How many blogs do you read?
How many of the blogs that you read do you comment on?
How different do you think the blogs you read would be if there were no comments? Or if people did comment?
People who read blogs have a lot of power — the power of influence. I can’t think of a single thing that a business needs more than the regular input from their customers. After all, businesses need is to know what people will buy, right?
Without knowing what people are thinking, marketers can only guess. Sure, our guesses are based on data, but that data still isn’t like an actual conversation and it has far less influence than a person’s thoughtful input.
If you can have a business blog that people read and comment on, you have a real-time focus group. If you answer the comments quickly, a conversation happens. People who read that conversation feel attached to your business because they got interested in your story, and that story is being told in the dialog of the comment section.
If nobody is commenting on your blog, maybe it’s time to figure out why. For starters, the stuff you write about has to be worth commenting on, but it goes farther than that:
- Is the comment process ridiculously convoluted?
- Are they reading an email and unable to comment unless they go to the site?
- Can they get email notifications that a discussion is happening?
Now it is indeed true that the infamous troll can come out from under a rock somewhere and start to cause chaos in a comment string. But that is why we need moderators. The value of dialog, particularly between a business and customers, is worth dealing with a few trolls.
Comment dialog gives the writer all sorts of springboards for future blog posts. You know that you are writing what your audience is interested in, and that is something every writer hopes to do. Good conversations will have other benefits, too. Many times, a confusion is cleared up in the comments and other people add their ideas or experience so it just gets better and better. If you are not counting comments as important data in social media marketing, you are missing something good.
What are you going to do the next time you read a blog and think of a comment?