It didn’t hit me until Chris Brogan’s talk on Thursday that I’ve actually been doing this whole social media thing for a while now, and I can really help people who are struggling with it.
I was a Community Manager for a software company before that was even a title. One role I had at my job was leaving comments on blogs that our potential audience would read so as to attract bloggers to talk about our software.
One blog liked my comments so much, they ended up interviewing me for the publication. Since I commented on so many blogs in the industry, I established an authority and it become a lot easier for me to get my stories published in their blogs.
A lot of comments on blogs simply say “Right on. Good job on this one.” Some people use social media “strategies” like favoriting pictures influencers take or retweeting something just to garner favor. While this won’t really hurt you, it won’t help you too much either, unless you are sincerely favoriting a photo you like or are retweeting something your followers would want to hear. Why? Because bloggers are always looking for more stories to tell. They aren’t looking to be pandered to (at least the good ones aren’t). By adding to the conversation, you are 1.) establishing your authority and 2.) making the blog post better in general. I love it when the comments on my blog are actually more interesting than the post itself. It means I have interesting and potentially influential readers, which means I have more power than a silly blogger just looking for attention.
If you can’t really add value to the conversation, it’s okay to just read because eventually you’ll read enough of blogs or books in your subject to be knowledgeable. If you don’t feel compelled to do this, you aren’t interested in your subject matter and you should do something else in your career. Jes’ sayin’.