Sunday, February 08, 2009

How to Use Advanced Search Functionality Within To Find and Engage Online Evangelists

Hugely popular bloggers like Chris Brogan or Robert Scoble have been prime targets for brands hoping to leverage the social media space to generate positive word of mouth. But these bloggers are most likely not YOUR online evangelists. So where do you find yours?

Mack Collier's recent blog post shows how Tropicana could use social media search tools like Google and Twitter Search to find and engage its online evangelists.

But is a huge opportunity that most marketers are ignoring. Here's how to leverage and utilize some of its slightly hidden, advanced search functionality to find and engage your online evangelists in your backyard, in the U.S. or throughout the world:

1. Go to; Do NOT log in.

2. Go to Find A Meetup Group, and type in your topic of interest. Below, I'll build on the Tropicana example, and look for people interested in Nutrition.

3. Choose a relevant result: for Tropicana, let's choose Whole Foods Nutrition.

4. Now, do NOT click any of the specific Meetups YET, since this will prevent us from finding the goldmine ahead of us. INSTEAD, click on one of the Meetup Topics UNDERNEATH any one of the specific Meetups.

5. When the next page loads, the left-hand nav changes, producing a new option: Meetup Groups, click to go Meetup Groups.

6. Now you get a MAP showing not only all of the existing Meetup Groups and Members, specific to your chosen topic (Wholefoods Nutrition), but ALSO a map and listing of people who have previously searched for a Meetup on this topic, didn't find one closeby and then indicated that they would like someone to Start one up

For Tropicana, there are over 22,000 people already attending almost 1000 Meetups on Whole Foods Nutrition topic in 7 countries, and there are almost 17,000 people who have indicated that they are INTERESTED in a Meetup on Whole Foods Nutrition!

7. Drill down and you can scoll over individual meetups and see how many members are in each Meetup, so you may decide to focus only on large Meetups to begin, say those with over 100 members. For this example, we go to the Pittsburg Whole Foods Nutrition Meetup.

8. And what do we find? How about old and new members generating posts about exactly what they're interested in? Here we see "Heather" saying that she's interested in learning more about nutrition and being more deliberate in her food choices.

Within Heather's public profile, we can see that she just joined the Whole Foods Meetup today, and that she's a member of 3 other Meetups, including one about Cooking!

In less then 4 minutes, we've found over 39,000 people who are already out in the real-world meeting with like-minded people around Whole Foods Nutrition, and we've quickly begun to build a list of people that have indicated that they want to learn more.

How's that for using social media search tools to find and engage your online evangelists?

Further Reading:
Are Companies Targeting the Wrong "Influencers" with Social Media?

"Finding and Embracing Your Online Evangelists in 5 Minutes" and recommends using Google, Google Blog Search and Twitter Search to quickly find people who are talking about your brand, so that you can target them with your outreach efforts.


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