Monday, April 27, 2009

Using Google Alerts to Find Comment Opportunities

There are many ways to use social media to market or promote an online resource like a web site or blog. One of the easiest ways is to leave a comment on another blog or web site. Sometimes major media events that happen to be related to your blog or web site present an easy opportunity to enhance public awareness.

For example, in March 2009, the FAA proposed a rule change that would make it almost impossible for the public to see or analyze the FAA's biggest bird and wildlife strike database. There was heavy media coverage of the event online, in newspapers, and on television. I run several web sites and blogs that deal with bird strikes, so I had a simple three part plan to take advantage of the sudden public attention:

1. Use Google Alerts to find out what news stories were coming out online (I used the search terms [+faa +"bird strike"]).

2. Find the articles with the largest potential audience and either post comments to the article (always mentioning at least one of my bird strike blogs or sites),

3. If an article from a medium to large media organization had contact information for the writer of the story, I'd make a point to contact that person by phone or email and offer to provide information or answer questions.

By letting Google do my research for me, I was able to easily find dozens of opportunities to post comments to articles and use those posts to direct readers to some of my resources. In addition, I also found relevant media contacts that I could help or that could help me later.

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