Whether you’re running a personal social media page, a business page, or you’re a social media marketer managing several accounts on behalf of people, one key job you’ll spend your time completing is replying to comments.
Ah yes, the comments. In many respects, the bane of social media, but something that needs to take place when engaging with audiences and followers and creating that connection from customer or subscriber to business that makes social media so intimate.
So, how do you do it?
Below, we’re going to explore some of the ways you can respond to comments on social media, as well as detailing some essential tips to remember.
Should You Reply at All?
Yes, but also no. If you’re running a small social media page with a few hundred or thousand followers and you get a few dozen comments here and there, then yes, replying to most social media comments can be beneficial.
This helps followers feel included and valued because you’ve taken the time to reply to them, which will encourage them and others to engage more in the future. If you’re running a page with millions of followers and potentially hundreds of thousands of comments, then you’re not going to reply to them all. It’s impossible.
“If you’re replying to a genuine question that someone has, then yes, another worthwhile reply is needed, but if the comment is a troll comment or just trying to invoke a response (common if you’re an influencer or personal brand), then you’ll be better off ignoring it,” says Samantha Harris, a social media expert at Draftbeyond and Lastminutewriting.
I’ll go into this with a little more detail in a bit, but always ask yourself when replying to comment, is replying to this comment going to provide value in my life and the lives of others.
Remember, everyone can see your replies to a comment, so you don’t want to create a bad experience for everyone who sees it, no matter hard it is not to engage in the first place.
Bottom line; don’t get drawn into public internet fights.
Aim to Build Relationships
It’s impossible to create a relationship with everyone, but this is what you should aim to do with your comment replies. You want to aim to build rapport with the people who are engaging with you. Make them feel valued and that you appreciate the time they spent commenting on your posts.
There are plenty of ways you can do this. As a standard, always reply using the person’s name and customise your reply for each situation. Add gifs and emojis to make the reply stand out and feel a lot more friendly and personal.
If you can, always go the extra mile and offer someone something special to make their experience even better. Here’s a great example.
Maintain a Consistent Tone
If you look at most of the top fast-food companies in the world and their social media pages, they’ve developed a quirky and self-aware tone that has become a bit of a meme in the business world. Most importantly, however, it works.
“With your business, create a tone of voice that suits your business and the industry you’re in (although you should know this already), and then make sure you’re always replying in this tone. This way, when people are scrolling through the comments, they see consistency,” explains Ben Turner, a tech writer at Writinity and Researchpapersuk.
One of the best ways to do this is to get the same person within your business to always write the comments, rather than having a group of people who will write differently.
Always Respond to Complaints and Critics
While you’ll want to ignore trolls and people who are aiming to waste your time, there will be comments from people who are genuinely complaining and criticising your business for the experience they’ve had or on your reputation.
If this is the case, you need to make sure you’re replying and dealing with these problems in a professional and valuable way. Studies show around 88% of customers who complain online and aren’t replied to said they ‘would never buy from that company again’. Another study shows that people who complain on Twitter expect to be replied to within the hour.
While this is not always possible, it shows what people expect, and that’s for you to take action. The best way to do this is to reply and apologise publicly to the individual and then take things privately.
You can do this by something along the lines of ‘we’re sorry this has happened and would love to get it sorted. If you can DM us more information on your case, we’ll be more than happy to help’. If they have already provided a lot of information, then message them first because you’re only going to wind them up if they have to type everything out again.
Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Assignment Help and GumEssays who has been involved in many projects throughout the country. She loves getting businesses involved in social media and making the most of the opportunities it has to provide.