ASK US WEDNESDAY: “Should I have a strategy for answering comments on my social channels and blog?”

by Leo Wiles
04 October 2017

I never seem to find the time to answer comments on my blog and when I do sit down to answer them I am never quite sure how to. Worse, I often leave it too long and decide it’s better not to answer at all – but what do you think? How often should I reply, and do I have to respond to negative comments? Chris

I’m a big believer in bookending your work day with social media check-ins – mainly because I think there’s an expectation of a response within 24 hours for most people (especially during the normal working week). Anything longer and you’ll come across as disinterested, so make sure you learn how to use your individual platform alerts, as they’ll really come in to their own!

While ignoring trolls, the offensive and of course spam may seem like the safer course of action, if there’s a pinch of validity in their comment I’d be inclined to respond in a short but sweet fashion. Especially if you’re setting them straight or elaborating on a point that may not have been clear.

Similarly, if someone has poured their heart and soul into leaving a comment, has a question or looks like being a great follow-up story, then you need to take more care.  And if there are a string of similar comments, it may be worth updating your blog to incorporate their concerns / point of view.

Same too with the glowing feedback from clients or readers – respond, and promptly! Even with vanilla ‘great article’ posts, an emoticon or even clicking ‘Like’ on  a person’s FB comment should be enough to make them feel heard. It’ll also increase their loyalty and create a regular audience for your work, which can be an important plus to those who feel they have a follow-up article or book to write down the track. Or, by the same token, if you use social media as a way to share your work, find contacts or potential interviewees – or are working it to become recognised within your niche.

To learn more, read Jeremy Myers’ blog Seven Types of Blog Comments and How to Respond to Them. In this guest spot for Jeff Goins, he tackles various types of commentators including the spammer, the long-winded, the nonsensical, the non-reader, the self promoter, the generic and the truly interested.

Are you good at responding to comments on your social channels? Do you have a strategy or find yourself responding sometimes days or weeks later!?

Leo Wiles

Leo Wiles has worked as an editor, journalist and PR for over 20 years before recently retraining as a photographer. These days, she spends her time behind a lens, juggling her own clients with her work at Rachel's List, and her three gorgeous but lively kids.

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