Reblogged from: BundlePost, courtesy of: Robert Caruso

A frequent question I get from my connections in the social graph is “How do I build a relationship with an influencer for my brand/product”. Though it is a common question, the answer isn’t as common.

Since I sincerely believe that social media marketing is a parallel universe to the real world, I always take a step back and consider what we do in real life. What are the steps we would take in our local offline environment to accomplish this? What adjustments can/should we make within the social sphere to help us achieve what we are wanting to do.

First, we need to understand that social media marketing is NOT about you. You have to have a mindset of giving, providing value to others and a willingness to help them succeed.

Secondly. you need to clearly define what you hope to accomplish by building the relationship with the influencer. Review your product? Have a phone call? Share your link? There are many different goals one could have for wanting to build a relationship with someone specific within social media. know what yours is.

Once you have aligned your thinking with the first and second points above, you can then follow these steps to best position yourself for a relationship:

1) Identify – Be sure that the person/brand you are targeting for the relationship makes sense. Identify the person(s) that are best suited for your brand, product or service.

2) Observe & Document – Do your research. Make sure you know what they do, their website and blog locations. Monitor their social posts and conversations and take note of who they are as a person and what drives their conversations. Pay specific attention to the human/personal topics that they engage around and document the information.

Don’t rush the observation step. Take time to understand the influencer. Rushing will usually result in missing the important subtle things that are most important! This can take a week or a month, depending on the person. Take your time…

3) Engage – Once you understand the topic drivers and personality of your influencer, begin to engage with them. Specifically comment on their posts, share their content and facilitate meaningful conversations with that person. If they have a blog, share their articles and comment on them. Look for ways you can assist them by furthering their reach, introducing them to prospects and retweet their relevant content.

*Important – A big mistake made at this stage is to do too much too quickly. Do NOT like/share bomb. (don’t like 5 posts on their wall in a row or RT their last 4 posts, etc.) This can come across as stalking or an obvious ploy. Use common sense and ramp up these activities over several weeks or months.

4) Build – Build a relationship with the influencer through more and more frequent conversations.

5) Ask/Answer – Ask open-ended questions about them, their articles and their business. The goal here is to continue to further the relationship building, but also foster a climate where the influencer begins asking YOU questions about what yo do. This is the point you know you have earned the right to talk about what you do and what you would like from them.

*Important – DO NOT ask for anything at any point before this stage. You must do the work prior to requesting a call, review of your service or sharing of your content. Also, be sure that you continue steps 3, 4 and 5 on an ongoing basis. Don’t make the influencer feel as though they had a horrible one night stand and were played.

I cannot stress enough that patience in the entire process is crucial. If you follow these techniques and take it slow, you will develop influencer relationships that will bring value to them and benefit your brand.

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

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Increasing Your YouTube Views

February 20, 2013

youtube-facts-figures-by-techwelkinGetting people to watch your videos on YouTube is a process. There is no one simple solution that’ll make your video go viral. First we have to realize that people upload 60 hours of video to YouTube EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY! Pause for a second….that’s an hour of video that just got uploaded to YouTube! It would take 8 years to watch the videos uploaded to YouTube just today.

 There are over 500 million channels on YouTube. The site gets 800 million visitors per month and of course is accessible worldwide. YouTube Mobile gets 600 million views everyday. 500 YEARS of YouTube videos are watched everyday on Facebook alone. 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc.) every week.

 The first thing I’d like to point out about YouTube is that 70% of the traffic comes from outside the U.S.; this means that YouTube is truly a global force. Since this blog is written for the purpose of helping aspiring artists, our focus is going to be those 8 million people in the U.S. who visit YouTube every day. We’re not going to ignore the international market, but the truth is that most of you are on a limited budget and can’t afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars that a national ad campaign costs, much less the millions required for an international ad campaign. (To our readers outside the U.S. there is still pertinent info here.) Now let’s talk about the process of getting views.

 There are several ways to get your video seen by more people. Here, at A Scratchy Throat we like to keep it simple yet effective. We assume that you’ve already created a YouTube account and named your channel. Once your account is setup and you have the video ready that you want to upload, the very first thing you’re going to do BEFORE uploading is rename the VIDEO FILE itself to contain relevant keywords about the content of the video. For example, a video name would be:

“cupid shuffle dance video.mov”

While your renamed video is uploading you can add your tags. Since I’m using an R&B artist like Cupid as an example, my keywords might include:

Cupid, New Cupid, soul, Lafayette, Hub City, Louisiana, music, family friendly, dance, dancing, fun, shuffle, “cupid shuffle”, “line dance”

 Some people even tag their video with other popular rappers names or events in hopes that their video pops up when people search for “Lil Wayne” or “Miami Heat” or “Rihanna”. I don’t suggest you try this, because it doesn’t get you more views. If you’re having problems choosing, the YouTube Keyword Tool will help you figure out what keywords to add to your video.

 Next is your video description. Start your video description with a link to your website or blog (make sure that your video is embedded on the page you link to). Write up at least 2 paragraphs for the video description section that tells what the video is about. Be creative and include your keywords in the natural flow of these two or three paragraphs. YouTube uses this description when people search for videos, so the link and the description will help you to get views more than you may think.

 Once you’ve got your tags and video description done, double check to make sure that ALL the keywords that relate to your video are included in the “tags” section of your video. This helps with Search Engine Optimization for YouTube searches.

 Now that the groundwork is laid, and the video is uploaded, it’s time to start sharing your video.

 Embed the video to your site or blog. Encourage you’re your friends and fellow bloggers to visit and comment on your video. When you “embed” a video to your site it allows your fans to view the video on your site without having to go to YouTube. If you have friends with websites, ask them to embed your video as well. Make sure you do the same for them. Multiple people working towards the same goals (increased YouTube views for all) is the definition of networking.

 On Facebook, embed your video to YOUR OWN page and your fan page. Don’t bother posting it to your friends’ pages, or putting it in people’s inboxes, it annoys people more than influencing them to check out your video. It’s better to post the video to your page, tagging your CLOSEST friends in it. Post the video as a status and either to pay to have it promoted ($7) or post it several times a day for the first few days, then maybe twice a day afterwards. You CAN ask your friends to share the video to their pages. Think about it, isn’t your video more likely to be seen if 100 people share it with their friends, instead of you posting it all over their pages without their knowledge? Don’t be the ass clown who posts their video to all of their Facebook friends’ pages. These are the posts that get deleted, not watched.

 On Twitter include the link in tweets about your new video. Do NOT @people your video link. This is annoying, doesn’t increase views, and often gets you blocked. Twitter is a means of communication and interaction. Don’t be the person who just @s links and tweets about their new “hot” mixtape or “smash” single. This doesn’t draw you any extra attention or give you more views. Engage in conversation with people on twitter, and as you connect with each other introduce them to the OPTION of checking out your video. @ing a link to your video to your followers or “important” people in the music industry is SPAM. It’s a waste of time and does much more harm than good. Don’t be the douchebag spammer who gets muted or blocked!

 Lastly, no matter which social network you’re using, encourage sharing and commenting. With our example above, “The Cupid Shuffle,” you might even ask your fans to create their own response video doing “The Cupid Shuffle” and then you can tweet and share the links to THEIR version of your video as well. You could even conduct a contest and give a prize to the person with the best response video. The Harlem Shake is an example of this promotional idea that went viral.

 The possibilities and probabilities for your new video are endless. Just realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’ll have to stick to your guns and not give up. Don’t get discouraged and start doing what all the other guys with 100 views are doing. Don’t become a spammer. The “easy” techniques aren’t working for THEM and they won’t work for you either.

 Everybody can’t be the next “Psy” and have a BILLION views of their video. Although, you DO have a chance to be successful!! Follow these basic tips and continue to educate yourself on how to get the most views for your video, and you’ll see your channel subscribers growing daily.

 Lastly, just in case you didn’t know, buying views doesn’t work. Knowledge, dedication, hard work and persistence do work. Do what works and maybe you’ll see us tweeting about how much we like your new video (but don’t spam us your link!! LOL).

Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A ScratchyThroatA Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists.