How important are user comments when it comes to your content? This is an interesting question in that there are multiple types of content, and the importance of user comments varies between mediums. In other words, there is no short answer here, so in order to determine the actual importance of user comments, it would take looking at where those comments are posted. Are you weighing the importance of blog posts, social media, marketplaces, business websites and other mediums where users can comment? You will see that each medium has a direct relationship between user comments and increased traffic or sales.
First, a Word About Today’s Consumers
If you were to analyze what consumers are looking for today with companies and brands they deal with, it would be a relationship. Consumers want to know that they are more than just a figure in the numbers game and that they are important to businesses and brands they deal with. In this regard, customer comments are extremely important to the extent in which they are answered or replied to.
As an example, how would you feel if you were in a group and every time you spoke, you were ignored? Every time you asked a question there was no answer forthcoming, making you feel totally unwanted, as though you weren’t even in the room. That’s the importance of replying to user comments much of the time. Whether they ask a question or simply post a comment, it’s important to recognize them cordially.
Mom’s Advice Works Best – With a Twist
How many times did your mother advise you that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all? You probably heard that ad nauseum growing up but in this light, it really is good advice up to a point. You will not always be getting positive comments on your content or products, and sometimes the remarks readers make are downright cruel.
While you recognize the importance of replying to comments to engage your audience, you can’t come back with something equally in poor taste. Be cordial and maybe even apologetic that they feel that way, but their input is appreciated.
Sometimes their comments aren’t even directed at your products or business, but they have colored the way they feel about your industry based on previous experiences with other companies. In responding politely to their comment, you just might draw them out and turn them around because you took the time to care.
Rating Customer Comments on the Medium Scale
As mentioned, customer comments carry more or less importance dependent upon the medium in which they are posted. Social media probably ranks highest on the scale because that’s exactly what it is intended to accomplish. That would be social interaction.
Unfortunately, many times marketing campaigns post on social media and then move on to the next post after the next post after the next post. It is vitally important to answer each and every comment posted on social media sites because that’s exactly what social media demands!
Also, you can rank the importance of customer comments in view of how they can ultimately increase views to your website. Building traffic is a huge part of customer engagement and so you would strive toward followers clicking through to your business website from Facebook, for example.
However, if a user leaves a comment on a blog post, is it logical to believe you can reply to each and every one? Consider the dozens of blog posts with backlinks to your site you publish each month. It would take a full-time crew to stay on top of all those posts. The point here is to gauge where users are most likely to expect a response to their comments.
As a final word on social media user comments, don’t forget the reach of social media. You may build a huge group of followers if you keep the conversation going. This is where so many firms go wrong. Social media is not a blog and is meant to be socially active. Never make the rounds of social media with posts unless you intend to interact with your audience. That’s rule number one in social media marketing!
A Few Dos and Don’ts
It is suggested that to make life easier, you compile a few templates to modify for responses. Don’t simply copy and paste it again and again but modify it to some extent to fit the occasion. Also, there is something to be said about duplicate copy and if the spiders pick up on the exact same wording time and again, you could lose rank with the search engines. To what extent do the spiders crawl social media? You don’t want to find out the hard way!
Also, do make your responses personal. Social interaction is invaluable in customer engagement, so wherever possible, use a name. Also, it is imperative that you take the time to review your response for any spelling or grammatical errors. Today’s audiences are savvier than ever before and if you can’t follow a few simple rules of grammar, they will doubt your sincerity in the lack of time you spent on your response.
Do You Need a Social Media Management Team?
In the end, there are so many things to consider. Let your marketing team devise a placement strategy, but a social media management team is for the sole purpose of interacting with users. They have experience and the expertise to reply to comments with grace even in the sight of adversity.
Social media management teams can also respond timely so that the conversation (engagement) is kept flowing. They can further advise your marketing team which social sites have the highest level of engagement and offer tips on the type of content users might be most inclined to engage with.
The operative word here is engagement. User comments are as important as the engagement they create. If you find that it is difficult to get a reaction from users in one medium, spend less effort there and more on the sites that bring traffic and sales to your business site. However, in the end, the short answer is user comments are as important as you make them, so focus on that!