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How to Respond to Comments on Your Company Blog


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Breaks comments down into different types and offers my guidance for how to respond to them in order to keep up the momentum of the conversation. Forget trying to control sentiment -- staying …

Breaks comments down into different types and offers my guidance for how to respond to them in order to keep up the momentum of the conversation. Forget trying to control sentiment -- staying interesting and building contextual relationships is what this is all about.

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  • 1. Photo by CaptainKobold
    How to Respond to Comments on Your Company Blog
    Blog Comments: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    By Shannon Paul
  • 2. Agenda
    Types of Reader Comments, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Responding to Good Comments
    Responding to Bad Comments
    Responding to Ugly Comments
    What’s Next?
  • 3. Types of Comments
  • 4. Good Comments
    • Keep up the momentum of the conversation
    • 5. Stay on-topic
    • 6. Encourage a new, relevant direction for the conversation
    • 7. Show an understanding of the material in the original article regardless of opinion
    • 8. Express something meaningful for readers to consume
    • 9. Encourage other readers to participate (implicitly)
  • Bad Comments
    Sound unintelligent
    Off topic (non-spam)
    Bait “ the author sounds stupid”
    Praise “good post, thanks.”
    Raise non-compliant issues
  • 10. Ugly Comments
    Profane for the sake of being profane
    Abusive toward the author
    Abusive toward other commenters on the site
    Abusive toward a third party
    “Bernanke is a piece of… I hope he…”
    Spam comments or linkbait comments
    Name: Forex Software with link embedded to
  • 11. Responding to Good Comments
    Rewarding Good Behavior
  • 12. Why Respond?
    Encourage engagement
    Make readers feel “heard”
    Competitive edge vs. BIG GUYS and established media outlets
    Keep up the momentum of the conversation
    Remember herd mentality
    Establish personal relationships with readers
    Increase personal relevance, social obligation to check in with you
  • 13. Just Don’t Get Emotional
    • A “good” comment will not always be one you agree with.
    • 14. Discourse is good
    • 15. Don’t be afraid to be wrong
    • 16. But remember to be respectful
    • 17. Admit when you were wrong
    • 18. Don’t be afraid to be right
    • 19. Again, remember to be respectful
    • 20. This is always a work in progress
    • 21. People are dramatic online but they also have short attention spans… look, a kitten!
  • 22. Readers = Guests
    Address Them By Name
  • 23. The Power of Thank You!
    • Thanks for the comment…
    • 24. Especially when you disagree 
    • 25. Remember to think first
    • 26. Don’t get emotional
    • 27. Thank you does not mean you agree, but that you appreciate their participation
  • Good Comments and Discourse
    • Take the high road
    • 28. Stir the pot
    • 29. Allow others to come to the correct (your) conclusion on his/her own
    • 30. Remember momentum, not agreement, is the desired outcome
    • 31. Give your point of view and ask others to chime in…
    • 32. “I disagree, but I’m interested to see what others have to say…”
  • Building Rapport
    Get to know frequent commenters
    “You always have such great things to add…”
    “Sounds like you’ve changed your mind since the last time you stopped by…”
    Check out their links/profiles
    Establish inside jokes based on tone/style/content of his/her comments
    Emoticons may be your friend ;-)
  • 33. Responding to Bad Comments
    Guiding the Herd
  • 34. Author as Facilitator
    Thin or unintelligent comments do not necessarily warrant a response
    Off-topic comments can sometimes be regarded as a test of the author
    Are you paying attention to me?
    Although sometimes they’re just completely crazy
    Comments that touch on compliance related issues are an opportunity to discuss business
  • 35. Be a Leader, Not the Star
  • 36. Most People are Poor Listeners
    • They Don’t Read… Much
    • 37. Tangential Comments Are Not Always Bad
    • 38. Idea Generation for Future Posts
    • 39. Link to the comment in a future post, OR if the commenter is a blogger/author, link to her blog in a future post
    • 40. Put the Ball Back in His/Her Court
    • 41. “I’m not sure I follow your train of thought here… sounds like we’re having two different conversations, maybe you can help me make sense of how these things are related?...”
  • Transparency Works
    If answering a comment directly poses a compliance or regulatory breach:
    Explain why you can’t provide a direct answer
    Remind them that these laws exist to protect them and other consumers
    Provide an alternative means of contact for his/her question or concern
    Offer to connect them directly through an offline mode of communication e.g. email, phone
    I can’t answer your question is a valid answer 
  • 42. Don’t be a pushover
    This is still YOUR house
  • 43. Focus on Your Herd
  • 44. Remember the 90/9/1% Rule
    90% of ONN readers will NEVER respond
    9% will only OCCASIONALLY respond
    1% will create 99% of the UGC (user generated content)
    Nurture the 1% but remember you’re both on stage in front of the 99%
  • 45. Dealing with ugly comments
    Keeping it Clean
  • 46. Defensive Measures
    Spam filter will prevent 99% of all spam comments from ever showing up on the site
    If you see a comment that looks like it may be spam on the site, email the administrator or tag the comment as spam yourself
    Reserve the right to delete anyone’s comment if they engage in profanity or abuse
  • 47. What’s next?
    Encouraging Comments and Participation
  • 48. What if Nobody Comments?
    Comment on Each Other’s Articles
    Email your friends and ask them their thoughts
    Make room in your articles for questions – asking others what they think works!
  • 49. If Two Authors for the Same Site Comment on Each Other’s Work?
    99% will be entertained. 1% might be tempted to join in the fun
  • 50. What if EVERYBODY Comments?
    You don’t have to respond to everyone
    If there are too many comments to respond, pop in just enough to keep up the momentum and show that you’re listening
    Respond to those you recognize from past comments or other influencers in our industry
  • 51. Final takeaways
    It’s almost over 
  • 52. Remember!
    Reward good behavior
    Focus on your herd
    Be a leader, not a star
    Transparency works
    This is still your house!
  • 53. Thank YOU!
    I’m here if you have any questions!
    Shannon Paul
    Very Official Blog