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  Social Marketing: Blog Comments and Social Media Posts

Article by Semantic Advantage, an Austin Social Marketing firm -- Copyright (c) 2011

Benefits of Blog Commenting and Social Media Posts

BloggingComments-LogosPosting blog comments can have significant benefits for your personal and business reputation and social marketing program.  An effective blog comment program can increase your visibility, enhance your image in the community, and drive traffic to your website, Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and Twitter feed.

As with other forms of social marketing, there are right and wrong ways to post blog comments.  To get the most out of your social media marketing effort, your blog comments (as well as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook social marketing) should adhere to generally accepted rules of blogging etiquette and each blog’s specific posting guidelines.

Social Marketing and Blog Comments Etiquette

It seems obvious, but it’s a good idea to read each social media site’s Terms of Service (TOS) and blog site’s posting guidelines – and follow them. Nothing can get you banned faster than doing something they say they don’t allow. Here are a few more general principles that apply to blog commenting and social media marketing posts:
  • Be professional and constructive. Don’t rant or make personal criticisms. You want to convey the impression of a knowledgeable and helpful individual and a favorable image of your business.
  • Use original material. It’s OK to cite other authors' work, but give them credit. They may return the favor.
  • Be humble, but not condescending. No one likes a know-it-all, even if you do know it all.
  • Use a spell checker. Spelling or grammatical errors spoil even the most brilliant comment, and indicate that you don’t really care very much about the post – or how you come across to other readers.
  • Don't use texting shortcuts or emoticons. You have plenty of space in a blog comment; why make hard to read or understand? Shortcuts and emoticons are cute in an IM ot a Tweet, not in a blog comment or social media post.
  • Relate your comment to the original post and other blog comments. Mention points made by other contributors, elaborate or contrast these with your views.
  • Don’t spam. Avoid making numerous blog comments on a single blog site in a short period of time. Don’t embed links to your site in every comment and don’t embed multiple links to your site in a single comment.
  • Add Value. This is the most important rule of blogging, blog commenting and posting on social media sites. You want readers to value your contributions, follow your posts and share them with others.

Common Blog Posting and Blog Comments Restrictions

To combat spamming and enhance the quality of the user experience, most blogs sites have implemented access controls and automated restrictions on embedded links and other HTML in blog comments. These commonly include a requirement to register with the blog (providing name, user ID, email address and a password) -- or sign in via Disqus, Google ID, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

It is generally considered poor form to include your signature – name, title, company name and contact info -- in a blog comment (or social media site post); and many blog sites do not permit this.  Some blogs remove HTML from comments; others allow HTML but only for formatting -- no embedded links.  A few blogs that prohibit embedded HTML allow plain URLs in blog comments.

Most blog sites permit links to related articles or blogs; but some forbid links to commercial websites and may even delete comments containing promotional content. And a few blogs require moderator approval (checking for spam or inappropriate commentary) before comments are posted.

Blog Comments Strategies and Techniques

Your social marketing and blog commenting program should be an integral component of your overall marketing strategy. Here are several recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of your blog posts and social media marketing.
  1. Read the original blog post! A lot of blog comments are written by people who clearly have not read the blog post they are commenting on. These comments create the impression that the commenter is an idiotic spammer – probably true.
  2. No one-liners. ‘Great post, Joe’ is not a productive comment, and only serves to push other comments down the page. Not helpful to anyone.
  3. Use keywords in your Username. When you register with the blog, you don’t need to use your actual name as your Username. Instead, construct a Username from your keywords. This creates SEO-friendly anchor text for this link to your website. Note: Some blogs link the Username to your User Profile, so this technique doesn't help.
  4. Ask questions in your blog comment. Responses to your questions create conversations and give you good opportunities for more blog comments.
  5. Follow replies to your blog comments and respond. Many blogs have a checkbox for ‘Follow comments’; always check this – you don’t want to miss a comment from a prospective follower, website visitor or customer. This also elevates your image among the other commenters.
  6. Use your keywords (and synonyms) in the anchor text of embedded HTML links. Vary these (using plurals and/or different verb tenses) to broaden the SEO support for these keywords.
  7. Increase the font size. If the blog comments entry window provides a formatting tool bar, change the font to Verdana (easiest to read on a computer screen) and increase the font size by one. This will make your comment stand out on a long page of 50 comments.
  8. Proofread your blog comments aloud. Ditto for social media marketing posts. If it doesn’t sound right to you, it won’t read well to others – revise and read it aloud again.
  9. Use social media management tools (Buddy Media, CoTweet, HootSuite, Sprout Social, TweetDeck) carefully. You should avoid re-posting exactly the same message to multiple sites. Duplicate content is frowned on by search engines -- and human readers.
  10. Tweet and re-post modified versions of your blog comment to your social media sites and other forums – with elaboration, second thoughts and/or a different perspective. Once you’ve invested the time in creating an insightful blog comment, maximize the value of this by creating variations and distributing them widely.

Social Marketing in Austin, Texas

Semantic Advantage is an Austin social marketing company. We build, monitor and manage social media sites for businesses and non-profit organizations. Our social media marketing programs on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube create online business communities which enhance clients’ visibility, online reputation, website traffic, conversions and sales. Visit our Social Marketing page for or more information about our results-producing social marketing capabilities and results.

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