Stop! Is your link outreach targeting total strangers? Start with your Twitter followers instead, but do it the smart way.
I see many SEOs and link builders reach out to people without leveraging existing relationships and connections. In a recent article I talk about scanning referral traffic to get link ideas and connect with the right people. Today we will focus on Twitter followers only.
The Basic Idea
Somebody who already follows you on Twitter is a lot more likely to interact and reply back than a complete stranger. These are people who want to hear what you have to say or have added you as part of their promotional and networking efforts. Either way, they’re a good starting point.
As I write this article there are 2047 @dejanseo followers on Twitter. This is not as many as other, bigger brands have, but as much as I would love to know everyone a bit better I have to admit to myself that I may never get around to do it. So if you wanted to use your Twitter followers for outreach, what is the best starting point in planning the campaign?
Here are a couple of things to consider:
- User Influence
- Number of followers (crude metric)
- Their follower engagement (@’s, RT’s, favourites, lists)
- Account activity (daily posts)
- Domain Quality
- Domain quality metrics (PageRank, mR, Flow Metrics, inbound links/domains)
- Have you ever interacted with them before?
- Are you connected anywhere else?
- Do you know them in real life?
- Are they relevant to your campaign?
What I did
There are many (too many?) tools out there which are able to tell you any number of the above elements, and more. It is a little bit up to you where you want to start, but in this article I will share with you what I actually did for our own Twitter account.
I used php and Twitter API to retrieve our follower list and export all usernames and URL’s next to them. I queried the domains for various quality parameters and now have a list I can sort, edit, update, add comments to or import into my link building management database.
Here’s example of my CSV:
In the above list (922-935) I can see two people who’ve already linked to me (http://www.linkbuildr.com and http://www.rosshudgens.com) and some which don’t seem particularly interesting (e.g. Facebook, Wefollow). Everyone else is worth checking out. Naturally this is just a small segment of the actual list and the task is much more complex than that.
I started by cleaning up any usernames which did not contain a URL. Next step was detecting domains I didn’t want to consider (wikipedia, facebook) and finally sorting my list by quality parameters (PageRank, mR, Flow Metrics, inbound links/domains).
After that my job is to go over that list and look for familiar people, that’s always a good starting point. Once that’s exhausted I can move onto people I have not had a chance to connect to in the past. I may start by inviting them to write for our blog.
If anyone has any additional ideas or wants to try our follower URL retrieval tool please let me know.