When was the last time you watched a post/story and jumped right into the comment thread? A larger part of our online experience is dependent on others. More than the content itself, the interactions with the content add to the virality of the post. This is especially true for social media. Take Vice for instance, the content strategy, unique stories aimed at Gen-Z, get a lot of momentum on the comments alone. Now with the internet, not all interaction is positive. But it’s almost always promotional. So how do you work with this?
Here are a few tips to handle comments in digital news publishing.
You could get an AI to do this or do it manually. Keeping track of comments doesn’t necessarily mean interacting with them. You need to check in the comments for any comments that could be added with the intention to redirect your readers onto another page. These kinds of comments can be blocked or deleted automatically or manually depending on the commenting tool you’re using. It is also important to look for comments that though provoking/positive - pin these comments to the top to increase public discussions.
A lot of writers overlook the power of commenting. You should have your team look into the comments section and type in comments that strike up a conversation. This would help readers respond to questions. Look at Reddit posts for instance - it’s a prime example of gaining better ranking through increase in interactions.
Firstly, it’s ammateur and secondly, extremely obvious. If your comment sections are getting filtered all the time, your readers are going to catch up with it. This could stop interactions completely. Acknowledge your negative comments. You don’t always have to find actionable responses, a simple acknowledgement or simply enquiring about the user’s experience with your brand could set the tone right. Engaging with your negative comments is much more effective on social media platforms.
Nobody likes an offline friend. Your brand needs to be interactive on your social media platforms. You could have your writers or even members of the marketing team do this job. This adds to your brand image. Post stories, create powerful web stories and engage with other brands! Many iconic brand-to-brand interactions have come to the forefront in recent years. This humanizes brands while also acting as a promotional campaign. Remember - the key is humor.
You have to encourage conversations on your posts and content - nothing beats solid user generated content (UGC). Encourage your audience to tag their friends onto the posts, this brings in more readers. Look for content that has done well previously in terms of share-ability. There’s no shame in learning from your competitors in the matter. You can also draw more attention to your most interactive users by sharing stories and highlighting the funniest comments. The sky’s the limit.
The way to handle comments on your news website and other social media platforms is always going to stay unique to your brand. The tips mentioned above can be adopted regardless of that. It’s important to make the most of your commenting platform. If it’s slowing you down, perhaps you don’t have the right commenting tool.