The best way to get shunned is to show up and shout your stuff.

The conversation is shifting, away from your website and onto social networks. Be it Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Digg, or wherever. Fact of the matter is that you can't continue to hide from this reality. Rather you need to engage the people that drive conversations and discussions surrounding your interest so that you build up awareness about you, your product, or your service with them.

One thing I continue to hear in meetings and discussions is something to the effect of:

If we find relevant blog posts [about our product] we should leave a comment and mention our product.

Stop with that nonsense. The proper way to engage a community is to participate in it, regularly, and genuinely. Forum participants have known this for years, you don't just go to a forum and ask a question. A lot of times it will go unanswered or the answers will be very limited. The most effective way to get good response to a post is to participate in the community which you want to participate in your stuff. Make sense?

Don't just go find blog posts and tweeps and groups that talk about your service, or the buzzword you're after and try to show off your stuff. It will decrease your rapport, make you look like a spammer and generally turn people off. Instead you should engage the community before you need them. Seriously, and honestly participate in the interests of the members that are already established. Besides honestly participating in whatever industry you're a part of, you also need to use the tools you want people to use to help you elevate your brand/product/persona. E.g. Don't sign up for a social network account, just to reach a certain individual; you need to use the tool properly and consistently.

Leaving a comment touting your service/product/widget, on a blogpost where you've never posted before can be okay if you happen to have a rapport already established in said circles. For example, if you leave a comment on a blog, and provide a link back, the link should show that you are a regular participant of the community. Otherwise the author or blog admin may quickly assume you're a marketer or spammer and ignore you and probably subsequent posts. Instead you need to build up what could be compared to street cred. Its all about social capital.

Social Capital is like your savings account, you can't just go to your bank when you need money and get it out if you haven't been putting it away to begin with. It isn't there and you'll come out empty handed. This is why you see a lot of blogs that are run by an individual, even if the individual is in fact representing an organization.

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