As we thrive on a digital age, every business is looking for ways to create a lasting impression among their target audience. In the process of building relationships, we must be able to cut through all the internet noise to engage our readers.
One underutilized way to do so is to respond properly to blog comments. Blogging, as a platform that brands can use to make themselves heard, is a great way to start conversations with customers. But if you’re not maximizing the opportunity to talk to your followers in the comment section, they might start losing interest. Thus, over time, your website traffic may also plummet.
Here are tips to increase reader engagement and build relationships with your audience.
1. Reply in a personal tone.
It’s important for your readers to know—whether they’re also businessmen like you or consumers—that they can trust you on a personal level. Writing using a personal voice can make them feel comfortable. And when they’re comfortable, they’ll be more willing to leave their inputs on your comments section.
To make your responses more personal, imagine that you’re talking to a friend. You may mention the commenter’s name or use casual terms instead of formal ones.
2. Ask questions.
Questions can subtly nudge readers to share their thoughts. Often, readers may not know how best to react to a blog post, especially if there are too many ideas involved. But if you include a specific question toward the end of your article, the audience can quickly come up with a response. You may also post follow-up questions to encourage them to share more with you and your online community.
3. Be willing to learn from readers’ responses.
As the author, it’s natural that you want to control the topics or ideas surrounding your article. But blogging isn’t about who has the best idea. Rather, it’s a platform that allows us all to learn from one another. Your readers’ opinions may be different from yours, but don’t reject them. Rather, try to look at them with an open mind.
4. Recognize repeat commenters.
Building relationships can take time, but if there are repeat commenters on your blog, that’s a sign that your efforts are paying off. Let these people know that you recognize them from their previous activity on your website. This will make them feel appreciated and welcome to take part in your platform anytime they want.
5. Respond with personal emails.
There are blog comments that warrant a personal, perhaps longer, reply through email. These are the insightful ones, which you perhaps want to discuss on a deeper level. Plus, it’s a truly powerful relationship-building tool. Through a personal email, you can be sure that the commenter would see your reply and they would also be surprised that you took the time to directly connect with them.
6. Except for spam, don’t ignore comments.
The only comments you’re allowed to ignore are spam and personal attacks. The former can make your website look disorganized and unreliable. The latter, on the other hand, can lead to unproductive discussions. Otherwise, even if some readers disagree with your ideas but they do so in a professional manner, acknowledge and respond to their comments. It promotes brand transparency and lets you demonstrate to your followers that your professionalism and respect toward their views.