If everyone just paid a little more attention to this mantra, the world would be such a happy little place, wouldn’t it?
Ah, but there are the negative folks among us. So, craft your responses carefully when you receive a not-so-nice post to your blog. What are some techniques to minimize the impact of their comments?
Most importantly — Respond. Don’t react.
Trolls: We have all seen the comments from “trolls.” It’s an interesting word to Google. If you are seeing signs of troll behavior, don’t give them the power they seek.
These poor saps want to simply spread anger, hate, and frustration, and the more you give them time or attention, the more they will seek to do damage. They don’t have any understanding of, nor do they care to understand, the damage that can be done. If it’s your website, simply delete the misfit’s comment, and move on to your great day ahead. If you can’t delete the comment, make the decision to just ignore. Be careful not to get defensive.
Trolls: Poor things. Ignore ‘em!
Take the High Road: If it doesn’t seem to be words from a troll, and if there seems to be a sincere concern or problem from the person who made the post, reach out and engage a bit. Offer to address or fix the problem. In your words, offer an approachable tone, and make it the goal to change the responder’s attitude about you or your blog. Keep a positive attitude, and odds are, it will take the wind out of the negative sails.
Echo: Try to echo back the writer’s sentiments in nicer words with sentences like “I’m hearing here that your concern is…” or “You seem to be frustrated about…” This will help you to clarify exactly what the problem or confusion is.
Now, it’s okay to simply have differing opinions and disagreements about an issue, but if there is truly confusion, try to clear that up. It is often fitting to be straightforward and to ask directly what the responder would like to see changed. You may or may not be able to be accommodating, but send the message that you are, in fact, listening and taking their feedback into consideration.
Tighten the reins: It’s easy to moderate (thus approve) comments before they are posted to your blog, but there are two things to keep in mind if you choose to go this route. You’ll have to monitor the blog often so that the rhythm of the conversations is not interrupted. Additionally, if the folks who contribute to your blog know that you are monitoring their comments before they post, they may shy away from being honest and forthcoming. Choose this option carefully, but for some, it’s truly a great way to keep the snarky posters out of your space.
Patience: Always a virtue!
Appreciate your Readers: The main purpose of blogs is to increase traffic. Make sure to show some appreciation for your readers who take the time to read and to post. It will encourage them to keep posting, and the more posts? The more traffic!
Say “thanks!” often, and remember: “Karma, baby!” Keep it positive!
Valerie J. Wilson is a freelance writer for Reputation.com.