Part of my job has me visiting different websites every day. I am always impressed with those organizations that have an active company blog and use it regularly to influence, educate, and build their brand and their thought leadership position. But so often I notice there are no comments left on any of the blog posts I read, or if there is a comment it’s usually just one—and then there is almost never a response from the writer to engage the person who took the trouble to comment.
Why would a blogger go through the entire writing, editing, designing, linking process to publish something they thought would provide value and then ignore the people who took time to visit the site, click through to the blog, read a post, and comment? I hope you’re not that someone.
Perhaps some organizations feel as if they already have a strong brand community and don’t have an immediate need for a blog to extend that community or ensure it remains strong. Other organizations are well aware of the competitive landscape and understand the importance of publishing content, building a brand community, and engaging prospects early in the prospects’ buying cycle. But even those who apparently get it are not getting the “engage” part right.
Replying to Comments = Engagement
Let’s have a moment of honesty. It’s challenging to get busy people to post comments, so when someone does it’s a major win for the writer and the company. That’s a person—and a potential prospect—who is engaging with the writer. But where is the writer? Working on his or her next post and not even bothering to check what people are saying about the last one?
Doesn’t that send the exact opposite message that was intended by the blog? The blog is there to engage with visitors, who may be or may become a prospect, but the blogger is failing to respond and engage?! Not only does this send a message to that poor devil who left a comment, but remember, this is a public blog so everyone who visits sees the lack of response, the lack of engagement. Every time I see this, I just want to grab both their shoulders and shake hard and tell them what I think.
The problem isn’t that there are so many comments that it’s just not feasible to respond to all of them. It’s usually just one! If comments got comments, maybe there’d be more comments. Maybe there would be more of what the blogger and the company are trying to produce—engagement.
Do you respond to comments?