Social media marketing is a bear! It can feel like you are posting all day and no one is commenting or even listening. Don't let a lack of comments get you down, you never know who might be out there watching and not talking.
The picture that I have on this post was taken out front of my house with an iPhone and the app TruHDR (one of my faves). I noticed when I got inside that I had my thumb in the picture – doh! If I was “smart” I would have cropped it out and had a “good” picture to post (most of our clients want everything to be perfect). What I did was post it to my Facebook with the comment, “they are paving the road! and my thumb…:)”. I got 7 comments and a couple of likes. Social media is about being human and humans are not always scripted and perfect.
This goes for companies too! When Dominos Pizza started losing market share, they did not curl up and die, they said that they would have to change their sauce and the quality of their pizza and sales rose. Many small biz owners are SO concerned that they look perfect that they become bland and boring! Snazzy it up a bit! If you would like to find out about other companies who have admitted to being less than perfect, check out the Washington Post's, Behind Domino's mea culpa ad campaign.
Does It Matter How Many Comments You Get?
Getting blog comments and getting social media comments follow the same formula as all regular human interaction. There is research from 2006 that shows this perfectly (and given that the stats haven't changed in the intervening years, tend to be pretty compelling). According to Jakob Nielsen,
In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.
So think about that, for each commenter you have on one of your posts, there are potentially 90 people who will see it and never comment, BUT they saw it none-the-less! This is why you will go to a party and have someone you have never heard of say, “I am your Facebook friend” or “I see you on Google Plus all the time”. They see YOU and what you are doing, whether they talk to you online or not!
Funniest part of the Participation Inequality post was, “How to Overcome Participation Inequality – You can't.” You can't make people comment if they don't want to, you can only post things that ENCOURAGE commenting and hope that someone jumps in to get the ball rolling.
Additionally, (I promise I will get to ideas of what to post to get comments soon), you need to be aware of WHEN you are posting things and who might be online at the time. If you are a nightbird and posting all your “stuff” at midnight, it may be pushed down everyone's wall by the time they get up, OR you may have a hoard of people who are all up in the middle of the night with you who jump in to comment because there is not all that much else going on.
Timezones and posting matter too! If you are trying to target overseas customers, working on Eastern time won't cut it. You are going to have to do some posting and commenting when it is mid morning and early evening THEIR time. Test this and see if it makes a difference in how many comments you get!
Social Media Ideas – What To Post To Get Comments On Your Posts
If you skipped down here, go up and read the rest, we will wait for you..:)
- Personal items – The people working on the street outside my house are not inherently interesting, BUT it shows that I do not talk about marketing and small business all the time! It makes me more of a person and less of a company. I would say if you use social media for business that you should not talk about your baby, dog, husband, girlfriend or any other super personal thing TOO MUCH but that doesn't mean that you can never talk about them! One guy who really gets this right is Daniel Webster Johnson. He is a Colorado Realtor who traipses around every morning taking pretty pictures of the Colorado countryside and his dog. It REALLY works for him!
- Quotations – Now please note, these should only be quotations that have meaning to you. Just popping something up there everyday with no background as to why it is interesting is not that great a practive. I like quotationspage.com for quotes, the search engine is good and they have LOTS! Another good things to do is make up your own quotes – one fellow, Imran Rahman, has Imranisms. It always gives me a chuckle to see what he has posted!
- Selling With People – You CAN sell if you are giving credit to other people at the same time! Kirsten McKay Smith is especially good at it on her Passion Rockstars page which is a clearinghouse for her to talk to her team (and people who follow it may also want to become a member of her team after seeing how neat she is!)
- Great Links From Your Industry – I am always looking for new things that could help my clients increase traffic or get more clients. Frequently I find good resources that I share with my online community. I also save these for my newsletter so they do double duty!
- Post your videos – people like to see interesting things and if you can pop out a quicky video about your industry or a topic that will appeal to everyone, you can get some good interaction. Remember to be QUICK! 2 minutes or less.
- Things from your past that are interesting – Could be reference to Woodstock from our baby boomer friends or a really great Muppet Movie clip. Just make sure you let us know WHY it is important to you!
- Open Ended Questions – Ask your friends and circles an INTERESTING question that does not work with a yes or no answer. According to Buddy Media, Posts that END with a question (rather than having it at the beginning or middle) have a 15% higher engagement rate.
- Trending topics – It is okay to comment on current events, I just make sure to stay out of religion and politics. Just think, if you are PRO REPUBLICAN or PRO DEMOCRAT, you are effectively alienating about half of the rest of your customers. I had a funny thing happen the other day, a fellow who was selling insurance threw out the term “Obamacare” and giggled like it was stupid. I can tell you, he DID NOT KNOW that would be offensive to some people in the room who would then choose someone else to work with. I KNOW, some people like to be very partisan on their social media and that is their choice. As a small business owner, I cannot afford to lose that many potential new clients. Nuff said.
The NUMBER ONE Most Important Social Media Commenting Idea!
Talk back. That is right, if you get one comment, talk back. If you get two, talk back again. People are more apt to interact with your posts if they know that there is a real person on the other side! If someone posts something nice on your wall, thank them. In general, just interact as you would with plain old humans you would come into contact in your day-to-day life.
If this sounds like TOO MUCH WORK, check out our Social Media Marketing Services!