By Cathy At Metis, we believe social media engagement hinges on an internal champion or an awesome client marketing team. We help our clients listen, respond, learn and have meaningful conversations, but we advise them to do the social part themselves. In order for them to feel “engaged,” they must actually engage. Melissa alluded to this on Friday when she talked about joining the real-time web and lamented how often we hear from folks who think social media is a waste of time. But no, this is not a blog post about social media ROI; it is about blog comments. Unlike traditional media, blogging opens the door for conversation, rather than just one-sided broadcast. When you engage with bloggers, you demonstrate that you value the discussions they have started. As importantly, commenting on blogs can elevate (big emphasis here on can) your authority as an industry expert and gives prospects and customers one more window through which to interact with you. Below are some quick tips to consider when commenting on blogs: 1. Further the discussion. Comments like, “great post” or “me too” don't gain you much. To make your efforts more effective, pose a question, make a clear statement and provide a constructive comment. 2. It's okay to disagree. Disagreements can lead to valuable educational opportunities and expose the nuances in a particular topic. Just make sure that when you do it, you… 3. Remain polite. Treat others as you want to be treated. Do not post comments when you are angry or upset. 4. Comments live forever (unless deleted by the blog owner). While we're talking about commenting tips, we can't neglect to mention this point. Consider your own personal brand and think, think, think before you write. You should also consider your company's brand as well as any corporate social media guidelines or rules to which you should adhere. 5. Your comments ultimately belong to the blogger. Some bloggers retain the right to review and approve comments, in which case, your submission will not immediately appear. Note that bloggers can delete or omit your comments from their posts if they find them inappropriate (see item #3). 6. Drop the marketing talk. The blogosphere is about being real, and subsequent commenters, as well as bloggers, are free to call you out for blatant proselytizing. So talk like you would in person, engage in an authentic discussion and make sure there is value in what you say for a broad audience. 7. Include your website as part of your name and not in the body of the comment, which can be viewed as spam by the blogger and his audience. Most blogs allow you to link a website to your signature, making your name a path by which subsequent readers can easily reach your company website or blog. The blogosphere provides a venue to visit with innovators and influencers, chat with them in view of a wider public and invite the whole crowd back to your place to continue the discussion. Those new to blog commenting can learn a lot from the Beatles quote, “and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” The size of your return will equal the size of your effort, so go forth and comment wisely. Got feedback? Please leave a comment.
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