Social media is all about engagement. Because of this, it is the perfect tool for outreach marketing efforts. Outreach marketing is the practice of seeking out individuals or organizations that have a shared interest in what you or your company has to offer. Sometimes, it is used in conjunction with direct sales, but often times it is used for more larger goals such as branding.

Generally speaking, when planning an outreach marketing campaign online there are two main areas that are important to define before you begin; your target audience, and your method of engagement. Picking the right audience is vital to successful outreach marketing. Engagement is at the core of  outreach marketing, the right type of engagement can make or break a campaign.

Defining keywords & audiences

When using social media monitoring tools for any marketing effort choosing the right keywords is an important step. When using social media monitoring tools to aid outreach marketing, choosing your keywords and targeting the right audience goes hand in hand. I like to break my keywords down into two sets, primary keywords and secondary keywords.

Primary keywords are terms that are directly related to the industry that you are in. For example, if you sell cat food, then you would use “cat food” as a primary keyword. You can expand on primary keywords by adding adjectives, such as, “dry cat food”, or “canned cat food”.

When choosing primary keywords, remember not to use your specific brand name. The point of outreach marketing is to target users that have never heard of your company before. Primary keywords are vital to finding the broadest base of audience. However, if you operate in a large ambiguous market, then you may need to refine your monitoring with secondary keywords.

Secondary keywords are still related to your market, but may not include your exact product descriptions. Back to the cat food example – you might want to refine your monitoring to “hungry cat” or “feeding the cats”. Using secondary keywords are useful at targeting your audience.

Engagement strategies

Targeting your audience with the right keywords is only half the battle. Now, we need to find an effective strategy for engaging each user. Responding to users with, “Hey awesome! You like cat food? Visit our web site!” isn’t going to cut it. Proper engagement needs to contain either one of two things a “click” factor or a “response” factor.

A click factor is an incentive for the user to click through a link. Some click factors might be pointing the user to a specific product that could solve a problem. “Oh whats that your kitty is overweight? Try some of our diet cat food.” Another click factor is combining contest marketing with your response. “Tired of buying cat food? Enter our contest to win a year supply!”

A response factor is an incentive for the user to respond and engage in dialog. This strategy is perfect for putting a personal touch on a brand. One of the easiest ways that you can utilize a response factor is to ask a question. “Whats your cat’s favorite thing to eat?” Utilizing the response factor is perfect for branding; however, it can require more time and engagement because the goal is having a valued dialog.

When executing outreach marketing in social media, social media monitoring tools can be very helpful. Defining your target audience and keywords is the first step. Breaking your keywords down into primary and secondary keywords can help refine and target your audience. Developing a strategy for engagement is vital. Combining both “click” and “response” incentives are important when engaging. So the next time you are looking for a new branding or buzz building strategy, consider combining outreach marketing with social media monitoring tools.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | How To: Social Media Marketing | Search & Social

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About The Author: is a bona-fide web head, code poet, marketer, writer, and the man behind WhosTalkin.com. Follow Joe on Twitter today.

Connect with the author via: Email



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  • http://www.iexposure.com C. Lobo – Internet Exposure

    Joe, thanks for the tips on breaking keywords up into two categories. Do you think it is valuable to respond to social media users who are talking specifically about your brand?

    If so, what type of message would you send? A simple thank you for the mention? Or do you think it’s wise to upsell them? For instance, direct them to your website to check out other products. Just wondering where you think the boundary lays.

    I wrote a roundup a couple of days ago about free tools for social media monitoring, as well

    http://www.iexposure.com/2010/08/31/9-free-tools-for-social-brand-monitoring

    Have you found any value in these free tools or do you use paid software?

    Thanks!

  • http://jozsoft.com Joe Hall

    I think it really depends on what the user is saying about your brand. If they are asking a question or are displaying a negative reaction, then following up with a link that will resolve their issue is an awesome idea. However, if they are just commenting on how awesome you are, then a simple thank you will work just fine.

    As for tools, the only one I use is the one I own and developed at WhosTalkin.com :)

  • dartoto

    Hello Joe, I’m Dart Uruguay, maybe not know my small country located in southern South America. Just to say that I like your posts and use it for a blog in Spanish of course citing your source.
    greetings and new posts will be waiting for yours.luck.
    Dardo
    my e-mail: dardo.arevalo@gmail.com

 

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