It’s time to fly. The persona incubation period is over, and you are ready to start social outreach using your persona!
Not as easy as you thought, is it?
Have no fear, we have been there – and we are he’re here to make sure you don’t crash and burn.
Both iAcquire account manager Eric Rattner and I have had plenty of experience link building with personas – so we’re going to dish the dirt on how to make sure your social outreach with personas is successful.
Know Your Goals Before You Start
It’s important to know how you define success – it might be more than one way – before your team gets started. Whether you’re guest posting or doing another form of link building, make sure your team knows what a “successful relationship” with an influencer looks like.
This will help them have a clear goal in mind or even things to check off as they conduct their outreach as well as keep them on track. It will help you measure your success in addition to the metrics for link building you are already tracking.
Every team member’s goal, no matter the vertical, is to establish his or her persona account as a thought leader or influencer in that vertical. This will have publishers or other influencers coming to you for content or ideas as well as enable you to drive action and sharing of content.
Outreach Tweet Composition and Procedure
- Keep in mind not all tweets have to be about targeted niche, tweets should also have a “human” factor to them and not ONLY about niche. Tweets only about niche/vertical can seem like spambots. Normal people talk about things outside their main interests or career.
- Interact with publishers as well as others in your timeline as needed – not just for outreach. Take advantage of conversations happening in space & add your thoughts.
- Have a loose quota for your team to hit for number of publishers they outreach to. This will help you see how to correct their styles of outreach, measure how quickly you can further scale link building and also enable you to eventually predict the number of links (per member of team) you can build.
- Feel free to take conversations offline. Generally, the more detail in the e-mail, the better, but also don’t waste more than a few minutes writing an e-mail. You’ll get into a rhythm once you’ve sent a few, anyway.
- Key elements of your e-mail to a contact you’ve outreached to first over Twitter:
○ INTRO – Who you are, what you were discussing on Twitter, when possible GIVE YOUR PITCH RIGHT AWAY (not necessary guest post pitches, but whatever link building tactic you’re using)
○ BODY – Why you’re qualified, how this will help benefit them
○ CONCLUSION – Earn brownie points, thank them for their time and hint at future posts.
- Include your Twitter handle (with a link) in your e-mail signature for ALL outreach (just e-mail, e-mail with Twitter first touch, etc)
- Leverage tweets in email outreach by linking to tweet or mentioning tweet. The tweet will give the webmaster a face/persona to reference making the email more personal.
- Read your timeline or your team’s timelines every once in awhile to make sure they do not look spammy and have a normal flow that is interesting but sticks to the vertical topics.
A few things you do NOT want to see in a persona timeline:
- The majority of your tweets being requests to publishers.
- Tweeting links to articles without any personal thought or comment
- Junk. You MUST provide something of value that will either interest your followers, get something emotional from them (laugh or awww or etc), or be retweetable (quotes, fun facts, interesting vertical-related stories).
- Adding a quote from industry experts/respected thought leaders to your Twitter stream will naturally make your feed seem more natural.
Quick Social Outreach with a Persona Tips
- Starting a “Quote of the Week” or a #wordoftheweek hashtag gives your persona a more personal touch & can be automated + scheduled to save you time and effort.
- Again, it is SO IMPORTANT to diversify your Twitter stream just as you would your backlink profile. Do not have your whole twitter stream look like this:
- For guest posting – When an article is published, make sure to tweet the article to your followers and use industry hashtags to help gain traction for the post. The social shares not only are a strong SEO signal, but they also will help increase your network.
- When you share a post you’ve written that’s been published, thank the publisher publicly via twitter.
- Offer to help out industry experts to gain their trust and a shout out from their twitter handle. Even if they are not offering to link/guest post, offering to help a thought leader could help you earn down the road with further opportunities.
- Engage with the community through sites similar to inbound.org and hackernews. Share quality content and provide value to followers and community.
- The best tactic throughout link building with social outreach is to just ACT NATURALLY. Take on the persona as much as possible and embrace it. Everyday when you enter “link building mode” make sure to keep tweeting and leveraging your persona in email outreach.
There will obviously be details and occurrences specific to your team and your clients that you will need to adapt to and potentially overcome.
Here at iAcquire, we love hooking you up with free insider information. So to help you overcome problems before they even arise, here are some of the best resources around from industry thought leaders that will provide insights, procedures and tricks to help you achieve persona outreach success.
- Help your team hit a grand slam by downloading the Major League Link Building with Social Media Outreach Guide for even more tips and procedures for social outreach research, methods and tracking.
- Give yourself the gift of the 27 Tips of Linkmas to learn link building tips from industry thought leaders, some of which you can apply to social outreach.
- For insights into creating effective outreach messages, benefit from reading what we learned from analyzing over 300,000 e-mails and get our Quantifying Outreach study.
- Want to see the SEOMoz Whiteboard Friday that started it all? Peep the Scalable Link Building Using Social Media Whiteboard Friday.
- To learn even more methods and for an easy way to share the importance of social outreach to your team, check out and download Link Building Using Social Media from Slideshare.
Good luck out there! Let us know if you have any tips you’d like to add or share stories from your own social outreach experiences in the comments below!
Check out Part 1 & Part 2 of the Up Close and Personal Link Building series:
For more insight into the “moral” dilemma of personas for link building, read SEO’s Persona Problem: The White Lie of Link Building.