"Do you work with bloggers?"This is a question that brands are asked when bloggers, eager and ready to work with them, approach them.
This question is sometimes asked in a one on one setting, say at a conference or Expo, other times it happens via email. Some bloggers also like to use the power of social media to connect with brands.
Although I personally prefer connecting with brands in a real setting, I have also approached brands on Facebook and sometimes Twitter. Done right, I have found that brands warm-up to my simple ask and refer me to someone offline. But sometimes, not often, brands do not know how to answer my question.
When that happens, "it opens the opportunity for us (bloggers) to educate brands about the opportunity being presented to them," said Jamie Gall. Not only can we (bloggers) provide brands with a real and authentic way of connecting with consumers; working with bloggers is also much cheaper than buying an ad, and many times, our blog posts reach many more consumers with a much smaller budget.
Bloggers, in turn, get content that increases their readership, their influence, and potentially their business.
Brands will also increase their visibility online and bloggers have been known to increase brand sales.
It's, by all intents and purposes, a win-win for everyone involved - when "working with bloggers" is done right.
But sometimes folks are caught on an off day.
Sometimes brand reps are tired. Sometimes they are inexperienced. But the shocker is when brands are flat-out rude:
|This is what a brand wrote to a blogger when he asked if "they worked with bloggers." |
What followed was a comedy of errors that made both the blogger, and brand, battle it out very publicly. This thread/conversation was later deleted from Facebook.
But it did!
Although it can be maddening to receive a follow-up emails from every single blogger met at a large convention or expo, a response, such as this one, will immediately turn-off bloggers.
Alexandra, the blogger behind The Beverly Hills Mom, "wouldn't spend more time on that brand, because the response proves that this brand hasn't worked with bloggers." Then added, "I don't spend time pitching to people that aren't open (to working with bloggers)."
Personally, I wouldn't either...unless it was a brand that I really, really wanted to work with (cough-cough Nordstrom).
If that were the case, the perfect response was penned by Sofia Keck, "Yes I wanted you to hire me. Yes, I would like to write about you and will do so even if you don't hire me. Yes, I tasted your product at the Expo and have some feedback. I might have not have communicated myself well with you, but my blog analytics show that I am doing something right, that I already have an audience, and that you could benefit from working with me. Let's start all over again, shall we?"
This seems to me like a great alternative response from the blogger which has the potential of turning around the brand rep.
Worst case scenario, the brand rep will not be open to working with bloggers. If that is the case, it's time to move on. Best case scenario, the brand will be open to discussing blogger opportunities.
Either way, the blogger will maintain his/her reputation, and the brand, well, will have to learn the hard way...hopefully, it won't be too late for this brand in question.