Blogging is the way to share your knowledge with others. In order to get customers involved in conversation there are comment boxes available. Encouraging comments means welcoming positive and negative comments into the fray. Negative comments drag the company down and may push readers away from your blog. In blogs there are ways to handle negative Nancy’s without giving them the power to ruin your reputation: turning comments off, monitoring comments, create a comment policy, deleting comments, or kill them with kindness.
Turning off comments in posts is not a good idea. In this day and age speaking your mind will always be a trend, and this shows that readers don’t have freedom of speech on your blog. It shows that you don’t want to hear what the readers have to say. It’s the same thing as being fearful or running scared.
Monitoring comments is noticing every comment; how to handle it is a different issue. Monitoring needs an action to take place: post, post and respond, or delete.
Comment policies are rules and regulations that must be followed on the blog. Readers are free to comment, but the comment is posted only if the comment is within those rules. The policy must be listed on the website (preferably the blog). For this to work, companies must allow both positive and negative comments within the guidelines to post.
Deleting comments is deleting comments the company doesn’t allow. This can turn into a bad thing; only positive comments are shown on the page. It works now, but in the long run readers will catch on. They won’t feel like they’re being heard.
Addressing comments is not about fanning the flame wars. It’s about killing them with kindness. Learn about the reader’s issue and respond to them on the page. The negative reader will come back to see if you responded. Convince the reader to respond by email or phone in private to resolve this issue.
Sweeten the pot by sending the negative reader a letter of concern. A little love never hurts anybody. Mention their negative comments, that you’re concerned, apologize (if necessary), and if something is wrong come to us and we’ll listen. Readers aren’t expecting this which catches them off guard. They will respond in a positive manner stating why they felt that way. It makes both parties feel good to talk it out and those negative comments will turn into positive ones.
The one thing you don’t do is never respond to negative comments. They will linger. Other readers will find the post through search engines and links. Allowing them to post but never respond shows you don’t care. Another thing you don’t do is answer every negative comment. Just by reading it, some comments are looking for a fight. They are attention-seekers looking for trouble. Don’t give in to it. The only one that looks foolish is the company.
Brainstorming the idea, then writing, editing and posting the article is not an easy process. Writers block happens and happens often. It’s normal to be offended by a negative comment and respond on impulse. It’s not the best way to deal with it. Feedback gives people the power of persuasion. They see your company in a different way; let the way be a positive one. Contact us for more information, and let freedom of speech ring.