The Pros and Cons of Enabling Comments on a Corporate Blog

More and more people are using blogs to promote themselves and their business. In the past, blogs were an afterthought for many companies, being used to publish relevant company news if and when required.

Over the last two years, companies have taken their blogs more seriously due to Google’s stance on low quality links. The days of promoting a company website by buying cheap links are over. Companies are therefore turning to content marketing in order to drive traffic to their website.

One thing that is synonymous with blogs is comments. The comment area allows people to leave a public opinion on a blog. In this article, I would like to walk you through the pros and cons of enabling comments on your company website.

The Pros of Blog Comments

Let’s start off positively and look at the pros of enabling comments on a corporate blog.

Interacting with Readers

Facebook and Twitter have been stealing the limelight over the last couple of years, however the comment area remains the best place to interact with readers. This allows you to get to know readers, customers and potential customers on a personal level and a professional level. It also creates a sense of loyalty amongst your readers.

Feedback

Blog readers can leave feedback, suggestions and constructive criticism through the comment area. This can help plan out future blog topics. It will also provide you with valuable feedback about your company’s services, pricing and customer support.

Receiving feedback positively also lets readers know that you take criticism seriously and value their opinion.

Building Your Profile

It has been well established that blogs can be used to build the profile of a company. What many people do not realise is that the comment area presents you with an opportunity to cement this status. By giving advice to clients and writing detailed explanations to problems they have, you can raise the status of your company.

Blogging is About Making Connections

Blogging is not a one-way street. It’s important to understand this and look at your blog objectively from an outside point of view. A blog without comments appears lifeless and suggests that the company has something to hide. Think of blogging as making a presentation to clients and commenting like the dinner afterwards where you get to know clients personally. It’s your change to connect with people one on one.

The Cons of Blog Comments

It is not all roses and sunshine. Let us look at the downsides of enabling comments on a corporate blog.

Negative Comments

In a perfect world, all comments left on your blog would be positive. Unfortunately, that will rarely be the case. The comment area allows anyone to leave a comment on your articles: Good and bad. Therefore, any disgruntled customers who believe they have received bad service from your company have the power to leave abusive and negative comments. This can present a bad image for your company (even if the criticism was unfounded).

It can be difficult handling negative comments. Deleting negative comments gives the impression that you do not allow feedback, however getting into an argument publicly does not present a professional image either.

Moderation

You need to decide how you will moderate blog comments. Allowing anyone to leave a comment will save you a lot of time, however it will also reduce the overall quality of comments that are published. One way around this is to manually approve the first few comments from a reader. A few quality comments by a reader is normally a good indication that their future comments will be good too.

Alternatively, you can require visitors to register on your website in order to leave a comment. This reduces spam and encourages better comments, however it can also discourage a lot of people from leaving a comment in the first instance. Whatever method you choose, bear in mind that your moderation policy will have a big influence on the quality and quantity of comments that your blog receives.

Time-Consuming

There is no denying that enabling comments on your blog can be very time-consuming. If someone posts a long comment on your blog with some questions, it may appear rude to respond with a short reply. However, leaving a long detailed reply may take twenty to thirty minutes. It is not uncommon for blog owners to spend more time responding to comments than they did writing the original article.
Moderating spam comments can also take up a lot of your time though it is a necessary job.

Overview

Blog comments can be time-consuming and there is a real risk of a bad comment having a negative comment on your company. Yet if you manage blog comments correctly, you may find that your blog is your company’s greatest asset. I encourage you to review your blog comment situation and weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of enabling comments on your corporate blog.

Do you enable comments on your company blog?

Thanks for reading,
Kevin