I'm trying an experiment. I want to see if people react better to the term #socialchat than to #commenting. As a result I've created some socialchat rules for you to follow.
I'm sure you think you already know how to socially interact. Even if you do, there are a lot of people who have either forgotten, or never knew how to do it properly!
Take a look at the 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.
#Socialchatting is all about being there. Maximising your visibility. Always showing up. Being a constant presence. Saying the right thing. Being entertaining. A true communicator.
The art of doing this without becoming annoying is to provide value. People look forward to what you have to say. You create an active contribution that is welcomed by all concerned, because your comments increase the interest factor.
Consistency means forward thinking too. A clever commenter may plan their attack. However, this doesn't mean commenting for the sake of it, or writing anything to fill in the gaps. OK, you may have an ulterior motive, but the quality of your comments, especially if they benefit others, will supersede that.
Find out the best time to socialchat, specifically when people are more likely to be online, and start reading and writing. Treat this the same as you would when posting stuff on social media. But this time you are actually talking to your followers through your comments.
Questions will get you out of a many a hole. You can even turn a situation around to your favour by a well placed question. For example, you could accept a poor comment like 'Thank you for this post, I really appreciate it" and answer with a responsive question like "Can you tell me which parts of the post you appreciated?".
Questions can lead socialchat on, where previously it would have petered out. Try to make your questions open ended, so they can't be answered with a Yes or a No. This forces the answerer to think carefully before committing their response, and makes the socialchat more interesting.
Another place for questions would be as call to actions at the end of the post to encourage more comments. Make sure these are not finite statements, but suggestions for your readers to make them think, fill in the gaps, offer their own experiences – all designed to continue the conversation.
People will find it hard to not answer a question, especially if it relates to them. Position the question so it can be interpreted in many ways, to encourage as much socialchat as possible from the answers given.
Show your personality
People prefer people who are fun! That's why there is always a large group around an entertaining person at parties. So take a look at your personality and see how you can adapt it to make it more socially acceptable.
Socialchat which is lively, exciting and totally resonates with its follows is instantly attractive. Popularity is generated by authors understanding their readers, or celebrities knowing what their followers like and then giving it to them.
You have to show how much you love socialchatting! Be enthusiastic! Learn the latest trends so you have something topical to talk about. Use vocabulary your followers use and what would relate to passing readers. Be accommodating by inviting people into your community.
It may be difficult to portray a laughing, smiling face behind words, but finding the right style of writing can help reveal this. Positivity is very powerful. Search for trigger words which grab and retain attention. And remember to keep up the momentum until the end.
Be interested in others
Socialchatting benefits more if you show a real interest in who you're talking to. This means finding out more about the other person via questions. Taking note of their answers and using them later in the conversation, or the next time you meet. Producing sincere comments whenever you respond to them.
People respond better if they sense the other person really cares about who they are and what they represent. True socialchat will explore every avenue and use it to everybody's advantage. The conversation should be guided so that everyone can be involved.
Try to cultivate a community environment when communicating with your readers or followers. Build on a relationship which makes them feel safe and secure. The more comfortable they feel, the more likely they will respond favourably to your socialchat.
This will probably result in more meaningful comments, which can be developed into exciting discussions. The more communal interaction you have like this, the more popular your blog or social status becomes. This is instantly attractive to more followers and even to the search engines as well.
Be helpful and add value
Following on from being interested in others, socialchat includes understanding more about your readers or followers and how you can help them. Now this doesn't have to be creepy, or annoying by asking them what they need. This is about noticing what is missing and offering your solution.
However, before you go in with all guns blazing, it's about reading the clues. Reading the posts and social updates carefully will certainly makes this easier. So many people skim read things, they never get the full gist of what is going on, and can make assumptions which can backfire.
Socialchatting is finding out as much as you can in a friendly way. Ask lots of questions. Show your interest. Remember details about people you've spoken to. Make others believe you care about them.
Then write comments and responses that are meaningful, ie relevant, constructive and full of value. What extra something can you add? What can you say that nobody else has? Which extra element can make your socialchat stand out above the others?
Do you already follow these socialchat rules?
There are always going to be people who are naturally expert at socialchatting. Find out who these are and follow them. Do some acceptable social lurking to find out their techniques and adapt them to your socialchat methods.
Do you have any socialchat experiences you can share? Have you ever socialchatted with someone famous or influential? How did it go? Is there anything we can learn from this?
As always, let us know in the comments below. We are all agog to find out...!