Social media comments bring out the good, the bad and the confusing in people – how do you deal with it?
As a blogger and social media enthusiast, I covet comments for various reasons. To me, they prove that you’re relevant. Plus, comments on your blog also prove to search engines that you’re relevant. But it’s not all sunshine and unicorn farts when it comes to comments. I’m what my mum calls “thin-skinned,” which means that when people say something nasty about me or my writing, I take it personally. And online, you’re exposed and vulnerable – to catty comments, cruel barbs and heartless trolls.
The past few weeks I have had a crash course in comments – good, bad and confusing. Of course, my ego would love if all of the comments were glowing reviews, but there aren’t a bunch of Amy clones reading my posts and updates. So I’d like to share my experience with comments on blog posts and social media updates, how it has affected me and what I’ve learned.
I have to admit that I thought the pinnacle of comment success was raving fans that sung your praises and left comments about how brilliant you are on everything you posted on the Internet. I always smile when a stranger tells me that they like and appreciate what I’ve posted. But I’ve also learned that advice and other points of views are just as good and much more valuable than a virtual pat on the back. Let me use a recent example. I wrote an article on Pinterest Articles and wondered when this feature would be available for bloggers to use. I posted this link to Google+ and a smart cookie by the name of Adrian Jock told me it was available right now, via Rich Pins. He posted a link to an article he wrote that explained the steps of adding Rich Pins. And 30 minutes later, I had it all set up. So even though he didn’t tell me how awesome my article was Adrian helped to make my posts more shareable. On top of that, I can now pass this information along to clients. Thanks Adrian – you made my day and made me a better social media manager.
I love a good debate. When someone disagrees with something I’ve written and has an opposite point of view, I welcome a lively debate on the subject in question. It’s a great way to generate interest on posts and updates, and get others chiming in with their thoughts. What I can’t stand is when someone is so sure that they are right and not only are you wrong, but you’re also a lumbering idiot without a clue. I get that they are passionate about what they believe in – I can respect that. What I don’t get is how they think an abusive or rude comment is going to get me to change my opinion. I think that these types of comments do nothing to further the conversation and add no value to posts or updates. I have started implementing a policy where I will post that all opinions are welcome, but abusive comments will not be tolerated. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t and the nastiness continues, I have no problems deleting these posts. Go spout your rage somewhere else – nasty people suck.
I’ve touched upon the passionate people whose opinions differ greatly from yours. These comments aren’t nasty – they are strong and firmly believed. No matter what proof you offer up to support your argument, they won’t bend or give an inch. You could rally all day long, drawing out the debate for days or weeks. So my question is: How long to you let this tennis game go on for? You don’t want to give up, especially if you’re passionate about your stance on the subject. Can you just drop it and let it go? Does not answering a comment signal defeat? If you have enough followers, do you hope that others will take up the cause and argue the case for you? When is enough, enough? I struggle with this conundrum the longest. I have other work I need to get to and can’t spend hours trading comments back and forth. I’ve come to solution that works for me. I respond to a certain comment string twice a day. This is a bit of a challenge for me, because I’m the type of person who stews about responses. I want to be heard and understood – just like the people who took time out of their day to comment on my posts.
I would love to hear how you responded to good, bad and confusing comments. Now that I believe that sharing ideas and knowledge is a gift and not an attack on my skill set, please lay it on me! Leave your tips and experiences so we can all pick up something new and apply it on our social media posts and updates.