Every month, WordPress users leave around 77 million comments on new blog posts. That’s a lot of discussions happening! While most people hope to see an active, engaged community in their comments section, this also comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only do you have to read through all the comments and respond when necessary, but also you must moderate comments, remove spam and keep conversations civil.
So how can you foster meaningful conversations while making sure that your comments section aligns with your brand’s core values? We have the tips you need to know below.
Start with a Strategy
You need to have a strategy if you plan to leave your comments section open. These days, people have no problem saying what they feel, but this lack of filter can be bad for your brand. Start by deciding how you’ll manage comments. Will you approve them before they go live?
There are some advantages to approving comments beforehand. You can pre-screen the content and catch offensive or inflammatory content before others see it. You can also spot spam and avoid having it posted to your site. Overall, this method gives you the most control.
But, there are some downsides to screening content. Some people might feel like you’re unfairly censoring them or removing comments that you don’t agree with. You also have to dedicate time every day into approving comments, otherwise they may no longer be relevant.
Create a Comments Policy
Another tip is to create a comments policy that you expect people to follow. If they don’t, this means they’re violating your policy and will have their comment taken down. If they continue to violate the policy, you can revoke their user privileges. Some of the things to include in a comments policy are:
- No spam
- No graphic or explicit content
- No name calling or offensive language
- Be respectful of others
You can always do a trial run and let people post comments naturally. If you find that you’re getting a lot of spam or trolls, it’s probably best to moderate everything on the front end. However, if you find that you’re getting a lot of good comments and engagement, you can keep the comment section open and ask everyone to follow your policy.
Use a Comment Moderation Tool
Moderating comments on your website is not a one person job. Take advantage of comment management tools to make your life easier. Once you set up these plugins correctly, you can count on them to weed through spam and post appropriate comments right away.
While there are many different comment moderation plugins out there, Akismet is one of our favorites. Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions for spam to prevent your site from posting malicious content.
If your site is receiving spam comments or you’re looking for a better moderation tool, contact Magna Technology. We have solutions for effectively and efficiently moderating all comment sections.