Social Media Strategy Step 2: Find relevant blogs

Women and especially “power moms” or mom bloggers are often key to a brand’s success online and in social networks. These bloggers have trust, online communities, and can refer new business to you. But first you have to find them and engage with them in a personable and collaborative way.

Women in Social Media Study

Recent research by BlogHer, a community for women who blog, has some interesting data for online marketers. (see Women are being targeted by advertisers both on and offline. Not only do women make the majority of purchasing choices for families, but they tend to share information with others. In other words, they can be great evangelists. Marketers have noticed and often target the power moms – a small group of elite social media users who wield a lot of marketing influence.

Key Findings – Why blogs and social networking are important marketing tools

1. Women in the study are shifting time spent offline to online. Instead of reading a newspaper, talking on the phone, meeting people in person and other activities they are spending time reading and socializing online.

2. The participants said they go to blogs to get information, stay informed, get advice and recommendations.

3. They go to social networks to stay up-to-date with their friends and family.

4. The number one place to get news is on blogs. That means if you have news and the news gets written about by a blogger with influence with your target audience you’ll get a larger reach.

5. Research by Context Analytics of their clients found that blogs convert to sales at about the same rate as getting written about in traditional sources like the New York Times (10.5%). Obviously it’s much easier to get written about in a blog than in the media.

6. Almost 40% of women who participate in social networks said they make purchasing decisions based on what they’ve read about the product on a blog. It’s also influenced them not to purchase a product.

How do you find relevant blogs? – search by topic.

Technorati blog search – search by blog post or blog topic and get an idea of their relative influence by their Technorati ranking.

Google Search (i.e. type “social media marketing blog” into Google) or Google Blog Search.

Find a blog and follow their links to other blogs they read.

By referral – ask. If you’re on Twitter or know someone on Twitter with a decent following, ask them to ask their network for referrals. If you know someone who is well-connected, ask them.

Once you find blogs then you can begin to create relationships with the author – sending content, making comments and getting involved in the community. We recently helped a client identify key blogs for the audiences they wanted to reach. Then we’re working with them to develop strategies and coaching them on the tools and technology to do that. We’ll provide SEO support and distribute their news online. We’re starting slow by working with one “power mom” and letting her collaborate on how the campaign will go. Then they’ll expand and do more outreach based on the results.

Some say blogging is dead but it isn’t – it’s just that way that we think about them has. Perhaps blogging may not be effective for you but finding and reaching key bloggers would be.

The next step is to “listen.“