Beware of superbloggers like Xiaxue (or embrace them)
May 26, 2012 by Terence LEE
Like them or not, social media celebrities like Xiaxue, together with their thousands upon thousands of Twitter followers, are here to stay.
Reputations rise or crumble by their tweets. A restaurant’s branding will be hit simply because a waiter offends a superblogger, who then writes about it. With their massive influence, they’re the new rulers of the Internet world.
Perhaps drunk with their newfound power, they can get downright nasty, depending on their mood. So if you piss them off enough to go after you, well good luck.
Several unlucky Singaporean men found that out the hard way, when Xiaxue, a well-known Singapore celebrity blogger, decided to get her revenge.
The offense? These men wrote some grubby comments about she and her friends when a local news blog posted their photo on Facebook.
She responded in kind by digging through Facebook, posting photos of them and their families on her blog, and then proceeding to dissect their looks.
Even some of her haters have to admit that they like the justice she served.
If you’re an entrepreneur or marketer, engaging superbloggers or Twitter celebrities may be a viable brand engagement strategy. But it’s a radically different playing field from simply putting up an ad in the newspaper.
1) Celebrity bloggers are not billboards; they are people
They can be billboards, but only if you’re paying them a high premium to tweet or write about your product. Most of the time, they’re ordinary people with common interests and inclinations who just happen to be really good at generating attention for what they do.
So, treat them as such, find out what they’re interests are, and what they dislike. Engage them on the social networks, on their blogs, and in “real life”. Find out which celebrity shares a natural affinity with your product. If you’re doing a music startup, consider reaching out to musicians and singers who have quite a fervent online following.
The worst thing you can do is spam them with stuff they don’t care about.
2) Engaging celebrity bloggers isn’t just for consumer-facing startups
You may think hobnobbing with celebrity bloggers is more relevant to startups in the food or retail business, as well as social networks whose goal is to procure as many users as possible. That is a misconception.
There are celebrities, and then there are celebrities.
Every industry has their own superbloggers (unless you’re talking about really obscure ones like petrochemicals or oil & gas). The only difference between them and public personalities is the scale of their ‘celebrity’.
No matter how hard he tries, famous tech blogger Mike Arrington, at 122,000 followers, will never reach Justin Bieber‘s 22 million. But while they operate on a vastly different scale, a startup working on a killer business app is better-off reaching out to Mike.
3) Have a content strategy
If your goal is to get these bloggers to share about your startup to their followers, then you can’t do it in a vacuum. Have a content strategy as part of your marketing efforts. Simply asking them to peddle your wares and talk about its features won’t be enough.
Try writing eye-catching blog posts or create viral videos revolving around your area of interest. If you’re not good at that, consider investing in someone who’s great with content.
A great example of content strategy well executed is the “How to order kopi like a pro” series by Burpple, a Singapore startup that has created a mobile food journal (kopi, for you non-Singaporeans, is the Singapore version of coffee). They followed that up months later with the Help Kopi Go Overseas campaign, a parody of the Help Alvin Get into School website.
Both efforts were enthusiastically received by the Twittersphere, including a certain MrBrown.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE