If you have spent anytime with our team at BIG Customer Network, you’ve heard us talk about the importance of using technology to build relationships on the internet. There are two effective ways to do this:
- Create, curate and own the conversations
- Get involved in conversations already happening
I’m going to focus on #2 right now because once you experience what others are doing, you are going to want to focus on #1 in a hurry.
I don’t know about you, but I spend a couple hours every week reading articles or blog posts and watching videos on topics related to marketing, technology, domain names, PR, social media, etc. I also spend an equal amount of time reading articles and blog posts, keeping up on discussion board threads and watching videos on all my clients industries. So for instance if you were to see my reading list today subject areas like restaurant construction, medical malpractice insurance,government contracts, infrared saunas as well as others would show up. I’m a learning addict so this is a one of my favorite things I get to do.
As a result of this, I leave a lot of comments and share much of what I read to my community through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. I use services like Digg and StumbleUpon to help publicize what I view so others can enjoy it.
I don’t do any of this as a strategy to create links back to my sites or have Google view me as more authoritative than my peers. I do it because I love learning and I love sharing what I learn with others. But as a result of my participation, these additional benefits happen. Comment marketing can be an incredible inbound marketing tactic when done correctly.
So when we refer to item #2 and tell you to get involved in conversations that are happening that is what we are referring to.
- Find the relevant blogs or discussion boards in your industry. If you need help with this, let me know. Based on your industry and job function, I will gladly get you a relevant reading/view list for you to start this.
- Spend some time on these sites every week and comment where appropriate. And share with others.
A couple things about this. I know some of you may have already tuned me out because you think you don’t have time. Get rid of that obstacle. We aren’t talking about needing to spend hours and hours on this to start. Spend 10 minutes a day over your morning coffee or at night over a glass of wine while watching your favorite TV show. Just start. Secondly, leave comments that add value to the conversation. “Great post.” “Thanks” do not qualify as adding value.
What happens over time is others see that you make great comments and see your name a lot which builds like-ability and trust with your business community. I guarantee over time this will create opportunities for you and your business. That is worth a lot.
If you want to dig into this topic more here is a great post by Rand Fishkin by SEOMOZ. You will also see this post as a great example of everything I’m talking about above.
If you need help getting started, let me know.