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Responding to Reader Interactions

If you have a business blog that has any success, you are guaranteed to get comments. Whether they are responses on twitter, facebook, or other social media, or if you have a discussion board on your site, readers will give you feedback. They might be encouraging, offering tips or asking for you to cover a topic of interest. These comments are easy to respond to, you can thank them and potentially let them know you will be looking into their idea. However, you will also interact with people who leave much more negative reviews. These readers might be quite negative, and can unfortunately leave others with a negative impression of your business or product. Finally, you will interact with internet trolls. These are users who enter online forums with the intention of misleading, causing strife, or playing (potentially mean spirited) practical jokes on others. These can be among the trickiest of responders to interact with, as their interactions and comments are not made in good faith.

 

First off, you must make a decision about whether or not you will respond to comments and messages at all. While you never are obligated to respond to 100% of comments, if you have an established pattern of only dealing with positive comments and ignoring criticism, it can leave your customers with the feeling that the criticism is validated. If you decide how to interact though, you must have a plan for dealing with each type of comment.

 

If the user has made a positive comment or suggestion, responding to them can give them the impression that their comment was appreciated. This creates in them a positive feeling of validation. This will greatly encourage them to become an active participator in your blogging. Creating a positive experience for your customers and associating it with your blogging can help to spread your message with their help.

 

If a user is making negative comments, more effort will be needed. Are they complaining about a specific thing? Or are they using the public forum to vent grievances from somewhere else. If you realize that your company has made a mistake, and the comment criticizing you is gaining popularity, you must take the opportunity to change how you are percieved. Generally, acknowledging responsibility and doing more than simply right the wrong will go a long way in pacifying critics, and this is also a valuable opportunity to generate positive PR.