How to Respond to Comments on Your Company Blog
By Shannon Paul, Social Media Manager, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
For so many people, nothing feels scarier than
opening up yourself and your business to reader
comments on a company blog; even seasoned bloggers
recognize the difference between blogging for
yourself, and blogging for your business when faced
with the challenge.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve had several
conversations around how to manage comments—not just
the workflow with respect to approving, reading,
responding—but also, the perspective necessary to
have thick enough skin to distance yourself a bit
from the sentiment or opinion being expressed.
Forget sentiment (mostly)
One of the things I tell prospective business
bloggers is to forget about getting people to agree
with you all the time, but rather, focus on
maintaining the momentum of the conversation you
started, and guide it back to staying on point. It’s
not important whether everyone agrees with you, but
it is important to acknowledge and appreciate reader
participation, keep the conversation interesting,
and to guide the conversation in the desirable
The good the bad and the ugly
If your only experience with comments is on your
local newspaper or YouTube, you probably don’t have
a very good opinion of user generated comments. The
good news is that with most blogs where the author
participates, this is not typical. If building an
online community is your goal, blogging can help if
you have a plan in place to foster participation.
• Good comments are those that move the momentum of
• Bad comments can be thin, spammy, or try to bait
• Ugly comments are profane or abusive toward the
author, other readers, or anyone else.
The thing I like about defining comments like this
is that it removes sentiment or agreement out of the
equation—a comment that sharply aligns with the
opinion of the author (and is even complimentary)
could fall under good, bad, or ugly, depending on
how the agreement and opinion is expressed.
Good blogs encourage healthy conversation—they don’t
try to stifle it.
---Source: OMC newsletter Sept. 22,
2010 (www.onlinemarketingconnect.com). You can reach
Shannon Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.