How To Comment Without Selling

by Jason Falls |

Someone asked me a question about blog commenting recently that I thought peculiar. It’s a question that many brands, marketers and public relations folks have asked, for sure. But for whatever reason, the question just seemed odd to me. The person asked:

“What is the best way for a corporation to comment on a blog without seeming to promote their products?”

The root of the question is the company’s desire to not be spammy with their blog comment activities online. I’m thrilled marketers are asking that question. But it still seems peculiar to me. Maybe my perspective is a bit different, but here’s how I answered:

“The best way for a corporation to comment on blogs without seeming to promote their product is to comment without promoting their product. I know that sounds flippant, but take it literally. If the comment is to correct a misstatement about the price of a phone, for instance, you’d say:

‘Hey, It’s Jason from Verizon. Just wanted to clarify a mistaken number in the post. Our Droid X retails at $199.99 with a two-year contract if ordered online, not $249. If you saw it listed for that price, let us know so we can let the retailer know that’s not kosher. Thanks!’

You don’t say,

‘Hey, I work for Verizon, the greatest phone company on the planet, and our Droid X is now just $199.99 with a two-year contract and if you order online, but only until Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. So hurry down to your local Verizon store an save, save, save on the best smart phone known to man. This thing will mow your lawn. We’ve got apps! We’ve got savings! We’ve got the lowest prices in the tri-state area! Verizon rocks. Verizon rolls. Gotta love your Verizon Smart Phones! (Void where prohibited, fees do not include titles, tax, license or ferrets.)”

Is that so hard for people to understand? I don’t see why.”

So is it so hard to understand? Why?

NOTE: I used Verizon Wireless as an example for analogy only. They sponsor Social Media Club Louisville, of which I serve as president, but are not presently a client or sponsor of this blog.


About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).