Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Does Ad Age simply not get social media?

If you've read The Viral Garden for a while, you know that I was a bit critical of Ad Age when they first started using the Power 150 on their site. Honestly, I don't read the site very often, but today I decided to peruse the site and I found a few articles I liked, and commented on a couple of them.

Although I had registered with Ad Age years ago, I probably hadn't left a comment there in 2-3 years. So after I left a couple of comments, I realized that I should probably update my profile information so that it included a link back to when I left a comment.

And that's when I realized something. Check the below screenshot I took of the comments section of one of the articles I replied to:

Check out the names of the commenters circled in red. More specifically, check out what is MISSING in those red circles. That's right, there's no link given when a person comments on a post. But there IS a link give to the comment itself. If you click on the timestamp to the right of your name, you are then given a unique link to the comment you just wrote.

So Ad Age won't let you link back to your site when you write a comment, but they WILL let you link back to YOUR COMMENT. So they see your commenting as a way for them to gain more links back to their site, with none for you.

How very Web 1.0 of them.

A very basic rule of social media marketing is that you want to encourage and reward the behavior that you are wanting customers/visitors to engage in. Ad Age should want more comments on its articles for several reasons:

  • More comments = More traffic. We want to read posts/articles that have vibrant discussions.
  • More comments = More comments. If I see that a post has a vibrant discussion, I am more likely to read it, and more likely to add my 2 cents.
  • More comments = More links. Articles that have a great discussion makes it more likely that I will promote that article to my networks.
  • More comments = More value. A vibrant discussion in the comments improves the overall value to the reader.
  • More comments = More subscribers. If Ad Age is consistently creating content that has vibrant discussions in the comments, I am more likely to subscribe to that content.
So if getting more comments per article is a GOOD thing, why wouldn't you go out of your way to reward visitors that are engaging in that behavior? Besides that, adding a link back to my site via my name in the comments is a very simple way to say 'Thank You'.

Come on, Ad Age.