Important lessons learned at a parent blogger conference (as a non-parent and non-blogger)
This past week I had the pleasure of attending the Type-A Parent blogging conference in Atlanta. In its sixth year, Type-A is the largest conference for moms and dads who blog. Although I have experience contributing to and maintaining blogs for our company and clients, I would not consider myself a blogger, per se, (and definitely not a parent) – so I have to admit, I was a little nervous about being the obvious odd-man-out on my trip.
All in all, the conference was a huge success and I came away with invaluable insight into the blogger community. It was neat to hear how bloggers work with other brands and the day-to-day challenges they face. Of all the information I gathered over three days of networking, here is what I consider the four greatest lessons learned:
Lesson #1: It’s all about relationships. Let’s face it – no matter what you do, success is so often defined by the relationships you create – and then maintain and grow. Time and time again, I heard bloggers say that the best brand-blogger partnerships are built on listening and collaboration. Before beginning a partnership with a blogger, set up a conference call to brainstorm ideas and discuss how the partnership can be mutually beneficial.
Lesson #2: Get in the face of your fans. A huge part of relationship building is constant interaction with your “fans.” Communicate and respond to your fans on social media; interaction leads to understanding, trust and advocacy. Spotlight your fans, thank your fans and reward your fans. Make them feel valued and loved. When a blogger tags or mentions your brand, reward them by responding or sharing their comment. Reward the behavior you want to encourage.
Lesson #3: Effective social media starts with effective headlines. A huge part of social media success (especially as it relates to blogging) is creating story headlines that are enticing and shareable. Good headlines stop your audience in their tracks, and are also intriguing, honest and informative. Good headlines present a mystery that can only be solved by reading further.
Lesson #4: In creating influencer programs, ask the influencers. What better way to learn what will motivate and reward brand advocates then asking the advocates and influencers themselves. Before beginning an ambassador program, consider setting up a focus group of your top blogger partners to create a program that is customized to meet bloggers’ needs.