Saturday, July 06, 2013

Comments in the social media and their marketing value

Read more about Functional User Friendly Integrated Social Media (FUFISM) at our web site

Comments in the social media  have an awful lot more influence than most marketers realise, and so you should think about developing a social media strategy which includes a section on commenting within the social media, and how this should be handled by your marketing team as a whole.

The other day I came across a post by +Guy Kawasaki discussing  some of the the many different issues around comments and commenting titled "the art of Google + comments"

The art of commenting is a very important part of FUFISM or functional User Friendly Integrated Social Media that really needs attention from your marketing management structures and Search Engine Consultants. Search engines are increasingly using so called social signals in their algorithms to evaluate the aboutness of  social media   posts, web sites, blogs and other online content.

A single post with  a single link to a web page / blog post or other online content in any social media profile that receives a large volume of social signals can put  that specific online content right at the top of the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages) in a very short time frame.  Marketing people thus need to understand the concept of social signals, and then work out how best they can generate large volumes of search engine friendly social signals for specific posts, and how to mange these issues in a sustainable manner, to keep their content as close to the top of the SERP's as they can.

The grip that the social media has on our SERP's (Search Engine Results pages) is not permanent, but wanes drastically over a relatively short time period, then settles down as the age factor becomes less influential, and so fresh comments and follow-up replies that induce conversation around the topic are essential in keeping fresh social signals to your post. How to achieve this is not discussed in many places, but Guy's post helps put the spotlight on this rather difficult topic in a very interesting way. Guy Kawasaki does not go into to much detail, from an SEO perspective but does give the basics as well as some essential etiquette tips.

This post by +Guy Kawasaki is a must read post for all social media optimisation and search engine optimisation practitioners.

Guy's post does not discuss the FUFISM aspect nor the SEO or SMO aspects of commenting, so we will fill you in here and supply a few extra pointers that you may consider when using any social media platform as a marketing tool. Please note that our preferred social media platform is G+

FUFISM = Functional User Friendly Integrated Social Media

SEO = Search engine Optimisation

SMO = Social Media Optimization

You do need to remember that this is a business approach to using the social media as a marketing tool, so the many aspects of marketing need to be on the table and available for quick reference when commenting on a post that your co-worker made, or relying to a comment made on your post, or keeping tabs on a  post you have been assigned to monitor.

When dealing with all online marketing, once the product description is finalized the next step is to define the target market. This target market definition is a very important part of
  • the Key word Selection process
  • the copy writing process
  • the IPSEO (In Page Search Engine Optimisation)  process
  • the OPSEO (Off Page Search Engine Optimisation) process
  • the SMO (Social Media Optimisation) process 
  • the Content marketing process
  • many other diverse online marketing aspects which have indirect influence on your SERP's
These process need to be tweaked and manipulated carefully as you create the original copy of your post, and captured into your system so that this is available to your social media team when they start promoting the post through other social media platforms as well as in you web site and your blog. Your web site may not hold the capability of keeping track on comments or have a commenting system in place, but your blog will and so will your social media pages, which include both personal profile pages and business or product pages.
The primary thing to keep in mind here is that all the social signals generated by a post are recorded and stored within the search engines database, and connected to many different areas where there will be some SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators) that will be processed. These include but are not limited to
  • the author of the post
  • the content of the post (key words and topic as well as aboutness)
  • links within the post to
    • previous post
    • other social media profiles
    • Google maps
    • Google local
    • your blogs or others blogs
    • your web sites or other web pages
    • online forums or groups
  • images with in the post  (remember to add XML info to your image)
  • The total length of the post (very important that post exceeds 250 characters)
  • comments
    • who commented with their details
    • replies with who replied and the content of the reply
    • the time differences between posting and comments as well as replies
    • the aboutness of each comment or reply as well as
    • the aboutness of 
      • linked pages 
      • posts 
      •  profiles
    • Quality of comments and replies as related directly to the original post as well as to previous comments on the post and include links within the comments.
So there are an awful lot of things to consider when replying to a comment on your post when you evaluate the Search Engine Optimisation value and the Social Media Optimization
of your reply or comment.
  • Bed sure to have target market description and related product / service info on hand.
  • try to stay on topic
  • try to stimulate further dialog and generate a conversation
  • try to use relevant marketing approved key words as per target market instructions.
  • have a plan in place before you make a post!!!!!   for future reference
  •  always write at least one full sentence in you comment
  • remember to tag the author or commenter who you are attempting to lure into a conversation by plussing them personally in your reply or comment.
Commenting  with the intent on generating a conversation is not as easy as it sounds, and requires considerable skill and knowledge of the topic, product, service and related issues. This means that the person who is handling your Social Media Optimisation (SMO) needs to be well informed as well as well read on your product, service and company related issues.

This job is essential to get good SERP's and should not be left to a junior marketer, but rather to a qualified member of your sales team or public relations team or be a dedicated social media optimisation specialists. This person should also attend your regular marketing meetings and be aware of the FUFISM principles, as well as have the authority to get others within your marketing infrastructure involved in the ongoing conversation building strategies which are essential to your social signal development.

Comments have immense value as social signal generating tools, and the more comments with responses from the original poster and others linked to him / her through  shared profile pages, and pages that have them listed as contributors to the same web site, blog or  post that the search engines picks up, the higher your information will appear in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages ).

Comments in the social media thus have an awful lot more influence than most marketers realise, and so you should think about developing a social media strategy which includes a section on commenting within the social media, and how this should be handled by your marketing team as a whole.

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