Commenting isn't just confined to blogs and social media conversations. There is a lot more you can do to get publicity opportunities to help your business.
Contrary to what many people think, publicity is a long-term venture. It very rarely succeeds with a flash-in-the-pan press-release that suddenly goes viral. There is a lot of hard slog that has happened before the final outcome which people see.
And this process can be enhanced through commenting. Or to put it another way, relationship building. Because that is what commenting invariably is.
In the olden days, people happily left good comments on posts they enjoyed reading. Nowadays it seems they cannot be bothered, and if they do, the effort is minimal. And yet doing this is one of the missed publicity opportunities an ordinary reader will ever have.
Commenting gives you free visibility. It allows you to gain awareness by spreading your expertise or drawing attention to yourself for the right reasons. It enables you to communicate with the post's author directly under the original source that stimulated the response.
An alternative is social media. This isn't just automatically leaving an acknowledgement such as a like or an emoji. Here is your chance to build a relationship by showing empathy, sympathy, understanding, making people laugh, or telling a relatable anecdote that is relevant to the status update.
Vehicle for expression
It's not always possible to sit down and write a full post on your blog. You may have the energy to create a status update to get comments from your fans, but it might be more beneficial to read other updates or blogs and respond to them yourself.
Now this gives you an opportunity to say what you think or how you feel. 'Expressive writing' will always get you noticed, as long as its relevant and of good quality. And showing emotions, empathy, etc is a good place to start, developing into telling stories or scenarios of what has happened to you.
Enthusiasm and up-beat responses that flow naturally in a conversational style are highly readable. So use these tactics to create more publicity opportunities, because you will be able to reach a larger audience than you would from your blog posts or social updates alone.
I am frequently approached on LinkedIn by people who want to attract my attention. Usually it is to buy their product or sign up to their service. Unfortunately I don't do this, because I don't know who they are. Just like with door-to-door travelling salesmen, you don't know if you can trust them or not.
If you want to get prospective clients to know, like and trust you, you will need to work at it. Commenting is a great way to increase awareness about yourself, as long as you're prepared to go for the long haul. This means responding favourably to their posts or updates by showing appreciation, offering added value and being constructive over a long period of time.
Focus on them rather than yourself. How can you help them? What is special about their business that interests you? Ask questions to clarify something you didn't understand. Suggest articles or posts for them to read which are relevant to them and what they do. They will be thankful and as a result they will notice you.
Get seen online
How you want to be seen on the web is up to you. Be aware of your tactics, and avoid destroying any publicity opportunities by behaving like a troll. Therefore it's worth taking time to consider how you should respond and what you have written before you submit your comment.
You will want to enhance your reputation for being useful, respectful and entertaining. Being consistent with your commenting activities will up your chances of being regularly seen online. If other people look forward to your contributions, that's half the battle won.
Your comments are your calling card. Through these you are able to show who you are, expose your expertise, gain respect for your opinions, offer your friendly appreciation, even have people waiting for your responses. Here is the perfect opportunity to spread everything about yourself in the nicest possible way.
Constantly offer value, help and good advice if you want to be respected in your chosen field. And commenting is a great way to do just that. As long as the quality of your contributions are consistently at a high level, you will soon be recognised for your expertise.
Your newly founded reputation needs to be worked on if you are going to continue to thrive. Similar to blogging, the practice of commenting will not be successful if you produce a flurry of responses followed by a fallow period. Consistency is the key to getting noticed and maintaining your hard-won recognition for who you are.
Another tip is to be as transparent as possible. Have a recognisable profile picture, use your real name rather than your business, and provide a relevant URL to one of your posts rather than to your website's homepage. All this activity will not only increase your publicity opportunities, it will help gain respect from the search engines as well.
Publicity opportunities is about communicating effectively with those who will be beneficial to you. Therefore choose wisely whose post or status update you comment on, and think carefully about your response before you start.
Carefully analyse the post and what other commenters have said. What is the general style? Can you match the language? Use similar words and phrases to enable your readers to relate to you, rather than alienating them. It's no good being pompous with your knowledge, if nobody's going to be able to understand you.
Build a following through helping others. Gain a reputation by offering the answers to problems. Show an interest by asking questions that enhance the post or extends it into a discussion. Follow or set the trend by being the first point of call. Make connections with others, who in turn could help you.
Offer a safe haven
Commenting is about networking, building relationships and becoming known. Frequent and constructive commenting will help build a community in your most popular blogs or profiles you respond to. There's no reason why you can't instigate a following of like-minded people with whom to exchange comments.
Asking questions is one of the oldest tricks in the book for increasing reader engagement. An alternative would be to offer pertinent or controversial statements, to see what reaction you get. As long as other readers and comments feel comfortable and secure enough, they will be happy to respond.
Lay down some ground guidelines by setting straightforward expectations and rules of engagement. As long as people know where the boundaries are, this will increase the safety factor. Which in turn will encourage more commenting, creating publicity opportunities for everyone!
What publicity opportunities do you have?
Quality comments, leading to reciprocal link viewing, will soon increase your status within the web. Once you get known as a first class commenter, blog authors may ask you to guest post on their sites. This will put you in front of a different and perhaps a larger audience than you have on your own blog or social profiles.
Talk to industry experts and influencers through your comments. However, avoid your comments coming across as stalking or worse. There are ways of showing enthusiasm without being smarmy and over ingratiating, as this is what spammers do, and you don't want to be seen as one of those!
But if you are able to attract the right attention to yourself for the right reasons, who knows what publicity opportunities will come your way. Now isn't that a good reason to comment more?
And if you've had any success with your commenting activities, why not share them with us in the comments below...
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