In the second half of this article you will discover an opportunity to increase the amount of attention you or your company can garner online. First though, some background is needed to explain the problem, so that the solution makes complete sense.
The main problem with social media…
We live in an age where it is harder than ever to get noticed online, to get attention from customers, clients, employers and peers. Social media in particular has created a greater opportunity to get noticed, but at the same there is a huge amount of noise that hinders the valuable messages from getting through.
Whilst attention seeking for its own ends is evidence of a character flaw, there are plenty of times where getting attention is important.
For example, if you:
-Are an individual who is experienced, competent and hardworking, but happens to be in-between work contracts, you would like to be noticed while contributing online. Your valuable inputs to group discussions can be ‘crowded out’ by too many novice questions and spam posts.
-Are an individual who genuinely wants to help others by sharing a wealth of experience and lessons learned, it can be disheartening when you get little response. At the same time you are faced with cat videos or unfortunate accident videos ‘going viral’ and wonder where the world is heading.
-Represent a company who has a valuable product or service that is struggling to get traction or increased market share, it makes sense to explore every opportunity to get the message out. The same challenges that individuals face can be faced by companies.
A problem that web masters are finding…
At the same time, many blog owners and web masters complain that they get few comments on their website anymore. The massive growth in social media has resulted in the same number of visits to websites, but very little interaction in the comments section.
People prefer to join conversations on social media, rather than being the first to post after a regular article on a website. This is understandable, as most people don’t like to be the first to do anything in life. Many also fear the chance of a bad impression in case their comment is not well received.
You can help to solve both of these problems at the same time!
Yes, you personally…
The solution is to leave comments on industry related websites
If you take some time to make comments on industry related websites and blogs you will achieve far more benefit than making those same comments on social media.
Here is why:
Anyone who visits that same page after you will see your comment. If you are in the oil and gas industry it is likely that yours will be one of only a few comments. Often, yours will be literally the only comment!
You will have center stage to educate, amuse, enrich or entice people to come and see more of what you have to say. Over time, more and more people will become familiar with your name. This will increase the chances of your CV standing out in a job application, or your company messages having a higher level of familiarity.
In your name or profile picture, a link can go back to your personal blog or company website. This has the benefit of driving visitors straight back to your site. There will also be SEO benefits in that an industry related backlink will be created. A back link from an industry related website has more SEO value than a social media link. A link to your personal blog with only one click of the mouse is more likely to lead to traffic than your comment being nestled among hundreds on a social media stream, with a link that only leads back to your profile.
Action steps, do this today!
You need to do 2 things:
Set up your profile so that your profile picture and link will show up on the comments you make.
The Gravatar system was created by Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress which is the most popular website management system in the world. What Gravatar does is that when one of your comments includes your associated email, it populates your profile picture automatically.
Your Gravatar profile can also have plenty of information about you including all your social media links and so on. Or you can just post your picture.
Once you have a Gravatar picture, each comment that you make will be reinforced by your image so that everyone can see that you are genuine and standing behind your words.
Find some websites to comment on
When commenting on an article or blog post there will be some kind of log-in system. The most common ones are WordPress, Disqus, and Facebook commenting systems.
Whilst there will be benefits in posting useful comments on any type of industry related website or any commenting system…
… The best ones to look for are the ones that are the simple ones that ask for your name, email, and website.
If you are in the oil and gas business (as most of our visitors are) then here is a list to help you get started:
When you make a comment on someones blog it is usually the case that your comment will be held in moderation. One reason for this is the amount of software generated spam that gets posted to most blog sites. This is done for the purpose of creating brand citations and links back to the spammers site. Another reason is so that irrelevant, inappropriate or abusive comments never end up being published. When the blog owner or webmaster goes through the comments and decides what to delete, a profile picture helps the chances of approval.
Other people are more likely to interact with your comment if it looks like it was written by a human. People like the personal touch, especially online where communication can feel impersonal. Even if you are dealing B2B, obviously your future customers are people too!
Sometimes a comment field has a choice of whether to login with Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, or a number of other software options. Have you ever typed out a comment that disappears because the login failed? If there is an option to just enter your email address and home website is saves time and stress. Likewise, if you are already logged in to your Gravatar/Wordpress account in the background, it might save you from logging in with a different account as the active login will be detected.
Your Gravatar account itself is a page on the internet where you can have links to your blog, website and social media accounts. If online omnipresence and reputation management is important to you, fill out your Gravatar account fully and have a another positive internet billboard to advertise yourself and your company.
Your Gravatar only needs to be set up once, and your profile page and picture can help you on a permanent basis.
The greatest benefit in commenting on blog posts and articles is that these pages will be indexed by search engines and visited for many years to come. A helpful comment or insightful observation from you today, could be read by business partners, peers, or employers many years from now. This is in stark contrast to social media comments that disappear in the stream, never to be found again…
PS If you have a website or blog that accepts comments, feel free to mention it below in our comments section!