Turning Off Blog Comments
Technorati editor Don Martelli and I went back and forth recently about whether it makes sense for corporate blogs to leave the comments feature enabled. I’m among the few who believe that comments add little value (at best) on a B2B corporate blog. It’s counter-intuitive and likely to get me beheaded by an angry mob of social media gurus. But, if you think through the dynamic, you’ll start to see how it can make sense.
When I brought up the concept, Martelli noted, “I don’t think this is commonly practiced.” It’s true. I haven’t seen many blogs with commenting locked, though I have seen plenty of corporate and brand blogs that just have no comments posted. He added, “In those cases where comments are off, the blog is more of a news feed than an actual engagement tool.” Again, he’s right, but I suspect traditional views of social media (if there can be such a thing so early in the game) are clouding the ultimate objective: to connect with your market and get them to enter your sales cycle.
In the world of B2B corporate blogs, especially in risk-sensitive and highly regulated industries, there is little value to leaving comments on because there’s little incentive to engage in public discussion. Let’s say you see a great article on an investment bank’s blog. It’s made you think and even inspired you to action. At a minimum, you want to talk to someone informed about what you’ve read. Leaving a comment, however, doesn’t work for you. Your competitors will find out what you’re thinking, and you could wind up revealing what’s on your company’s agenda.
What do you do? Well, you contact the blog post’s author and share your thoughts. For the company running the blog, this is ideal. You’ve just entered their sales cycle – which I why they are running the blog (it’s not just goodwill, after all). The fact that you didn’t leave a comment doesn’t mean you lose interaction, and it benefits the company writing the blog. This is what corporate blogs should be doing for the companies running them.Continued on the next page