As we ring in 2010, I feel that it is as important time to be making goals for your business, as well as your personal life. I am not referring to the far-fetched “impossible to reach” goals, but ones that you can actually fulfill with a sense of accomplishment.
Forget all the tips, tricks and tools bombarding your social marketing strategy and focus on the big picture of what you are trying to achieve: visibility.
Think about it, if no one knows what your business is all about, then what is the point of wasting your valuable time on a marketing plan? My advice for the New Year is to increase your visibility on the Internet by following your industry…But where do you find these people? I thought you would never ask…
The answer is simple. Blog commenting and forum posting is the BEST way to follow thought leaders in your market and appeal to your customers at the exact same time.
Do some keyword searches for your niche market and see what blogs seem to have a large, active audience. Now, all you have to do is read, listen and make your comments heard. Here are some ways to get noticed and convert your posts into new leads:
• Stay on Top. Treat your blog commenting as if your were ordering tickets for your favorite band off of TicketMaster. The earlier you are, the better seats you’ll get. It is the same with blog participation. In order to make a informative, eye-catching, unique post, you must be one of the first ones on the board. Visit your most popular industry blogs during the time they generally post their information. If you check early and often, you should have no problem being one of the first ones there.
• Make a Disagreement. By no means should you enter a blog looking for controversy, but it is important to remember to stick to your values and opinions. If you disagree with a particular post, don’t be afraid to express your feelings. By stating a disagreement, you establish respect and provoke emotion…the key to successful business marketing.
• Inflict Humor. Recently, as I was going through my daily networking plan and posting to industry blogs and forums. I accidentally made the mistake of posting my comment in the wrong thread, and was not able to erase it. This thread was one of the most popular hangouts for participants. I was bombarded by negative comments: being accused of spamming, not abiding by the forum rules, etc. I replied with one simple comment, “Oops! Sorry about that everyone! I can’t get anything past you,” and much to my chagrin, I received nothing but positive praise, more connections and increased traffic to my site. So, when in doubt, use your sense of humor, and a little charm, to make an impact. You will build a solid rapport and establish credibility.
Use these tips as a guideline for all of your online comments and posts. Remember to stay true to yourself, and don’t be afraid to travel outside of your comfort zone. 2010 is the year of change…so start now!