WTF is a Digital Influencer – David Christopher


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His talk “WTF is a Digital Influencer” aims to wet your whistle for the day’s speakers by exploring the many avenues of digital influence and by highlighting some best (and worst) practices.

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  • Who travelled to get here? Anybody from as far away as Uptown? Anybody from Yukon?Just kidding anybody not from Oklahoma City? Shout it out and tell me.Okay great to have you.When a friend of mine, Greg Newby, first suggested an Oklahoma City blogging conference I thought it was a great idea. I blog, you blog, lets get together and get better. But then as I got out there and started meeting people, what I found was a wider community, a community that is bigger than just bloggers. I wanted to be able to bring out philanthropists and videographers, DJs, entrepreneurs and marketers. Anybody who’s doing something amazing on the internet. I didn’t want this conference to be limited just to bloggers.So WTF is a digital influencer? It’s anybody who excels at reaching people online.And today we’ve got some amazing speakers for you, some of our speakers speak at national events like Pubcon, SMX and Altitude Summit, others are just doing amazing things with the internet.I’m David Christopher, and I’m going to be your Emcee today and I’m also going to kick us off with the first talk.So just lie back and think of England.I’m going to acclimatize you.
  • So this is my Klout Score. For those of you who don’t know, you can hook up your Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare etc. accounts to Klout and it will calculate how much influence you have online, and you can compare yourself with other people.Mine isn’t particularly impressive. But look at that leap. Wow what happened there – he’s doing something right.
  • I had a baby.In fact I didn’t even have it – my wife did. I just watched and then I posted about it on Facebook and 47 people commented and 128 people liked it.So what am I saying? Go knock someone up? No. But this is something real, and people respond to real things. There are ways to game the system, but I think sustainable influence flows from the real world to the online world. So, do good things. The truth is that I’m not much of a digital influencer myself, but I’m trying to learn.
  • So I made a list of the most influential Twitter users that Confluence speakers follow – who influences the influencers, right?We’ve got…Barack ObamaKevin DurantConan O’BrienDaniel Gordon…What?So the tool is telling me that Daniel Gordon has more digital influence than James Harden?Everybody on that list has been featured in the New York Times except for Daniel Gordon.That doesn’t make any sense, right? I mean who would you rather have endorse your soft drink.
  • This guy – a jeweler from Oklahoma City, recently moved to Ohio
  • Or this guy.I know, it’s terrifying. He’s really changed.
  • So the tool must be broken. But then I looked at the data.
  • And Daniel Gordon tweets A LOTI looked at how many times Dan has tweeted compared to the rest of the top ten combined.
  • Nearly twice as many tweets.And do you think Barack Obama’s doing all his own tweets? I hope not!That breaks down to
  • One tweet every 8 waking minutes for 6 and a half years.
  • Sweet Brown – Harder to get on the phone than Ree Drummond.
  • Only 0.005% of Twitter profiles are verified.
  • Here are some people who only recently got verified Twitter accounts.And guess who is.
  • Verified!Twitter is telling us he’s a celebrity.So I asked him.
  • What was the best thing anyone ever gave you because of your online influence.
  • And he said their time.Which for a guy who has devoted 14 solid weeks of his life to Twitter is kind of an incredible thing to say.
  • He makes it look easy, right.Well I work off of a different metric.
  • Followers per tweet.It’s the efficient man’s metric. Nearly every time I tweet I gain a new follower. But then I’ve only tweeted 700 times.Where as Dan here only gains one every 12 time he tweets.Which is still about one every two hours.Anyway - here are some efficiency tips and tactics that would make Daniel Gordon blush.
  • I attended this conference earlier in the year. I tweeted the hashtag a few times, waited until lunchtime, so nobody could be sure if they’d actually met me, and then I followed everybody on the twitter list of attendees. 100 of them followed me back. The rest of them, I unfollowed.Throughout the conference people kept coming up to me and saying – “I follow you on Twitter”.Most conferences have their own lists… And there’s a link to ours.The fun thing about this tactic is, you don’t even have to really be at the conference!
  • That’s pretty low, right. That’s me grasping away at Twitter followers.
  • Well get this.Embedle is a great tool for legitimizing conversations on Twitter.It’s a browser extension and once you’ve installed it.
  • You can pull up this sidebar on any piece of content on the web and see who’s talking about it on Twitter and what they’re saying.Let’s say you run a charity making backpacks, and for every backpack you make you give two away to children in need (B-WAP).And you’re looking at this PRIstory about Toms shoes scanning it for users with a high Klout score.
  • I just found you a journalist
  • An investor
  • And a marketing consultant.And you have the perfect excuse to start up a natural seeming conversation with each of them.
  • Palms Resort in Las Vegas looked up their guest’s Klout scores as they checked in and upgraded those with high scores without telling them why.
  • Lets say you wanted to get some exposure for a restaurant you were opening in Oklahoma City.We’re all frustrated restaurateurs.Talking to the folks at local restaurant blog eataroundokc could be a good place to start. They have 8000 followers.
  • Followerwonk is a great tool to pull data from Twitter. It’s part of the Moz toolset, the company that Ruth Burr works for.She’s live tweeting this event at
  • #confluencecon
  • And I can pull that data on every one of their followers into a spreadsheet, like this.It contains their name, location, follower count, bio, website and social authority score of 8000 people who are interested enough in Oklahoma City restaurants to follow a blog devoted to the topic.
  • You’re going to want to filter that data. So you highlight the columns select “sort and filer” and then filter.
  • It will then look like this with the little arrows next to the column headings.Click on one of them and you can add a filter.I’m going to ask to see only bios that contain…
  • The words “blog” and “food”
  • And here they are. Out of 8000 followers, the 15 who explicitly mention that they blog and are into food. You could do the same with the words “vegan”, or “coffee” if you were opening a coffee shop. I also sorted this list by social authority, so you can see which of them has the most sway on Twitter.Throw a party for these people, introduce them to each other.They have websites and collectively 25,000 followers on Twitter.Court them. Take them on a date.And at the top of the list we have…
  • Stephanie Bice, food blogger and restaurant reviewer for the Oklahoma Gazette. Not a bad place to start.But then you get real. And you go and you meet Stephanie.Because the very best outreach is meeting people.
  • Now I haven’t met Stephanie yet, but here are some of the people I met in person about Confluence before the conference.Online is fine, Klout score, followerwonk, whatever helps you find the right people, but ultimately you should be looking to create a real relationship.
  • And that’s just Twitter. Digital influence doesn’t stop there. There are a lot of other platforms you’re going to hear about today.Platforms with their own native audiences – the trick is reaching that audience and guiding that traffic to your own website.
  • Here’s an example of one of my blog posts. My blog content is all over the place, I’m thinking about renaming it “farts in the wind”.So sometimes at restaurants rather than buying a soft drink I’ll squeeze a bunch of lemons and limes into a glass of ice water and then sweeten it with Splenda. I call it a poor man’s sprite. So, as you do with something you’re kind of ashamed of, I blogged about it.
  • And I submitted itto the Frugal subreddit, because I know it has 300,000 readers and it only takes a minute to post to Reddit.It got about 3 up votes and 649 people visited my site.How hard was that?
  • This is my most successful contribution to Reddit, and it drove about 200,000 visits to the Daily Telegraph’s website.
  • But you don’t just want to look at the number of visits. You should also look at the behavior of the visitors.This is a piece of content from my blog that people actually seem to like. It’s a Google map of my favorite places around OKC.
  • Over the same time period OKC Mapped drove 41 visits from the OKC subreddit. Which on the face of it doesn’t seem as good.But people only looked at my Sprite recipe for 5 seconds on average, and people spent a lot longer looking at the map. They were much more engaged they spent nearly twice as long on the site collectively and they’re much more likely to come back.Target those people who might become loyal visitors to your site.
  • Human beings aren’t intelligent, they’re adaptive.
  • The first step is having the data. If you don’t have Analytics installed on your website, you need it.It will tell you how many people come to your site, where they are coming from and how they behave when they get there.
  • This is the F-shaped reading pattern most common online.The higher you rank in search engines the more likely you are to get seen and clicked on.If you rank 1st you get about 20% of the traffic and it about halves for every position you drop.Why? Because people trust Google and they’re lazy.
  • So I had all these great photos from my son’s Elmo birthday party and I wanted to prove that even the first post on a brand new blog can get great search traffic.
  • This is the traffic stats for the first post I ever put out on my blog. Very consistent traffic, and it’s nearly all from search engines.How did I do that?
  • so I used Google Keyword Planner to investigate if there was traffic for “Elmo birthday parties”.Google has recorded every search ever made and you can access that information through the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. I put in “Elmo Party” and it’s telling me there’s good traffic. There’s better traffic for “Elmo Party Supplies” but that’s not appropriate since I’m not selling anything. With the phrase “Elmo Birthday Party Ideas” I can capture about 8,000 searches every month, and it accurately describes the content. So I search that phrase and look to see if my content can compete.
  • Ouch, look at that competition. We’ve got Google Shopping, Google Images, strong domains like Ivillage and Party City using the exact phrase.There’s no way my brand new blog can compete with that.
  • So what about “Elmo Fruit Tray”?Well there’s some traffic.And can I rank?
  • Oh yeah.The sites who were ranking 1 and 2 didn’t mention “elmo fruit tray” in their page titles – the blog post title and most important field to get your keyword into – so they weren’t very relevant.And the relevant page that did rank highest.
  • Had crap content.
  • Start with the page title, search engines read left to right so get your targets in early.And then, if you’ve chosen legitimate target keywords for your content, it should be pretty easy to liberally sprinkle the keywords throughout the post. Like this.The alt text for this image is “elmo fruit tray and birthday cake”. Alt text is alternative text for the visually impaired and search engines use it to help determine what your pictures are.And the post goes on like that.
  • I can’t express enough the importance of good photographs to a blog. And they’ll really help you get your content out there. This picture has received 21 repins and 3 likes so far on Pinterest and every time it gets pinned, that’s another link to my content, another thumbs up to Google that I deserve to rank well.
  • Yes, I am on Pinterest.This is my most successful Pinterest board – Men’s Urban Fashion.My wife and brother-in-law make fun of me about it. Apparently only gay men use Pinterest.So I did an experiment.
  • I pinned this.
  • And my feed light up like a Christmas tree.Now there’s no way I can keep pinning Anglophile homoerotica and stay married, so that strategy is dead in the water.
  • But I do love my family.This is my son’s stool sample sitting in our fridge.We went on vacation to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and while we were there about half the resort got sick with food poisoning.When we got back I threw this image up on my blog.
  • And Dreams Resort reached out and asked for my contact details.Great! I love it when I get good customer service.So I sent them my details. But I never heard back.
  • Now I’m mad.
  • So I start Googling “Food Poisoning Punta Cana” and someone has gone around filling up all the high ranking forums and review sites with misinformation.This guy Yomary is telling people not to worry about food poisoning in Punta Cana because 95% of cases come from drinking “too much and too cold drinks”.Well my two year old wasn’t drinking anything and I’d only managed to get down one beer. It was very cold.
  • This guy Yomary has answered 409 questions, all of them about the Dominican Republic.If this guy doesn’t work for the tourist board he should.
  • So I did my keyword research. And there’s traffic for Punta Cana food poisoning and diarrhea.
  • And I blogged about half the people at the resort getting sick and their PR attempts to cover it up. When I first launched the post it ranked at the top of the second page, so 11th. It got about 12 social shares which brought it up to about 7th.What it lacked was authority. Other sites linking to it, referencing it, saying, yup this post is the best post about diarrhea in Punta Cana.You might look through the other content that ranks for any opportunities to build links to your content.
  • The Fodors content for instance has comments.
  • So I posted one. I engaged in the conversation and suggested they might want the whole story at my blog.Comment links are some of the lowest links on the food chain. Anything that can be built by a spam bot isn’t exactly smiled upon by search engines.Also most comment links are “no follow” – that’s how webmasters tell search engines not to pass authority through them. You see how this link is crossed through. I use a plugin in Chrome called SEOQuake that strikes through links that are designated “no follow”.
  • Now this is the kind of link you want.Steve here blogs all the time about his travels to the Caribbean and South America. I asked if I could guest post about “How to avoid food poisoning abroad” and he said, of course.In the post I mention that I recently had a personal experience with food poisoning and I link off to my blog post. That makes perfect sense to the reader, and to the search engines.If you’re building links, these are the kinds of links you should be after.If your content is so good and your audience so big that links to your site build themselves, even better – of course, that’s where we all want to get.
  • Did Dreams get back to me?Not yet.But about 150 people a month come and hear my side of the story.
  • So start with great content and you won’t go wrong.And honestly, I can’t tell you what that looks like, there is no formula. That’s the great thing about the internet. But you know it when you see it.
  • WTF is a Digital Influencer – David Christopher

    1. 1. WTF IS A DIGITAL INFLUENCER David Christopher Snr. Inbound Marketing Manager, OPUBCO @davidmchris
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Total Tweets 138,573 12,208 Dan Gordon James Harden
    4. 4. Total Tweets 138,573 75,778 Dan Gordon Rest of Top 10
    5. 5. 1 tweet every 8 waking minutes For 6 ½ years
    6. 6. 0.005% of Twitter profiles are verified
    7. 7. Not Verified • @GaryEngland • @okgazette Verified in 2013 • @WarrenBuffett • @billclinton
    8. 8. Followers per Tweet 0.85 0.08
    9. 9.
    10. 10.
    11. 11.
    12. 12. #ConfluenceCon
    13. 13. 649 Visits
    14. 14. 200,000 Visits
    15. 15. Poor Man's Sprite OKC Mapped 5658 3015 603 41 Visits Total Seconds on Site
    16. 16. Learn what works and do more of it
    17. 17. 1st - 20% 2nd - 10% 3rd - 7% 10th - 1%