Corporate Blogging 101: What To Do With Comments

Conversations with clients who blog or who are thinking of blogging inevitably turn to the topic of comments. Generally the topic starts with whether they should allow comments or not and whether (and how) they should be moderated, to make sure no one is writing anything inappropriate on a corporate Web site. Once clients get past all the discussion on this topic (and it is sometimes a long, drawn-out discussion) and decide, as we hope all clients will, to allow comments to be published, then clients want to know, “How come there are no comments on our blog posts?”

Earlier in this series, Justin provided some great ideas on how to generate comments on your blog posts.

Once you’ve successfully managed to entice readers to comment on your blog posts — then what? What are you doing with these comments? Here are five ideas:

  1. E-mail the commenter and thank them for their thoughts. You may have responded with a follow-up comment. Be aware that not everyone subscribes to follow-up comments so you may wish to direct them back to the site to see what you said, publically, in response to their comment.
  2. If they have one, visit the commenter’s blog, read some posts and leave a comment. You may even decide to subscribe to the blog.
  3. If the commenter has a particularly interesting blog or a relevant blog post, consider drafting a blog post that recognizes them, that links to a specific, relevant blog post that they’ve written or to their blog in general. Ask them if you can include their photo on your site and if there’s one they’d like you to use.
  4. Use your commenter for a little market research — ask them how they found your site, whether they would like to see any specific content on your blog in the future and if there are other blogs they are reading that they particularly admire. Feedback is always helpful and your commenters have already taken the first step to engage with you; don’t be afraid to ask for their thoughts.
  5. Keep the commenter’s contact information — they are part of a community that you have created with your blog content and at some point, you may wish to e-mail your commenters with a survey, an invitation, a question, a special offer … the possibilities are limitless.

What other ideas do you have for following up with commenters on blogs?

Other posts in the Corporate Blogging 101 series.

  • Saraj

    The CEO of Telluride Ski Resort (or whatever their corporate name is at the moment) has a blog.  It’s prominently linked from the main resort page (http://tellurideskiresort.com/) and has updates on mountain upgrades, conditions and many photos. 

    Uniquely, all comments are moderated until he has time to handle them and then he posts them with a reply right after the comment.  It’s not a very traditional method in the blog world, but it seems to work quite well for them.  Reading through you can really get a sense of dialog with the CEO of a place you’re visiting, kind of cool.  A downside is it doesn’t really encourage discussion among commenters…

  • Marijean Jaggers

    That’s an interesting approach and no doubt more efficient for the CEO. I think it could work, especially if we’re not talking about weeks in between the comment being left and the CEO getting around to moderating and responding. I think the dialog created is what’s important and it sounds like they’re achieving that. Something Telluride might consider, if encouraging visitors to their site to talk amongst themselves, is introducing a forum on their Website—the CEO could introduce topics there and perhaps rely on someone else to moderate the conversation for inappropriateness.

  • Demian Farnworth

    I love your tips. I think most of us forget that each person who comments is a possible resource. Following up with them not only makes you more lovable, but who knows what could happen.

    Your tips are about expanding the conversation. Branching it out several degrees. Good stuff.

    Branch out enough and you’ll eventually know someone who knows Kevin Bacon. wink

  • Marijean Jaggers

    Thanks Demian! I agree that it makes you more lovable (makes me think of Miss Piggy) and human but also—more likely to be remembered! I fear that most people are still not using RSS feeds and are actually returning to Web sites to read new content and really—how can you expect to be remembered if you don’t make a lasting impression.

    Do YOU know Kevin Bacon?  Would love to reduce my Six Degrees number. smile

  • Demian Farnworth

    Not even close. I was hoping you knew him.

    And you make a strong point: RSS use is woeful. Great reason to comment.

  • Marijean Jaggers

    He’s not at the top of my list of celebrities to meet, but if I do manage to connect with him you will be the first person I tell!