Back in the day, you’d collect lists of emails to spam. You could (and still can) do this in various ways. There are tools to scrape email addresses off web pages for example. Similar techniques also exist in the social media world--though i wouldn’t call it social media marketing, but simply spamming social networks. There are bots (i.e. desktop and server side applications) that can friend request tons of people on Facebook, Myspace (which is dead), Youtube, etc, and then send them messages and comments once you’re friends, etc. Honestly, I’m not opposed to such techniques if used wisely and tastefully, and perhaps aiding more genuine contact with lots of people. There’s not much to say about it, just google for example: “youtube bot” and you’ll find a desktop application that will help you spam Youtube.
So how do you do more genuine and personal social media marketing? And how is this better than reaching out to 100k people all at once? That’s the main question that needs answering here. Besides the fact that Old School Spamming gets lower and lower conversion rates over the years as gmail and social networks get better at filtering out spam, Social Media Marketing is all about reaching a select few people who will share your message with tons of people and so on. This is the so called “network effects.”
Imagine the Wall Street Journal covers you. Through one contact (the Journalist you know) you got tons of marketing value. So similarly, you need to use Twitter to find the next best thing, i.e. mini Wall Street Journals, i.e. influencers in your niche with a large following. Obviously get the biggest fish you can to @mention you on twitter. However, it’s not always so clear who these people are. And it’s also not so clear how to get them interested in you when all you can do is write 140 character comments to them. We’ll cover those in the following tutorials.
FINAL NOTE: an added bonus that you’ll get on Twitter, that you won’t when the Wall Street Journal covers you, is the followers of these influencers can easily pass along the message via a retweet or a new @mention. And it’s customary to do so, which is why the “network effects” are very real on Twitter.