Are Comments Important to Drive Media Success in a Social World?

Commenting on websites is more popular now than it’s ever been before. Be it the demented rants on Youtube, the anti-West tirades on The Guardian, or the friendly banter on Facebook, there are many people interested in starting a discussion on any platform that has a comments section. Could this be a new, untapped resource for media based companies? Is it possible to harness the large amount of traffic that comment sections see to create more opportunities for business?

 Comment

When it comes to driving awareness through social media channels, most marketers think about using tools like Facebook, Twitter
and YouTube to reach key audiences, knowing how popular these platforms are to most of their customers. However, very few think of leaving a comment on a blog as a strategy to driving awareness, and potentially garnering leads. You might be surprised at how effective this strategy can be, given the right circumstances. B2B organizations, for example, are often positioned well to capitalize on this approach based on their need to establish themselves as thought leaders on various topics.

Blog Traffic

Leading business blogs such as the Harvard Business Review (HBR) blogs  have large amounts of traffic. According to a simple Compete.com query, the main HBR blog site had more than 330,000 unique visitors in March 2010 (its highest point during the year). That’s some serious traffic. More importantly, if you’re interested in the kind of people who are disposed to read HBR , it can be the right traffic for your organization or clients.  Blog commenting strategy can also serve as a solid foundation for future blogger outreach “campaigns.” By commenting regularly on blogs that you’ll be targeting in future blogger outreach campaigns, you’re building trust and credibility with bloggers that will pay off down the line.

Love/Hate

The conversation has been and always will be at the heart of the media industry. As technology amplifies today’s strident and disparate voices, many people in digital media are working to keep the talk productive — or at the very least civil. The love ‘em/hate em reality of user comments periodically finds center stage. This time, it’s Gawker’s Nick Denton attracting the attention as he prepares to launch a new conversation platform that he believes will right the wrongs of the past. At SXSW, he talked with Anil Dash about “the tragedy of comments.” As Denton sees it, personal responsibility is required for an online discussion to be a rewarding experience. Gawker is expected to unveil a technology-driven solution in the next weeks that makes the person starting a comment thread responsible for keeping the peace — and only those invited to comment can do so.

This seems like the way forward for comment sections, they are undoubtedly important to generate interest and traffic for your brand, blog or business, but only when the comments are of interest and relevant.