them through more traditional forms of blogger outreach without just appearing out of the blue.

So is social useful when it comes to outreach?

Social is very useful when reaching out to site owners as it allows companies to engage with a much wider audience, in a more personal, friendly and warm way.

What tools do you use for blogger outreach? Please let us know in the comments below.