Keep “The Book” on Your Social Outreach Strategy

“I hate losing more than I even wanna win.” – Billy Beane, Moneyball Recording “W”s is not the only way to track success – and hardly a way to sustain it. Merely noting that you won only records something that happened in the past- with no analysis as to how or why – and is…

“I hate losing more than I even wanna win.” – Billy Beane, Moneyball

Recording “W”s is not the only way to track success – and hardly a way to sustain it.

Merely noting that you won only records something that happened in the past- with no analysis as to how or why – and is not going to help you adjust for better future in-game decisions, see how your team members are performing or help you plan the future for your team.

Yes, you have stopped losing due to your knowledge of why social outreach for link building is important. You’ve found the right platforms to make contact- aka you’ve found your ‘social sweet spot.’ You’ve started scoring runs – placing content and creating relationships – and already seen the positive impact it has had on your link building strategy.

How do you sustain success? As stated before, you need to track and analyze more than wins- published content, in your case. You even need to go beyond even recording basics, such as batting average (how many times you’ve contacted someone and had success) or earned run average (how many pitches fall flat). These metrics are interesting to review and necessary to track, but as a whole they are hardly indicate measures of skill or strength of strategy due to its inability to measure value of strategy as it is relative to individuals and performance measurement.

You need SEO sabermetrics.

The Book

Obviously, before you jump into formulas, you do need to track the basics so that you can have a foundation to work with. I will outright state: if you don’t have an a program or system to track the basics of success as well as partnership creation, then you will have great difficulty scaling your social media outreach for link building.

At iAcquire, we use iRank – an amazingly powerful and efficient piece of technology created by our web developers. iRank helps “keep the book” by tracking site and outreach metrics. iRank is able to target certain types of sites and publishers based upon what constraints our team enters. It will then deliver reports on these sites, including page rank, number of outbound links, and other traffic-based metrics. iRank also can track relationship development with publishers as well as implementation of media.

Although I may refer to this data as ‘basic,’ do not think in any way that iRank is a ‘basic’ tool. It is incredibly valuable and complex in how it gathers information, allows the iAcquire team to search for publishers and outreach to them, manages information as well as content and reports results.

However, because you are implementing a new strategy, there will be adjustments you need to make as well as keep in mind to any tracking system, whether it is an advance CRM system like iRank or otherwise. iAcquire has already taken steps to do so with iRank, and I am going to detail for you how and why you must adjust the way you record and analyze social outreach results.

SEO sabermetrics for social outreach calculate objective knowledge of individual team members’ capabilities along with individual strategy. It also sometimes takes into consideration factors that, no matter how advanced, a program most likely will be unable to accurately track. This is why you must know what you should look for, how to look for it, and how to conduct accurate analysis and adjust accordingly.

Pythagorean Expectation

Of course, before you implement your social outreach strategy or any changes, you should have an idea of what success should look like. You will want to calculate this with each adjustment you make and make adjustments to your strategy and team member’s goals accordingly.

In baseball, a Pythagorean expectation is a sabermetric formula to estimate how many games a

team “should” have won based upon number of runs they scored and allowed. Comparing the Pythagorean expectation to the actual winning percentage helps gauge how “lucky” a team is.

For you, this will help you see what factors outside of strategy contribute to the success or lack thereof in guest posting. You can see whether or not luck truly exists- and how to create your own luck. If you’re tracking all the metrics listed above, you can get input from your team on what small outside factors you can mimic to ‘create’ your own luck. You will also have a benchmark for measuring expected success- and if you do not reach goals, you will know how dramatic of a strategy change you should implement.

Defense-Independent Pitching Statistics

Even if you know nothing about baseball, you can probably figure out that there are two basic factors that contribute to a team’s success: pitching and batting. You pitch a perfect game or even a shutout every single game – that’s exhausting to even think about in the context of a 162 game season, so you need run support in order to sustain a lead. But, no matter how much run support you get, if you can’t throw any strikes, you may not win either- or could you?

Defense plays a role in earned run average (ERA). Pitchers do not throw a strike every pitch, and how their defense handles hit balls as well as runners already on bases affects the number of earned runs given up by a pitcher. Sabermetrics takes into account and adjusts for the defense’s effect on pitching and also factors in luck in dERA (defense-adjusted ERA) and DIPS (defense-independent pitching statistics) projections. This enables team managers to see objectively how effective a pitcher really is – or could have been – without including the help (or errors) of the defense.

When analyzing your team’s success with social outreach – your own version of pitching – you need to consider how defense contributes to outcomes as well. In your case, the ‘defense’ can refer to various factors out of a team members’ control that may help or hurt their pitching to skew success numbers positively or negatively.

Some examples of social outreach defense factors that will affect pitch success rate are:

  • Vertical team member is conducting outreach in may be easier or harder to create relationships in due to its nature
  • Relationships a team member may create may be able to be capitalized on for unnatural sudden success
  • Some clients may already have powerful networks and good relationships to aid certain team members in relationship creation
  • Certain publishers may have knee-jerk negative reactions to outreach solely based upon past adverse experiences with posting others’ content
  • ‘Luck’ with response rate may rise and fall from week-to-week for inexplicable reasons

The formulas for calculating DIPS in baseball may make your head spin, however there is a much easier way to track this SEO-wise.

Knowledge is power- knowing that these defense factors affect success is the first step. Have your team record personal notes with each publisher regarding interactions beyond just numbers and contact information so everyone has a clear view of the ‘real-life’ implications of implementing strategy. If you are managing social outreach, you will also have an eagle-eye view as to who is doing what – and what tactics produce the best results.

Beyond this, you can prepare for your team for defense- bring your infield in, if need be. Pass along tactics that are successful and already have plays set in place to make the defense work in your favor. Teach your team how to capitalize upon relationships to expand their networks, set a response in place for negative reactions that your team members can tailor to publishers, and at the end of the week or biweekly meet with each and every team member to have a casual conversation as to why they believe they have surpassed or fallen short of goals.

Those who are consistently outperforming the rest of the team may be able to lead informal discussions as to how they try to control or respond to these ‘defense’ statistics. For the team members who are often falling short, you can examine their notes and information to derive a solution or simply decide whether or not they are capable of success with your social strategy.

Due to the fact that you are using social media, which allows for much quicker and higher volume of more personal contact, you need to keep in mind that luck may factor in more so than it does with even e-mail outreach.

A pitcher does not want to have to worry about those fielding while he is deciding which pitch to throw- as stated before, pitching requires great concentration and focus. There are factors you can control if you and your team did your research beforehand to have an arsenal of ways to control the situation- for example, knowing when publishers you wish to engage with are online, what matters to them, etc. This enables you to reduce defensive errors  and for the most part avoid them as long, enabling your team to fine-tune pitches so they can more consistently throw strikes.


All right, SEOs, I know you think you’re already familiar with this term. No, we aren’t talking about Ivy League educated and molecular biophysics enthusiast Craig Breslow, arguably one of the most nerdy (and lovable) pitchers in MLB.

We also aren’t discussing David Price’s awesome outfit for the Rays’ team homage to bowtie-wearing Ken Rosenthal – as much as the look does suit him.

No, In sabermetrics, NERD refers to the aesthetical value of a ballplayer –  narration, exposition, reflection, and description. NERD pitching attempts to determine which pitchers fans most enjoy, and team NERD attempts in a way to predict how enjoyable teams are to watch.

You need a formula for NERD set in place for every piece of media you publish in order to ensure it is tailored to both standards as well as relevancy that will ensure you get the most out of placing that piece of content on that specific publisher’s site.

Each SEO will have their own NERD formula based upon verticals, past successes, and industry trends as a whole. All, however, will be a value measurement that factors in various content and placement attributes in order to predict the popularity and online/SEO value of that piece of content. You will want to create measurements for aspects such as relevancy of content to site as well as vertical, relevancy of client or link to content or vertical, quality of content and quality of placement. How you decide the importance of each attribute relative to one another or even grade these attributes is up to you and your team.

Having a NERD formula will enable you to create the best content and place it where it will have the most amplification of effect – ensuring the hard work put into creating content garners the most for you and your client.

You may want to create this after you are able to see how your team adapts your social strategy for success. The same as a MLB front office wants to have a team that fills seats in the stadium because fans want to come see them play year after year, you are creating content that you want to gain as much positive attention as possible- which will have your clients repeatedly signing up to be season ticketholders.

Of course, the easiest way to sell tickets is to keep winning- so next week, I will tell you how to ensure your social outreach link building strategy makes you and your team Mr. October all year long!

Make sure to subscribe to the iAcquire blog so you won’t miss a single pitch!

On Deck:

Be Mr. October Year Round – Building upon relationships you have created, the future of social strategy, how to stay ahead of the game

Top of the Batting Order:

Get Off the Schneid – Stop what you’re doing: it’s wrong, and here’s why you’re losing and how social strategy can turn your season around.

Find Your Social Sweet Spot – Choosing the right tools for discovering and contacting influencers, managing your social accounts, and tailoring your message.

Load the Bases – Finding influencers, setting yourself up to score runs and relationships, avoiding RISP failures