In order to grasp this concept, you should know all about branding and what it means to brand your company or name online.
Take this branding scenario:
Last week we wrote a fun little post for a client of ours that sells wedding dresses. The post took off semi-virally on Facebook and Twitter, which landed our client about 3000 unique visitors in just a few days.
It really was. The not so cool part is that our client did not receive any conversions from this little stunt. That is, no one bought a wedding dress.
The upside to this was the branding that occurred as a result of this traffic. Over 3000 people got to see my clients website & brand during this time. I would guess that of those 3000 visitors, most of them were women that are married, are getting married, or know of someone that is getting married.
That means that they are going to potentially remember this company when they are about to make a purchase decision, or possibly recommend them as well.
That is really what branding means, isn’t it? Having a good website, a great business card, a cool office, catchy t-shirts…that is all part of the branding process. You want people to remember you website, your t-shirts, and all that jazz. You want a good feeling to linger once they’ve moved on to their next thought.
Companies spend millions of dollars every year in branding in hopes that their customers will remember them when it comes time to buy.
Let’s step back for a second and focus on something most of you do every day: leaving comments on blogs and forums.
Everything you say and do on the internet is a reflection of your personal brand. This includes, but is not limited to:
By now you’ve seen enough media disasters to know you should watch what you say, hopefully. (Amy’s Baking, Abercrombie, etc)
But don’t be scared. There is a way to use your personal interactions to not only brand you name, but your organization’s name as well.
By commenting on other people’s blogs, you are creating a permanent piece of history in your niche. You are signing your name next to something with your personal stamp of approval.
If this were grade school your teacher would call it “your permanent record.”
This is very valuable.
If someone likes your blog comment enough, they will track you down and find you. They might even choose to use your company as a result of 1 or more blog comments you’ve made.
Let’s look at this comment I made earlier this year:
What does this comment say about me?
It says a lot!
The title of this post is “passive branding through comment marketing,” and I used the word passive for a reason.
This doesn’t mean you should go out leaving comments on blogs just to promote yourself.
While it is good to leave comments on blogs (and forums, social, etc) it should not seemed forced or intentional.
On the other hand it should always be something that you are aware of.
Ultimately you want to build trust by leaving comments. Your comments should leave your potential customers, colleagues and peers with a good feeling about you, even if you disagree in your comment.
In the past year I’ve been floored by the opportunities that have presented themselves due to the comments I’ve personally made:
You know who I mean. The person that always has to be right. The person who always comments by leaving an inappropriate joke or jokes at the wrong time. The person that challenges everything.
People tend to have completely different personalities on the internet than they do IRL. This is not always a good thing.
Be yourself and let your personality shine through.
Don’t forget, everyone is always watching everything you say and do and there is no taking it back.