Every spring my husband makes sure to attend the pig auctions held by other farmers. No, he doesn't plan to buy anything--he has hundreds of his own pigs at home--but he goes to show support for his fellow farmers, knowing full well that the psychology of auctions holds that the bigger the crowd, the higher the prices.
And while there are lots of people there and the farmers are very busy staffing their event, they notice who is there. And they reciprocate. So later in April when we have our own pig auction(selling small pigs to 4-H kids and their parents), these same farmers are also there lending their support.
A similar etiquette exists online. Bloggers read the comments left on their site, then they reciprocate with a visit to your site, coupled with a comment of their own, and so it goes.
But how do you reach a lot of people or how do you reach those influentials who are way beyond noticing your comment on their blog. Enter "egommunication" coined by Rohit Bhargava at Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence.
According to Rohit: Egommunication is a form of communication where you can share a message or piece of content with someone based on their own consistent habit of checking mentions of themselves and their content online.
In other words, play to their vanity if you want their attention. Thanks Rohit. Great blog, Rohit.
The most interesting part of the egommunication discussion online was how many people were implementing the approach, at the same time they were writing about it. As am I.
I think the unwritten psychology of auctions holds true for social networking as well. If you boost the crowd at mine, I'll boost the crowd at yours. Even if it's just one pig farmer standing in the back.