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Boosting social media engagement: Why comments matter on your content

As much as some of us might deny it, recognition matters.  When we put something out into the world, we want to hear what people think – especially if those thoughts are positive. This is what online commenting is all about, providing a way for an audience to interact with a statement or article and get involved in the conversation.

But the benefits of receiving comments go far beyond a confidence boost. For businesses they can be an incredibly valuable tool for fostering an online brand, increasing traffic and converting leads.

The power of comments

In a previous article, we looked at how commenting on other articles from relevant sources can be a great way for businesses to broaden their reach online and generate more traffic. The same holds true for comments that other individuals or companies leave on your own content. Put simply, blog posts that get comments do better than those that don’t.

“If you can get comments on your blog, you’ll increase both your SEO benefits and your status as an industry leader. Each new comment adds more valuable content on that post, so yes, you can start ranking for different variations of keywords that are naturally mentioned in your comments. Also, the more comments you have, the more clout you appear to have, because people are interested enough in what you have to say to bother commenting,” explains Hubspot.

Another unique aspect of comments is the ability they provide to directly engage with a particular consumer. Even the most well-written blog article can’t really be designed to target one specific person – and yes, we’re talking to you, Dave from Brisbane.

See… It doesn’t really work.

But if Dave from Brisbane comments on this post when he sees it on Facebook, asking how content marketing works, we can answer him directly and make sure he gets all of the information he needs. Not only do comment, therefore, provide direct sales opportunities, they also give you a chance to show off your business’ high levels of customer service.

Commenting in the social media age

Back in the olden days (read: before 2010), a significant amount of online commenting would take place directly on business websites or in forums. Social media has completely changed that, with comments migrating to the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as these behemoths gobble up more and more internet traffic.

LinkedIn’s ‎Global Content Marketing Leader Jason Miller explains that it’s important to look at social media and content marketing as two aspects of the same process, rather than one integrated form of marketing like a blog with built-in comments.“They are and will continue to be two very different things with two very different functions. Social media channels are the tentacles from which your content extends its reach while opening up a direct line of communication with your customers and prospects,“ he explains.

“They are and will continue to be two very different things with two very different functions. Social media channels are the tentacles from which your content extends its reach while opening up a direct line of communication with your customers and prospects,“ he explains.

Miller also points out the growing importance of what he calls “vanity metrics.” These are your likes, shares, retweets and of course, comments, but their importance goes far beyond simply making you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Google is now paying more attention to these metrics, incorporating them into how content ranks – both in search and on social media platforms.

Top tips for creating social media engagement

Thanks to the rise of social media marketing, a lot of businesses are ditching the comments sections on their websites. With fewer people using them to engage, a lot of blogs end up with barren sections below the text. You can almost hear the tumbleweeds rolling by. We agree that if companies decide to focus on social media, there isn’t a real need for in-site comments sections, but if you’re going to focus exclusively on Facebook or any of the other major platforms, it’s vital to make sure you’re giving your articles the very best chance of fostering engagement. Here are a few of our top tips for doing so.

  • Stay niche: The Content Marketing Institute points out that when blogs go for a specific niche, they attract an audience that genuinely cares about the topic and will provide thoughtful discussion.
  • Make it personal: You can’t simply expect people to comment on your content without a bit of prodding. Ask for opinions in the article itself, or post to social media with a question, and your audience will feel more encouraged to get involved.
  • Return the favour: Tying back in with our previous post on comment marketing, if you can position your brand as one that engages with the rest of your industry, it’s far more likely that individuals and businesses will feel like returning the favour.

And of course, if your articles are getting comments, don’t be afraid to leap in and join the discussion. Especially you, Dave from Brisbane!

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