With all of the content that you write and publish, your ultimate goal is to get your readers to interact with you. They do that by leaving comments on your content. How do you get them to do that?
The more comments that go back and forth, the more online exposure you will get and the greater your business reputation will be. You will, of course, receive interesting and thought-provoking comments from others and that is the heart of the success of the interactions. However, at the same time, you will also receive comments from people who are only interested in promoting their own business and their agenda will have little to do with you.
A specific set of rules of engagement exist when it comes to commenting. If you follow them, you will gain a great deal for your business and other people (or at least the majority of the people) will follow suit.
- Get involved in the conversation: You will never be able to generate discussions if you don’t engage with your readers in conversations. If you don’t get involved, your writing and sharing efforts were a waste of time and energy. Leaving comments like “That was a great article. Thank you for sharing it.” are very pleasant but basically are useless. You can’t really do anything with a comment like that when it comes to continuing the discussion. If, on the other hand, either you or one of the people with whom you are interacting say “Great article. Here is why I think so…” you have opened the door to further discussion that will hopefully prove to be interesting and exciting. In other words, it will provide a great deal of value to your online communities.
- Encourage positive contributions with some sort of reward: Your engagement is going well and the comments that people are leaving are constructive and informative. Once in a while, someone will leave a comment that goes beyond that to the point of being extraordinary in some way. Those types of comments should be rewarded in some way. You might reward the person by recognizing his or her amazing comment publicly or you may want to communicate privately (through Email) and say thank you. When you reward someone for their contribution, you are showing everyone that you are not only listening passively but are an active member of the discussion and that you value your readers opinions, thoughts and feelings. Another positive result of rewarding is that it gives the other people something to strive for. Everyone will want to be treated that way.
- Discourage negative behavior: As unpleasant as it is, if one of your readers is behaving inappropriately, you must deal with it in the most constructive and effective way possible. You must deal with negative, disruptive or destructive comments as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t affect the morale of the group and their desire to continue interacting with you. The sooner you take care of negativity, the better.
- Provide credible resources for your content: The more you engage in discussions with your readers, the more they will want to interact with you. However, remember that you are building relationships with them that are based on trust and credibility. With that in mind, you should always provide resources that demonstrate the source of your facts. There is certainly nothing wrong with sharing your opinions with others as long as you do it in a way that makes them take you seriously and using resources is the way to do that. One of your purposes in interacting with other people is to teach them new information. You want to help them to grow.
- Be honest about what you are gaining by interacting: If you have a specific interest in something (such as a company that you are pushing for some reason), it is better to be transparent about it with your readers. They will respect and trust you much more if you tell them up front as opposed to their finding out on their own and confronting you with the information.
Generating comments based on the content that you share with others is extraordinarily instrumental when it comes to the success of your business. You could potentially write the most insightful, brilliant, exciting and interesting content but if nobody bothers to read it and to react to it, it won’t do your online reputation and exposure any good. If you only publish and that is the end of it, it is like opening a casino in the desert. It looks pretty but just sits there unused. It is critical to understand how important it is to generate as many good quality comments as possible. The more comments people make, the stronger your position in the social media world will be.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team and don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page.
Carolyn Cohn is the Chief Editor of CompuKol Communications LLC. Mrs. Cohn has a wealth of experience in business writing as well as having a strong editorial background. She manages all of the company’s writers, journalists and editors as well as writing, editing and publishing several business articles a week on a consistent basis, which are syndicated globally.
Mrs. Cohn has run several editorial departments for other companies. She has over 25 years of editorial experience and her expertise covers a wide range of media, such as online editing, and editing books, journal articles, abstracts, and promotional and educational materials.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Cohn has established and maintained strong relationships with professionals from a wide variety of companies. The principle that governs her work is that all words need to be edited.
Mrs. Cohn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
Mrs. Cohn is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).