I decided that in 2012, I was going to focus on Social Media – in a HUGE way – and really stretch the limits of my current efforts, crank my social media up several notches – and so far I’m discovering some great things. Because I float around to different countries in the real world, I only work and market my business online, in fact, the Internet is the only real constant in my life, besides my family, so Social Media is a big part of what keeps Virtual Miss Friday going.
One of the things I wanted to do, rather than focus on seeking out new followers, was to interact more with my existing followers (you guys) as best I can, and show more gratitude through Social Media for the people that follow my blog and my business. Without you there would be no point in updating this blog every week, and as long as you guys are here, then I am going to keep blogging. One of the many changes I have been making is exploring my commenters’ businesses a lot more, away from my blog, and showing these people that I am active and listening to them, intently. It’s not always easy to show that when you’re a blogger with a busy schedule, but this won’t take long I assure you, and I am sure it will encourage more folk to come back to your blog and interact more with you on your posts.
You really don’t need to do anything much to prepare for using this technique, but you will obviously need a blog with blog posts so people have somewhere to comment in the first place. You could use a system like I use called “Disqus” which will allow people to comment through their social media accounts, which will give you more flexibility for working with this technique. I’m a big fan of Disqus because it really encourages genuine people to comment on your blog, and my moto is always, “quality not quantity.”
I call this “Commenting Tennis” because I haven’t come up with anything else to call it. I am going to take you through, step-by-step, what you need to now do to see your return visitors and commenters shooting up, to a new level of loyalty — by showing your loyalty to them.
Step 1: Monitor Your Comments and Respond On Your Blog
You first of all have to monitor all your comments, be aware when a new comment is made on your blog, and then respond on the blog to that person with a comment. At this stage if they are not a regular visitor or fan, they may have simply read your post, left a comment and then you’re out of their mind, so by responding on the blog, your regulars may see your reply, but the random visitors may not, so after you have left your comment, you need to do step 2.
Step 2: CRM Your Commenters
Yep, now is the time to add your commenters to some sort of CRM or way to monitor their activity, besides your usual address book. So for example, let’s look at some potential ways you can do this:
A. The Standard Commenting Set Up – Go for the RSS.
You generally need to leave 3 things:
What you want to do is go to their website and see if they have a blog. This should always be your first port of call, because direct interaction on their site, in my opinion, is the most valuable to your commenter. If you discover a great little blog, subscribe to their RSS, by email or a reader, however you would prefer to receive their posts.
B. Twitter or Facebook.
If they have commented by logging into Disqus using their Social Media accounts, such as Twitter or Facebook, then you can use the list options to collect these people on a list, and you can then reach them via Twitter and Facebook. Lists of people are easy to set up and will organise your contacts quickly.
CommentLuv is an alternative system that allows the commenter to post a blog from their RSS feed with their comment, so it makes the process of locating their blog, well, obvious…
Once you have your connections and their blogs or social media you could also use a service such as Plaxo.com to group contacts from multiple places as “Blog Commenters” to keep track of them all, from one place.
Step 3: Reciprocate
If you have a website address for your commenter then the first thing you can do is visit their website and see if they have a blog. Check out their posts and if anything is of interest, leave a comment reciprocating their comment. Soon you could be developing a nice relationship and engage in ‘Comment Tennis” with each other, which is great for your blog and also great for theirs.
If you only have social media connections for them, then leave a message on their FB page thanking them for commenting on your blog, or @reply them on Twitter. Periodically you can check your lists we made in step 2, and retweet or share their content with your audience.
So this is something that can bring you closer to a valuable, active member of your audience which in 2012, I feel is what social media should be all about. This is what I will be doing even more of this year.