I've mentioned Jim Lecinski in several of my previous columns. The Google managing director of sales & service likened companies’ social media and internet presence to an 800-number that’s already been set up for you. Now, with a strategy in hand, you need to answer that line!
I’m not saying my business is doing everything right in social media, or that we know it all. But we are trying to learn as much as we can, as fast as we can, while trying to stay open-minded. Where we’ve led is with bloggers, and the more I read about how critical a role they can play in winning online, the happier I am that we have.
At KidStuff Public Relations, we have spent six years creating a dynamic, constantly changing list of about 200 vetted mom bloggers who deliver the kind of passionate and personal product reviews our clients need to their readers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
Here’s another area where small- and mid-sized companies win against the big guys: they are creating the innovative, educational and playful products and services mom bloggers want their children to play with and want to review. Bloggers appreciate and want to support entrepreneurial businesses with reviews on their blogs.
At a conference I recently attended, I was surprised to learn that some big companies are paying bloggers for reviews. We never have in six years, and don’t intend to start. The bloggers we work with feel that the product sample is compensation enough and they are providing a service to their readers. I think that paid reviews raise ethical questions and if I were a reader of a blog that wrote paid product reviews, I’d be really mad if I found out. I have no problem with bloggers accepting paid advertising on their sites, or making money in other ways through their business. But don’t feel like you have to pay to get a good product review!
If you’ve got some wonderful mom blog reviews about your company (and, of course, post them on your website so they are searchable) then you can win at the ZMOT (check out my previous postings for details) when moms are searching about your product or category.
Guess who else is searching the internet to learn about or vet products for review? Big, national media. Mom blogger reviews are compelling to them. Bloggers deserve our respect and should not be generalized with dismissive statements like “they just want free stuff.” Bloggers also are on the cutting edge of this social media business, so we learn a lot from our best partners as well. Don’t feel like you have to know everything about online marketing before you start. Just start. See you out there!
Lisa Orman founded her virtual business, KidStuff Public Relations, 18 years ago, when AOL was the only email service and the internet was a baby. Connect with her on her company blog at www.kidstuffpr.com/blog, on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to her Youtube channel.