what has come of comments

 

A PROLIFERATION OF COMMENT SPAM!

While an old friend and I caught up yesterday, he mentioned an annoying form of comment spam he’s seeing more and more of. He described seemingly nice comments that appear to be generated by humans (because they make it through his Captcha defense to the moderation area of his site’s dashboard). While many of these comments have broken english, most also carry BAD or ‘irrelevant to the pages purpose’ links! And he’s likely no different than you and certainly not us here at Kinetic Knowledge! We’ve written about it before, but there’s no time like the present to sound the alarm. Especially because there is a proliferation of this activity!

WHY DOES IT HAPPEN? 

As some may be aware, comments have become a common place for spammers (or bad SEO firms, take your pick) to target back links! They’re looking for links from your trusted website’s comment area to their site (or their client sites). What used to be a direct reference to porn or prescription drugs NOW typically appears friendly or even complimentary. Do these look familiar to you?

 

    • “This is a topic that is near to my heart… Cheers!”
    • “I just encountered your site and really loved it. I’m going to add a bookmark, keep up the good work!”
    • “I really loved your blog, but noticed it doesn’t load quickly in my browser. I thought you might like to know.”
    • “Very interesting post, thanks for the great read!”

Nice, complimentary … right? No! Likely they are all spam so BEWARE! This is potentially a problem and if you approve bad links you not only reward the spammer, but potentially hurt your search engine rank. Granted the engines have likely factored knowledge of the practice into how their algorithms review a site’s content, but no need to take any chances. Worse, it can hurt trust with visitors who don’t approve. Even if you “nofollow” comment links it only prevents the spammer from getting points with Google. The link will always have potential to send readers to unrelated or even spam- based websites.

 

VIDEO: MODERATING COMMENTS IN YOUR DASHBOARD

 

MOST LOCAL PROSPECTS DON’T COMMENT ANYWAY

 

Per CT Real Estate Broker Linda Davis “Buyers and sellers typically research and then they get in touch direct via phone or email. The fact is, most consumers don’t socially network. What’s more, they may not want to discuss business matters publicly.” A Nielsen study shows that 90% of ‘onliners’ read, but do not comment; 9% comment some and 1% are just active. So, to make the obvious parallel, most of your existing or prospective clients DO NOT add comments to your site.

 

YOUR OPTIONS WITH COMMENTS

  1. Take the leap of faith that some good will come from comments, albeit moderated, making a regular review worth the effort
  2. No follow the links in comments to protect against any damage with search rank and allow them to fly, but as discussed above – this still exposes visitors to bad links
  3. Turn off comments on posts older than a certain timeframe, like maybe 90 days
  4. Just turn off comments

Bottom line- you need to understand the positives and negatives of social comments on your site. If you choose to have them, one way or another, be sure to review the affiliated links whether the comment itself is friendly, helpful or seemingly harmless! LIKE IT OR NOT, it is highly likely spammers are attempting to catch you off guard!

edmonton real estate market

Success With A Facebook Fan Page In Edmonton

While it can be difficult to quantify how Facebook measures up versus other marketing opportunities, it’s certainly a place to keep your circle of influence informed. And while feeding content from your primary brand is a start, top Edmonton AB Real Estate firm ‘The Schmidt Realty Group’ is rapidly accumulating a following … by finding efficient ways to participate:

Hi Kathy. Looks like you’re having a lot of success in Facebook. What are you guys doing with your page to get all those fans?

Thanks Chris! We have worked hard to develop a page worth following 🙂 Our page is less than one year old and we are constantly seeking to improve our online presence. When we first created our site with Kinetic we did a phone campaign as a team to check in with all our past clients and we had an exciting new website. Similarly with our new Facebook page we got in touch with our clients in a number of ways to let them know about it. We announced it in our monthly newsletter and every team member did a post on their own Facebook profile to invite people to visit our page. As well, we emailed our clients to invite them to check it out as well. And for our whole first year we have let people know that we will donate a dollar to Habitat for Humanity Edmonton for every new fan on our page!

Of course getting the fan is one thing, keeping them is another! We are very aware that we have to earn the right to those fans every day. In terms of content, we have a number of posting “streams” to keep it interesting and varied. I created a Facebook Team in my company, which consists of myself, our marketing coordinator and one of our realtors who not only has an interest in Facebook and social media, but who has a great sense of humor and is already active on Facebook herself. Each of us has a clear role. Danielle, our marketing coordinator, is responsible for consistency – ensuring that that we have a consistent presence on our page. To do this she posts our new listings (weekly, not daily as then it’s too much about “sales”), and she also posts information on new marketing approaches we are taking. I am responsible for credibility – this means that I ensure that there is information going on the page about the market and our local economy. I forward online articles about our economy or other items of interest to homeowners in our area to Danielle to post on the blog, and then these become part of our FB page as well. Natasha is responsible for personality 🙂 She collects stories from the team (and steals, with permission, from our team member’s own Facebook profiles) to give our fans a feel for who we are as people, and for our corporate culture. A lot of these posts are pretty funny, and some of them are just plain happy, like pictures of clients getting the keys to their new home. Together we form the Facebook Trifecta lol! And it seems to give us a good balance of content.

Also, it’s important to note that everything we do is connected. We post to our blog (thank you again Kinetic Knowledge!) and it automatically feeds to both Facebook and Twitter. All of our team members are also fans of our page and so they get the new posts in their own newsfeed. We encourage them to “share” a post once a week with their Facebook friends, and to add a personal comment to the post so that it is truly from them,

Wow, incredible discipline Kathy. Do you guys set & pursue any goals in particular?

Obviously it’s good to have a lot of fans, but in particular I hope that the people we already have relationships with will find enough value to be worthy of them following us. We are a referral based business and deepening our relationships with our clients is not only smart business, frankly it is a really fun way to do business as well. I love connecting with my own past clients on Facebook and having a company page is just one more way to stay in touch. Our next focus will be to engage our fans more in conversations on our page 🙂

So right now, its reinforcement of your brand & repeat impressions with people who know ‘The Schmidt Realty Group’. Has it been difficult to find the time?

By linking our FB page with our site, and by sharing the workload with our internal FB Team, it is not overwhelming for any of us. We have run contests from time to time as well to encourage other team members to send their photos and stories to Natasha to ensure she has lots of material to draw on.

Have you been able to generate new business?

Definitely! FB has brought us business, specifically through the personal profiles of our team members and their efforts to connect with people. It’s difficult to measure whether or not our page has brought us business on its own as it is all so inter-connected, however we recently hired a new staff member and the top two candidates looked at our page and really liked what they saw! So, while it might not be the first place people hear about us, I believe that increasingly it is a place where people will visit to decide if we are the kind of organization that they would like to work with. That’s why we focus so much on making sure our corporate culture rings through loud and clear on our page 🙂

Thanks for sharing this with everyone Kathy 🙂

My pleasure Chris! I hope it’s helpful to your readers! If I can make one final comment it would simply be this… Just start! Take the plunge into social media. Get your feet wet and learn by doing. If you wait till you’ve got it all figured out, the landscape will have changed again anyway 🙂 Start connecting today!