Social engagement isn’t just a buzzword we use at KAYAK; it’s the key to generating one-on-one connections with influential people (and vice versa). So it’s not hard to understand why we’re big fans of anything that makes the process of keeping in touch with your best contacts and commenting on or alongside their ideas a little bit easier.
That’s where a handy little tool called Disqus comes in.
As a blog commenting tool, Disqus doesn’t just help you reduce the typical comment form barrier to engagement on your own blog, but also allows you to follow your favourite topics and thought leaders. To see how – and why it gives you access to such a simple but powerful approach to engagement – let’s look at this easy four-step Disqus process:
Step #1: get A Free Disqus Account
You’ve probably signed up for dozens or hundreds of things on the web by now, and the Disqus setup is no different. Just visit the Disqus registration page here, fill out three lines, and you’re ready to go.
Step #2: Load Up Your Profile
Although many people skimp on this step (on their social profiles and elsewhere), it’s worth taking a few minutes to add a friendly face photo, and your business/personal information. After all, you want others to engage with you. They’ll be more likely to do so if they see you are a real person. Being faceless (or worse, a blue/grey head) doesn’t send an inviting message, so make sure your profile is both complete and to the point.
Step #3: Survey The Disqus Landscape for Enlightened Blogs
Luckily, there are a lot of them. Just as Disqus has its uses for you as someone looking to follow others, it’s equally helpful to businesses and writers who own or maintain blogs, since it encourages personal commenting around topics in a way that both lowers the barriers to engagement, while filtering out spammers.
The more Disqus-enabled blogs you see, the more likely you are to come across smart, informed people you’d like to follow and connect with. In fact, some of them may have large groups of followers of their own that you’d like to engage with. The app can be set to alert you to see what/when they’re posting and commenting on wherever they use Disqus.
Step #4: Rub Shoulders With Your Giants
This is where the real magic comes in, because Disqus makes it a snap to view your favourites and their posts or comments all in one place. You don’t have to click from one site or profile to the next, hunting around to see what’s new or interesting; it’s all right there in front of you. When one of your fave contacts comments on a post, jump in and add to the conversation. People will start to become familiar with you in no time. Be truly helpful and add value, and it’s only a matter of time before people begin stalking you as well.
The key, as always, is to be authentic in your engagement and professional in the way you present yourself. Don’t simply tell someone they have a “good post” or that you “totally agree.” Instead, build on their ideas if you can, and watch for opportunities to start new, interesting discussions. It doesn’t have to be about you or your products, or even anything related to your business – just be an interesting person and let the rest flow from there.
Disqus doesn’t change social interaction or engagement, but it can make it faster and easier, especially if you aren’t currently using a similar resource. [Guide: Using Disqus]
Bonus: each new comment you make automatically creates a back link to you via your profile and shows your face in the avatar. That’s not just inviting; it’s great for personal branding and authentic SEO link-building (just change the URL now and then to different parts of your site – smart commenters will change the URL to match related content on their site instead of their home page).
A big chunk of your success in social media engagement revolves around simply showing up and interacting with the right people regularly and at the right time, so they can get a chance to know you. Disqus is one of those perfect tools meant to help make that process easier, especially if you’re relatively new to social media and building your profile.