Have you ever read a blog and noticed that every post had several
comments? It's almost as if the post was just the beginning of a
fascinating discussion that carried over to the comments. But how can
you create such a vibrate community on your blog?
One of the quickest ways to judge the effectiveness of a business blog is to see if its readers are commenting. Comments show that the blog's writers are producing content that resonates with its readers. And the feedback that readers leave via comments are invaluable to the business' marketing efforts.
So if you're wanting to get more interaction with your readers, here's some ways you can encourage more comments on your business blog:1 - Create a regular posting pattern, and stick to it.
If you only want to post twice a week, stick to that schedule. Don't post 4 times one week, then skip 2 weeks before your next post. If you get yourself on a regular posting schedule, you also 'train' your readers on when to expect a new post. This helps to increase your readership as well.2 - If you moderate comments, approve them as quickly as possible.
This is vital. Most readers are used to their comments appearing instantly. If they leave a comment on your blog and then have to wait a day or even an hour before it appears, you are discouraging the reader from commenting again. Readers that comment are VERY special people, and you should treat them like they are gold. If you do moderate comments, make sure you are constantly monitoring and approving comments as quickly as possible.3 - Reply to readers that leave comments.
Let readers know that their comments are appreciated. If a reader asks a question, make sure to answer them as quickly as possible. If they give their opinion, respond with yours. This shows your commenters that you appreciate their contribution, but it also makes non-commenters more likely to put their two cents in as well!4 - Highlight readers that leave great comments.
You may notice that sometimes a reader will leave a comment that really resonates with your other readers, and sparks several other comments. When a reader makes a great point in the comments, go back and edit the post to add the comment at the end. For example, you could add to the end of the post 'Todd makes this great point in the comments:', and then quote Todd's comment. This not only shows Todd that you really appreciate his comment (making him more likely to leave more comments in the future), but it also lets your readers know that there's an interesting conversation happening in the comments!5 - Ask your readers to comment!
Feel free to ask your readers for their input. Close your post with 'So what do you think? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section, we'd love to hear from you!' And when your readers do comment, make sure you follow all the steps above to highlight and praise their contributions.
All of these steps will help you create an environment on your blog that encourages your readers to comment, and rewards them when they do. But believe it or not, the best ways to encourage your readers to comment on your blog, don't happen on your blog. Tomorrow I'll show you how the best way to get more comments on your blog, is to leave your blog.
January 8, 2008
Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.
His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.
Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.
You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.
Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.