Blogger Outreach Part Two and Reviewers Retreat Takeaways

Welcome to Reviewer's Retreat 2012 at Great Wolf Lodge, Presented by Pampers

Reviewer’s Retreat 2012: Product Review Conference

As mentioned in our last post on blogger outreach, blogs have grown to much more than what they started out to be. Not only have they increased in number and scope, but the line between blog and website has blurred (i.e., trying to count the similarities between The Huffington Post and USA Today‘s online version could give anyone a headache).

People turn to blogs to seek recommendations. Companies who wish to reach out to bloggers should do their homework to figure out which bloggers would be a good fit for their brand. When looking for the best blogs for your campaign, numbers aren’t necessarily everything. A high number of unique visitors doesn’t always translate to reader trust and loyalty in the blogger’s recommendations.

To enhance our understanding of bloggers who actively partner with brands, DVL attended Reviewer’s Retreat. Hosted by Cecelia Mecca of Cool Baby Kid and Bridgette Duplantis of The Not-So-Blog, the event brought bloggers together to discuss issues facing those who conduct product reviews. It also welcomed a few company and agency representatives to grow relationships between bloggers and brands.

DVL’s social media manager met and greeted bloggers we’ve worked with in the past and engaged with others we hope to work with in the future.  Check out some of our top Twitter takeaways from the event and DVL tips regarding blogger relationships, social media usage and event highlights:

BLOGGER RELATIONSHIPS

Bloggers are busy. If one campaign didn’t pique their interest, try again until you know for sure they’re uninterested.

Be strategic about who you pitch.

Don’t be afraid to ask bloggers questions, either. Keep the dialogue going even after the campaign has ended.

Appointing official brand ambassadors can be a great “next step” in blogger relationships – as long as they’re the right fit.

Exactly. Don’t just have a blog, Facebook page and Twitter account to spew content. Listen to what your followers are saying and then react accordingly.

ALL-AROUND SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS

There must be effort on your side to foster the relationships with your consumers.

Check with them on how best to communicate.

In person, people want to be looked in the eye. Create an atmosphere online and with your responses that makes them feel the same thing in the digital world.

You don’t *have* to be on every social network. Do an audit to see what will/does work best for you.

A great tip that translates to branding as well. Make sure your brand stands out from others in the social media sphere.

Planning and branding for the future: Always think ahead. Not just about why this post/message/tweet works now, but how does it fit in the overall brand and planned strategy.

More of a personal tip – be careful what you choose to share online of family and friends.

Include text on “pinnable” images to better stand out.

Tweet cleverly – and make sure each tweet has enough room for others to retweet you.

A great wrap-up post from the Pinterest session.

Natural lighting is typically best.

RANDOM #REVRET12 HIGHLIGHTS

The pre-event excitement was evident!

All attendees received a swag bag of partnering brands’ products.

“President’s address” from the retreat’s founders.

Interacting online is fun, but nothing beats meeting face to face.

Thank you for having us!

Wishing @BridgetteLA and @CoolBabyKid a successful event in 2013!

Check out the official Reviewer’s Retreat 2012 Pinterest board and listing of attendees’ wrap-up blog posts.

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Cyber Monday Boosted By Social – and Mobile – Media

Image: winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (http://bit.ly/FDP_winnond)

So far this month, online sales have increased by 15 percent over November 2010, and no doubt retailers are hoping the trend continues on Cyber Monday. Last year, for the first time Cyber Monday was the busiest online shopping day of the year. More and more people are turning to the Web to find holiday gifts, and turning to technology to help them find the best deals.

Former Executive Director of Shop.org, Scott Silverman, shared on TechCrunch he sees a correlation between the growth of social media, particularly Facebook, and the importance of Cyber Monday. Not only do social networks allow for consumers to share great finds, but for retailers to reach their customers where they are. The 25 U.S. retailers with the most Facebook fans, have a combined 259 million fans. According to Shop.org, “29 percent of consumers will check out a retailer’s Facebook page as part of their online holiday shopping this year.”

In addition to Facebook, the growing blogging community is a huge resource for consumers. Many blogs sharing deals, not just for Cyber Monday but year-round, are run – and read – by arguably a top targeted demographic for retailers – moms. Many Mom and Savings blogs have a dedicated following that checks the sites frequently to help save their families money. Plentiful by the hundreds, if not thousands, popular savings blogs like the following use Facebook, Twitter and e-newsletters to spread the word: Common Sense with Money, Coupon Cravings, Deal Seeking Mom, Hip2Save, Money Saving Mom Southern Savers and The Thrifty Mama (just to name a few). Some have even developed smartphone apps to help their readers locate deals, including Saving Cents with Sense.

There are numerous other mobile and tablet apps to help people find Cyber Monday deals, as Mint.com shares in its Life blog. Among others, there’s RedLaser, owned by eBay, which “has seen scans go up 50 percent over the past year,” according to SeekingAlpha. Another, ShopKick, rewards consumers just for visiting a store, trying on clothes and scanning barcodes. Apps like DealNews and CheapDeals101 bring sales to the consumer by aggregating them for one-tap shopping.

Whether surfing the Web for the best deals Cyber Monday, or shopping online any other time, make sure to keep it safe by following taking necessary precautions to keep your purchases protected.