Four Simple Rules for Posting Comments
Content is king – you’ve heard that before. Granted, there should be a healthy focus on content creation in today’s marketing mix, but one of the core beliefs at InkHouse is that content by itself – even great content – falls short. Content needs to be shared, it needs to grow and it needs to engage in order for your thought leadership foothold to increase. This is where a strong seeding program (i.e. InkHouse’s Content Bureau) can set your content apart.
One of the most effective ways to seed your content is to interact with existing content – articles, blog posts, even tweets. For the sake of this post, let’s focus on blog posts and articles. Almost all writers like a comment on their article or blog post – journalists have told InkHousers that they appreciate a article comments much more than a “rapid response” email – so it’s a great place to engage with influencers and drive them to your content.
But leaving comments can be a tricky process. A typical mistake for companies is to post a comment like this:
“Acme Inc. believes this industry problem requires a 360-degree solution that encompasses a tactical approach to solving the industry problem. For more information, please see our product page: (link).”
Clearly a comment like this is all promotion with no substance (which might remind you of some recent political advertisements). A major turnoff to writers.
It’s not always easy, but the goal should be to post a comment that’s engaging while not being overly promotional. Here are a few quick tips toward that end:
- Be a real person. Address the author by name and sign off with yours. Try to connect on a personal level with the author.
- Address the author’s POV/argument. There’s a good chance the content you’re linking won’t be a perfect fit with the author’s overall topic. That’s OK. Show that you understand the author’s point, address it and make a smooth transition to your point.
- Speak with your voice, not your company’s. You, not Acme Inc., are leaving the comment. Social media demands genuineness.
- Show you are more interested in leaving a thoughtful comment than you are in leaving a link. The author understands that you want him or her to click your link, but give a good reason to do so. Links to corporate blogs won’t be tolerated if you’re seemingly spamming the author.
We work with clients every day on shaping comments to be appropriate for the author and the publication/website. Here’s a sample comment that incorporates the above framework and likely would help drive traffic to content:
“Nice post, Jim, and your point is well-taken. I remember in the early days of public relations when the only methods of reaching a journalist were the phone and fax machine. The internet and social media eras have certainly changed the game. Now comments like this can be posted within minutes of an article publishing, and the number of ways to reach reporters has risen dramatically. New technology will always continue to change the way business works, and PR is no exception. I wrote a blog post on this topic earlier this year; please feel free to read it and let me know what you think: (link).”
Remember, great content on its own won’t move the needle. If you want page views, you need to engage with others interested in the topics you are, and give them a good reason to read what you have to say.
Want some quick practice? Leave a comment on this post. Everyone loves a comment – especially me.
(Image source: http://eyeonspringfield.tumblr.com)