When I say the word commenting, I bet you’re thinking of blogs and social media, consisting of probably adding a small acknowledgement after a post or update.
However, doing this will not get you many publicity opportunities. Commenting can be much more than that.
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Out for the long haul
Publicity is a long-term venture. It very rarely succeeds first time with a fantastic press release that goes viral. What is needed is a lot of hard graft: networking and relationship building, lurking and learning, and being ready to pounce at the right time.
And commenting can help with this. If you’re going to build relationships with influencers and media decision makers, you need to get yourself noticed first. So the best way is to seek out likely candidates and start commenting on their social media updates.
This may take some time. Your first comments are invariably going to be ignored. After all, they don’t know who you are. You’re no more than all the other buzzy people who want to attract their attention.
Start relationship building
Commenting is a great tool for creating a business relationship with someone. It’s much more than a vehicle to say something to prove you’ve read the post or update. Any idiot can do that, and not even successfully.
If you’re going to use commenting properly to network, you’ll need to think more carefully about what you’re going to say. How relevant is it? Does it relate to the update? Is it helpful or constructive? Are you adding value?
Success is getting noticed, usually in the form of a reply. If you’ve managed to jar a nerve, pick up on an important point, offer a valuable addition to the subject, deliver an answer to a problem – all these things will set you apart from the others.
Approach with care
Networking is about getting people to know, like and trust you. Only then will they do business with you, recommend you to others, and think of you when they need a service, a story for a newspaper or someone for an media interview.
Commenting allows you to warm a relationship with others. It is not a medium for a cold attack on LinkedIn, demanding they sign up to your workshop when you have no idea who they are. Neither does it allow someone to start stalking and trying to ingratiate themselves in order to make a connection.
You’ll get the best results from commenting over a long period of time. It could start with an observation, offering congratulations for a successful event, asking a question to clarify something or a request to find out more information. Use it gently to draw attention to yourself, slowly, consistently and always in the other’s best interests.
Opportunity for expression
Commenting provides the chance to have your say. Here is an invitation to express yourself in relation to the original post or update. Grab it with both hands, and use it to your advantage.
This is actually free visibility. Grasping this opportunity will gain you awareness by spreading your expertise and drawing attention to yourself for the right reasons. Say what you feel. Show empathy. Tell stories that get your readers to relate to you. Offer something valuable that could make difference to others.
Write in a conversational style full of enthusiasm and positiveness. This will make your comment immediately more readable. Commenting also allows you to voice your opinion to a much larger audience than you could from your own posts alone.
Focus on others
Even though you’re commenting for yourself, it must never come across like that. If your readers feel what you say is for them, they will have a much better reaction to it. Work out how you can help them, provide something of value, suggest other articles or updates that might be of interest to them.
Fully understand your ideal reader’s or the influencer you want to attract. Are you using the same kind of language? What interests them? How up-to-date are you? Can you solve a problem they have? Is your opinion worth making? Could you make their life easier?
Your comments are essentially your calling card. They should show who you are, what you can offer, how useful you are. This is much more than empty appreciation, however pleasant it may be. To get noticed you need to show your worth, which sets you above all the other noise out there.
What publicity opportunities have you have?
Tell us about the successes and failures you’ve had with publicity in the comments below. Did you get it through commenting? Or did you use some other tactic? Did you attract attention to yourself for the right reasons? Or were you ignored and overlooked?
If you would like to know more about how commenting can help with your publicity, as well as a lot of other beneficial things, why not check out The Commenting Club to find out more ideas and suggestions.