A guest post by Joseph Peake.
Commenting is a great way to generate interest and gain attention, either as the commenter or the site being commented on.
However, what makes someone want to leave a comment? Whether their reaction to the post was positive or negative, something spurred the commenter to share their thoughts. This is not only with the original poster, but also anyone else who might read the comment section.
It can be hugely useful to understand the reasons behind commenting so this can be used to maximum benefit. Here are some examples of the top reasons people choose to leave a comment online.
Answering a question
A great way to generate comment responses on your posts is to offer a question. As a result, the human mind automatically attempts to provide an answer. The more compelling the question, the more likely someone is to want to engage with it fully and leave a comment.
You don't need to be as straightforward as asking a question. Although some social media personalities and online businesses do use this technique. Leaving space for ambiguity in a post often attracts people who want to solve the puzzle and comment their answers, leading to higher engagement.
If users ask questions which are answered by fellow users, this can lead to fruitful discussions through many comments.
Asking a question
For other comments, people may ask a question rather than respond to one. Encouraging curiosity is another great way to spark the imagination of your audience so they feel compelled to find out more.
There must be a balance between vague mystery and outright confusion on the part of your audience. Avoid using obvious bait to try and coax questions from your audience. Instead, foster a subtle sense of mystery in a post every now and then.
This will encourage discussion and questions within the comments. For best results, be light-hearted and self-aware, as coming across as disingenuous online can be very detrimental to your business' success.
Visual stimulus is incredibly powerful and evocative. For example, if you own a shop and want to improve your business signage, make a statement about your brand and what you are about, for the benefit of your audience's visual attention.
Use exciting, relevant visuals to accompany text or audio posts. Even slideshow videos are more likely to encourage engagement than simple text posts alone. Just make sure that the imagery you choose isn't too generic or low-quality, as this will attract negative comments.
Sharing ideas and resources
Get the ball rolling by either sharing your own ideas in the comments or encouraging others to do so in your main post. Pose an open-ended question which invites users to share what they know in relation to your post. This will connect your post and site with a wider network, therefore bringing greater attention to your business.
And meanwhile, why not share your ideas or what you thought about this post in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.