Sunday, October 21, 2007

New Influencers: Tools of the Trade

At the risk of being redundant (Shane beat me to it :P ), I thought Chapter 9 of The New Influencers was the chapter the reader was waiting for the whole time: the chapter about making all of the aforementioned tools work for you and what steps a marketer/PR pro could take to get started integrating social media into their practice.

Lemme break it down for you, based on the chapter, because lists are beautiful:

  1. Keeping track of the buzz: check out Nielsen BuzzMetrics to see who's talking about you and your product. Set up some Google Alerts to monitor what the media is saying.
  2. Read up on the Big Boys (and Girls!) of Blogging: Search for the influencers in your market by searching your company and products on sites like Technorati and BlogPulse. Technorati has a mysterious way of calculating the "authority" of a blog, which apparently "is determined by a proprietary formula that factors in inbound links and the activity level of a blog" (pg. 165). The chapter also highlighted Opinmind, where you can do a search and it will come up with two lists: those who spoke favorably and those who didn't - I searched "Mac" on there and got some stark results.
  3. Keep tabs with RSS and social bookmarking: Now that you've found a slew of influencers (bloggers, podcasters and the like), you can keep up with them by bookmarking articles, etc. using tags on a site like where you can tag everything pertaining to your company and products, as well as add your own commentary as to why you saved that link. A cool feature is seeing how many other people have saved that link and what their comments were. Check out how others are tagging pages that reference you: "they're a small window on how others see you. They can help you spot opportunity" (pg. 170). Tag the good and the bad news. This can help you organize the points of contention people have with your company. For following blog and podcasting discussions, set up an RSS feed for those sites and get all of your reading done in one place - but don't get carried away!
So now you know a little bit on finding and keeping track of what's being said about you, and now you're in on it? So how can you reach out and get involved? That's for another day/post, but in the meantime, here's some good advice about starting with the right perspective and how to not pitch to bloggers.

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