4 golden rules for making your online comments count

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I recently noticed an open discussion on the popular LifeHacker site around bookmarking in Chrome. My startup is in this space so I dived right into the conversation. I wrote one long reply to the posted question and two other replies to other comments. Over the next 24 hours over 130 visitors were referred to my landing page. I was able to add another 35 individuals to my invite list and even two emailed me directly asking to become early testers of our product.

We can all learn four important lessons from this story:

1. Be active where your market is active
In order to drive a higher conversion rate on your site, it is important to bring the right type of traffic. Becoming active in communities and on sites where your target market live is a great way to drive traffic from individuals which are actually interested in your product or service.

2. Know your stuff
Anybody can write comments in a blog post or in a forum thread, but not everything posted is helpful or adds to the discussion. Make sure you know your stuff so that when you are commenting you are giving back and not simply spamming. It’s all about creating value.

3. Give to receive
One of the best ways to drive traffic and increase conversions is by giving back to the community by being active in discussions, providing great new content and developing useful tools for free use. Other online publishers will take your great “gifts” and write about them which in turn will help you get your name out there.

4. Focus on what works a.k.a the 80 — 20 rule
Pay attention to the different tactics you are using to drive traffic to your site and their overall effectiveness. Each week, log into your Google Analytics account and look at the traffic sources distribution of your traffic and shift your focus to the sources which are bringing the majority of the traffic.

The results from posting these three comments blew me away and I will become much more engaged in conversations around this space. I would love to read any similar experiences you may have had with creating value from being engaged in online communities in the comment section below.

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  • http://twitter.com/OlgaInspiration Olga Zharovska

    thanks for tips! I’ll try

  • Robbie

    1st comment! ;-) Nicely written and good tips… wondering though, don’t many sites’ comment spaces disallow hyperlinking back to one’s own site? Tough to track referred traffic that way, no?

  • Erika

    Rally is new to the social media space – even though our business is in the space of demand gen, marketing automaton and prospecting automation. We’re trying to see how to make social media work as a leads generator as well. I’ve recently learned that comments are a great space for conversation starters as well, and saw an uptick not quite as high as your initial experience, but noticeable nonetheless. I second your recommendation, and thanks for the additional tips! Erika

  • http://www.bmarkcentral.com Justin Butlion

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • http://www.bmarkcentral.com Justin Butlion

    Thanks Robbie. Some sites block hyperlinks but from my experience this is becoming less of an issue.

  • http://www.bmarkcentral.com Justin Butlion

    I’m glad you enjoyed it Erika and thanks for the comment

  • http://www.facebook.com/danielle.a.harrison.5 Danielle A. Harrison

    Hey Justin,
    It’s great to see that you’re writing helpful posts and I definitely agree with you on your tips! Thanks for this post, as I sometimes lose track of this when I’m surfing the web and missing really good content that deserves a good comment or two! I’m implemented a new blog in my department very soon so once its up and running I’d love to get your feedback!

    Best,
    Danielle

  • http://www.bmarkcentral.com Justin Butlion

    Great to hear Danielle, looking forward to seeing it. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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