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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?