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Start Interacting Online with Blog Comments

Are you looking to expand your social media presence? Then it’s time to think outside the box and start commenting on blogs of other people and brands. To grow your brand you need to create interaction and engagement with other businesses, people and markets. If you found someone’s blog post or video helpful–comment on their posts and let them know! It’s great way to jump start an online relationship.

Illustration by Gerardo Obieta

  Want to make the most of your social media? You need to learn how to cultivate genuine relationships with your brand fans. How? Here are 4 ways to do just that.

1. Know what they love. Not just about your brand, but about life. Do some research on what they talk about, where they spend time online and most importantly what they value. The quickest way to connect with people is to discover their passions, their causes and what’s important to them and then show how your brand shares that value.

2. Showcase your mission. Why should your fans care about your company or brand? What value can you add to their life? How can you help them? What do you represent? Tom Shoes is an excellent example, with their motto “One for One.” It’s clear that they are on a mission to give a pair of shoes away every time someone buys a pair. How can you take your mission and make it the face of your company? When people know what you stand for, they are much more willing to stand next to you. (Click to Tweet!)

3. Ask open-ended questions that start a conversation. If you aren’t connecting with your fans and followers this could be because you don’t engage with them. Ask questions that will get them talking and it doesn’t have to be about your product! Circle back to what they care about and ask questions about their passions. Find a way to strike a bond with them. Just as if you were meeting them in real life. For example, if you and a coworker went to the same college you share that experience, how can you share experiences from a brand perspective that creates a connection?

4. Know the best medium to connect with your fans on. Knowing if your fans are more responsive to blog posts, videos or photos will increase your chance of building a true relationship with them. If you are an interior design firm you know your audience is extremely visual that will be a critical component to connecting with them.  Perhaps, you focus on Pinterest or other platforms that have are more visually engaging for two reasons: 1) chances your fans are already spending time on that platform and 2) they recognize that you know where they spend time and that gives you credibility.

So, if you want to make the most of your social media strategy, start implementing these action items today!

This post originally appeared on Social Media Today.

BrandYourself

Did you know that there is 1 billon names searched in Google every day? There is no denying that managing your online presence is critical whether that’s for job hunting or building up your business credibility—what people find when they search for you can change their perception of who you are.

So what if someone has your same name and a bad reputation? Or what happens if those college drinking photos surface?

Well, now there is a way to control your Google search results that you can afford. BrandYourself was started after one of the co-founders, Pete Kistler, couldn’t land an internship because there was another guy with the same name from the same area who happened to be a drug dealer. So, naturally companies made the wrong assumption and wouldn’t hire him. Pete decided he would pay a reputation management firm a few thousand dollars to fix the problem. But his friend and fellow Syracuse University classmate, Patrick Ambron, a SEO expert, came up with a solution—BrandYourself.

Control Your Search Results

The start-up company allows you to create a profile and promote good links about yourself and push down bad links back a few pages on Google and the best part? It’s free. But if you really want to ramp up your search results you can pay for the premium version starting only at $9.99 a month. And what comes with that upgrade? Information on the people who’ve searched you and how they found you—what could be more valuable?

The biggest benefit BrandYourself offers is the fact that you don’t have to learn SEO to control your Google search results. It’s a Do-It Yourself platform. After you sign up it will walk you through the process of getting your LinkedIn profile or website to the top of your search results. It will tell you the exact actions you can take to increase the visibility of the links you want people to see and hide the ones you don’t want people to see. It also scores your profile and keeps track of your progress so if new links are added about you (or someone with the same name) you’ll be notified.

What are your Google search results saying about you? Check out this infographic from BrandYourself that shows what people are finding when they search you.

brand fans leimkuehler

So you’ve got some facebook and Twitter fans, people are liking and commenting on your pages—but what does that lead to? How can you capitalize on this? By turning your fans into your biggest brand advocates. Here’s how to do it.

  • First identify who are your brand advocates. These are the people commenting, sharing, and regularly engaging with your brand at a higher caliber than most fans.
  • Make them feel special. Send a message or email to those individuals thanking them for participating in your online community and encourage them to continue to interact.
  • Reward them. If they’ve done a truly great job spreading the word about your company offer them a gift card, free lunch or guest blog post.
  • Build a relationship. Chances are that if a brand advocate likes your company their friends and family will too. Value their connections. Encourage them to share and continue to share content with others by forming a relationship with them. They’ll feel honored and you’ll have a strong brand supporter on your side.

Want to find out how to turn you biggest complainers into satisfied customers? Check out this article from FastCompany.

 

So you’re ready to grow your brand on Twitter, but not sure how to do it? Well, here are five tips that will increase your followers and engagement that will help your brand soar to the next level in social media.

Share intriguing content. Find your niche industry and focus on ways you can help people. Post links to great articles, quotes that move you and captivating images. This is key.

Post during the peak hours. Twitter’s highest traffic times are between 1-3 p.m. ET that will give you the highest click rate. Check out this infographic that show the best times to post.

Mimic the leaders. See what other powerful Tweeters are doing. What are they sharing? How do they interact with people. Take notes and implement on your account.

Take advantage of hashtags. Don’t miss out on people finding you. Whatever the topic or post is you’re writing, i.e. #socialmedia, be sure to add the hashtag so if people search the subject your tweets come up.

Join a Twitter Chat. Participate in quick online discussions on any topic from business to writing. Check out a list of Twitter Chats scheduled throughout the week. This is a quick way to interact with people in your industry and build up relationships. Be ready for some fast paced interactions and take advantage of Tweet Chat to stay in on the conversation.