Why Should I Comment On Someone Else’s Blog?

Recently, one of my workshop participants asked “Why should I take time to comment on other people’s blogs?” Here are some compelling reasons to make this part of your social media strategy:

  • Every comment adds to your online visibility. Each time your name appears on a comment, the blogger and other blog readers see you and become familiar with your name.
  • Building a community is a two-way conversation. By showing interest in other people’s thoughts, you demonstrate how much you value their contribution to your industry.
  • Blog comments help establish you as an authority in your field. You also make it clear that you’re a lifelong learner willing to hear new ideas. Don’t be afraid to share your expertise to enhance what’s already been written.
  • Frequent thoughtful, relevant comments on the same blog can help you build a relationship with the blogger and the audience. Check back for follow-up comments from the blogger and other readers and continue the dialogue as long as there’s something meaningful to say.
  • Often blog comments accommodate your website listing as well as your name. These inbound links, sometimes called backlinks, add to your SEO (search engine optimization).
Snapshot of some comments on my site

Read on for a few words of caution

  • Be careful about including links to your blog in the text of your comment. Anything you share must support what the blogger is doing otherwise you’ll be perceived as spam.
  • Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. A brief “thanks so much” may be courteous but it doesn’t establish any rapport with the folks you’re trying to network with.
  • I’d also encourage you to say nothing if you have a negative reaction to the blog post. If there’s a factual error, by all means politely offer updated information but please don’t post your knee jerk reaction. The damage you could do to your reputation is vast.
  • If you’re trying to build relationships from a business point of view, I suggest you avoid commenting on religious or political blogs. Why limit your market share to only those who share your beliefs?
  • Be yourself. It’s all about authentic relationships, right?

So stop reading this and leave a comment today.

Creating Original Content

Success in social networking is all about content. You’ve got to consistently share information of interest to your community. What you share should be a blend of original content created by you and referenced or curated content created by others.

Photo Credit: Ch10 on Flickr
used under Creative Commons License.

Here are 9 ways you can create original content this week:

  1. Write about the product you worked on today. What will your customers love about it? What problem will it solve for them?
  2. Praise someone you work with – a colleague, a supplier, a support worker. Share who they are and why their contribution is so valuable.
  3. Share someplace interesting you’ve visited. It could be a retailer, a supplier, a restaurant or somewhere in nature. Tell your audience why you enjoyed it and include a photo if you can.
  4. Record a video. Show your product being made or your service in action.
  5. Take photos of people, places & things. Every photo has the potential to anchor a blog post or become a tweet.
  6. Write about related products that complement but don’t compete. For example, a dog food manufacturer might write about a line of dog toys.
  7. Remove the veil and share some little known facts about your organization.
  8. Create a contest. Include a “can’t be bought” experience related to what you do in the grand prize.
  9. Conduct interviews with executives, suppliers & customers. This can be done by email Q&A or as an audio or video recording.

Go create something right now.

Political Themes in My Facebook Feed

Last week, you may have seen my post about how the federal political parties are using social media. Today, I’m thinking about three recurring themes amongst my Facebook friends. These are:

Get Out and VOTE

I whole heartedly support this sentiment. All Canadians need to get out and exercise their democratic right to vote. This is a privilege and we shouldn’t take it for granted. Although it was created for the 2008 American presidential election, this video is still pertinent and powerful:

Women Have Voting Power

Women haven’t always been able to vote and must never forget the suffrage moment of the 1910s when women like me – wives, mothers, aunts, daughters – sought equal opportunities at the polls. This is not an issue of a century past as I recently learned that women in Switzerland only gained the right to vote in 1971 and, of course, there are women who can’t vote in many countries even today. This compelling video really struck a chord for me:

 

 

And there’s Mom the Vote, a grassroots movement to engage mother’s in conversation about voting and to raise the issues most important to parents. If you’re a parent or if you support the concerns of parents, take a moment to like the Mom the Vote Facebook page now.

GLTB Vote

The allegedly homophobic comments of Prime Minister Stephen Harper sparked a firestorm of discussion in support of the Gay, Lesbian, Transexual and Bisexual community. For me, this Liz Feldman quote sums up the reaction beautifully:

So, now I’m curious:

  • What themes are popping up in your social newsfeeds?
  • What are people saying that will change your vote?
  • What issues are most important to your community?

Let me know and don’t forget to VOTE on Monday, May 2, 2011