When it comes to increasing the number of followers you have on social media, and the number of engagements you get, the first port of call is generally to focus on the posts you are putting out into the social media ether.
But could there be another option?
Yes, yes there is!
If you’re subscribed to the Resonator, you may have seen us touch upon this a little bit before. But in this blog post, we’re going to dive deeper and provide more insight into how getting down and dirty in the comments (or replies as they are known on some platforms) could be a viable alternative to creating your own posts.
Why commenting works
There are two main ways in which commenting can benefit your social media empire.
Relationships and reach!
Now, many people will be interested in how to reach more people (and we will come onto that). But, arguably, relationships are more important, so we’ll start there.
How commenting builds relationships
When you dive down into the comments on someone else’s post, the chances are, they’ll get a notification. Now, huge accounts might not get every notification and some people might have turned off notifications. But, generally, they should be alerted to the fact that you’ve left a comment.
If they’re smart, they’ll respond to the comment. Maybe even try and start a discussion. This small discussion could be the spark of a new relationship. They might check out your profile. Follow you. Engage with your next post. Drop you a direct message.
Repeat this more than once and, even if they don’t take notice of you the first time, they will see your name popping up again and again.
But it’s not just the original content creator that you can build a relationship with. Let’s think about some of the big influencers. The guys and gals who have notifications turned off because they receive so many comments.
How do you build a relationship in their comments?
Well, they’re so big, other people will be diving down in the comments. So, this increases the number of opportunities to build a relationship. As well as making your own comment, you could reply to other people and build relationships with them. Who knows who you might meet?
How commenting helps you reach new people
So, let’s start with commenting on smaller accounts again. By replying to someone else’s post, you’re piggybacking on their reach. Every time someone sees their post, there’s a chance they will also see your comment.
This is great because everyone has different connections, followers, friends and family. So, although when you post, you might reach 1,000 people. They’re likely to be the same 1,000 people over and over again who already follow you. Whereas, your comment on someone else’s post may only be seen by 50 people. But they might all be new people who aren’t aware of you.
At the other end of the spectrum, let’s revisit the big influencers.
Well, this is simply just a numbers game.
They are reaching far more people than you could ever dream of in many cases. So, even if only a fraction of those people take a look at the comments, there’s a chance a comment could perform better than a post.
If you saw the Resonator newsletter where we spoke about this topic previously, you’ll have seen that we picked out Dave Harland on LinkedIn as an example of someone who does this perfectly.
If you’ve not seen what he does, go check him out.
But in the meantime, here are some interesting stats to show what we’re on about.
At the time of writing this blog post, Dave’s most recent post has 203 reactions and 20 comments. But his latest comment on Simon Sinek’s post has 388 reactions and 48 replies. The comment is outperforming the post!
How to use comments to your advantage
So, how do you actually use comments effectively?
Well, it’s very similar to the way you craft a post.
Here are some simple rules to help you out.
1. Don’t spam
This tactic is about reaching new people and building relationships with them. If their first impression of you is you spamming links to your products or going on about how great your service is, then they’re probably not going to have a great impression of you.
2. Entertain, educate or emote
When you’re commenting on someone else’s post, you need to bring value. This could be to the person who originally shared the post or to their community. You can do this by entertaining people, teaching them something new or sharing something that stirs emotion.
3. Stay relevant
By relevant, we don’t mean you need to be “down with the kids”. We mean you need to be relevant to the original post and the potential audience as well as finding posts that are relevant to what you do. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time.