Many people forget that commenting is really a form of social chatting.
And the people who you regularly social chat with you could eventually become your loyal fans.
Well, at least this should be your aim.
Remember the reason why you comment is not just to make a noise, but to get noticed; to get people to know, like and trust you better.
And the first task about social chatting to get to know more about your loyal fans first before you start to help them.
Check out this infographic below:
And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
Ask your loyal fans what's wrong
Do you find the first question marketers ask is "What are you struggling with right now?" This is the standard method of finding out a customer's problem so they can offer a solution with their product.
However, whenever I'm confronted with this question, I stall. There is usually so much I could answer, but how do I phrase it? And do I actually want to admit I am struggling in the first place?
I genuinely hate being asked directly what is my number one challenge, or if I could change something, what would it be? This is going in with all guns blazing, which is most unnerving.
The trouble is, most marketers haven't the time to spend social chatting with their potential customers. They need results now! They don't see the value of creating loyal fans first.
And yet if they did relax a bit and socially chatted first, they would probably receive much more valuable answers to their question.
Use the same words as them
There is this misconception that using clever words or unfathomable jargon makes you look clever or important.
I remember sitting in on marketing meetings not understanding a single word. And I wondered how many other people within the room were also suffering. To me this was a pointless exercise. Much more could be accomplished if ordinary, everyday words were used instead.
This doesn't happen in conversation, both off- and online. People don't put up with long monologues or the use of over-indulgent words. We're not in the Victorian age when people respectfully waited for the person to finish their speech before responding themselves at length.
We barter words each party can relate to. The vocabulary may be reduced, but at least it is understood. We use emojis to make up for facial expressions, and gifs for entertainment. Conversations are swift, pertinent, focused – and above all, use the kind of words we know our loyal fans will understand.
Show you really understand their predicament
Einstein was reported to have said: "If you can't explain something in three words, then you don't truly understand it yourself" (or words to that effect). He's right, so many explanations go on forever due to a lack of comprehension.
This understanding can make a huge difference if you are able reveal this to the other person. Could you take their problem and define it in a few words like Einstein? Could you even explain it better than the person who has the problem?
Part of encouraging people to become your loyal fans is to get them to know, like and trust you. You need to be in their wavelength, come down to their level, behave like they do. And you can only do this if you truly understand them.
So conversation, or social chat, is a very good way of doing this. Let the other person relax, know you're not out to trick them and that you're on their side. Once they feel comfortable then your processes can begin.
Work out the most common problems
Part of relationship building with loyal fans is to mention things they can relate to. This could be the most frequently mentioned problems they have, and equally it could be a solution which really works.
Focusing on subjects your audience comes across on a regular basis means they already know what they are. You don't need to waste time explaining it to them. You can launch straight into your conversation without any unnecessary introductions.
Once a reader feels comfortable with you, they will start to relax. They may even instigate a conversation. They will offer questions that help you with your marketing research. If these can be easily answered, all the better. But social chatting allows you to tentatively venture further into the problem to find the best solution.
Writing about the most common problems people have, found out through social chatting and comment conversations, can be very attractive to passing readers, And if you cleverly optimise it with appropriate keywords, the search engines as well.
Where else are people talking about this?
Your blog may not be enough to find and recruit loyal fans. Once you've understood what their most pressing problems are, try searching other places where these conversations are happening.
Social media groups and forums thrive on conversation. However, the answer is not to wade in and start promoting your solutions, but to ask questions to find out more about the problems and difficult situations the members are in.
This 'soft' approach requires a lot of restraint. Getting people to know, like and trust you doesn't mean immediately revealing the answers. These need to be delivered when the time is right.
The way to gain favour with your new potential readers or followers is by showing empathy, and speaking the same words which show you truly understand in their world.
Empathise within your responses
Empathy is a powerful emotion. It connects people. If you feel another person is empathising with you, you are more likely to gravitate towards them for mutual support.
This technique works extremely well within social chatting. Women tend to be better at this, as they like to spend time empathising and showing compassion. Men may see this as a waste of time, or when they attempt it, the result can be stilted and unnatural.
If you're going to succeed with empathy in your social chats, you need to have experienced the problem yourself. How else can you find the right words, the most appropriate expressions, the best appreciative noises?
Social chatting can take time, but the results make it worth while. Comfortable loyal fans will use sociability to your favour. They will use Word of Mouth to recommend you to other potential followers. Advocacy is very powerful when it comes from trusted friends.
Provide quick and easily implemented answers
The right time to provide answers is when you have accumulated a suitable number of loyal fans. These people will be regularly commenting on your blog and social groups. Your social chat with them will easy, flowing, even discussing things which are not related to the original problem which attracted them in the first place.
How you deliver these answers is vital. Your social chatting will have analysed the problems, so creating a solution needs to not only match these, but be easy to administer.
Your regular audience will be seeing you as a trusted source. Because of your conversations with them, they may hang on your every word. Therefore it's important to eliminate any more difficulties they already experience by making your solution as effortless as possible to carry out.
Solve their problems with answers which are easy to understand and quick to implement. If they can see results almost instantaneously, your credibility will soar. Quick-fix solutions delivered in a bite-sized format may not always be possible, but you can at least start their process towards recovery with hope and enthusiasm.
Make everything relatable
Everything regarding social chatting needs to be relatable to both parties. The subject needs to resonate, the vocabulary should match the intellect, and the agreeableness, something which is beginning to become rare these days, should be focused and positive.
Even if you're not talking about problems and solutions, social chatting which win loyal fans could be about anything that interests each other. It is the actual process of chatting which forms relationships, allows each other to know, like and trust, through a mutual preference, a collective hobby or even experiences each can relate to.
You could have a conversation which has nothing to do with each other's business. That doesn't matter. You will have struck a social chord which creates a friendship bond. It is the power of remembering what had been said and following up with like-minded reminders which makes or breaks a social chatting connection.
So when the time comes to actually do business, ask a request or make a suggestion, the other is more affable, willing to participate and agreeable towards making the necessary transaction which benefits everybody concerned.
How do you engage with your loyal fans?
Do you engage in social interaction? Where do you prefer to do this? Is it through commenting on your blog, or chatting on social media. Do you prefer groups, forums or direct messaging?
What sort of things do you talk about (if you are willing to share)? I suspect it isn't only about business matters, relationships happen through all sorts of subjects, even quite personal ones!
Close formed friends are the mainstay of continuity. As long as you remain true and faithful, the repercussions can be quite far reaching. All though the power of conversation.
So drop me a comment to let us know what you think of this post – we are all dying to know!