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How to measure blog comments and forum discussions

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After taking a week off, I forgot how quickly the chat goes by during the short hour.  Props to Garry Przyklenk, Marketwire’s online marketing manager, for taking the reins during last week’s #smmeasure chat and to thank everyone who participated and helped spread the word.  A big thanks to Sysomos’ Community Manager Sheldon Levine @sysomos for co-hosting the chat.

#smmeasure chat #6 recap

Last week’s chat covered first-glance metrics, rules of engagement, privacy and disclosure.  This week we talked about comments and discussions.  Below is just a small taste of the great conversation we had, but this recap will not do the chat justice.  I recommend that you take a look at the full transcript for a more thorough account of what went down.

Q1: What are your top etiquette rules for commenting?

  • @nmorganhowell:  “The golden rule? Treat others as you would like to be treated. If you don”t agree, be critical, but don”t be rude “
  • @inspiredtrain:  “Reply to every comment, good or bad. This invites further comment or even new discuss.”
  • @miketempleton:  “Remember to add value when leaving a comment. No value? Don”t comment.”
  • @miketempleton:  “When filling in the “Name” field, use your real name – not a brand name or the name of your blog. A person is commenting.”
  • @40deuce:  “by adding to the conversation you can be seen as someone with their own thoughts and that will lead people back to your own site”
  • @jgombita:  “Top etiquette rules for commenting — really reading item plus all comments first, then adding value, not just personal plug”
  • @JPedde:  “Think before you comment. Don”t be a jerk – be constructive.”
  • @bikespoke:  “remember to separate your emotions/personal thought + professional thought”
  • @karimacatherine:  “you can leave a comment, even if you disagree with the author. It”s important to get the conversation going”
  • @DavidSpinks:  “If someone takes the time to write a thoughtful and insightful comment, don”t stiff them with a “thanks bro!”.”
  • @DavidSpinks:  “My rule of thumb: put in at least as much effort into responding to a comment, as the commenter put in.”

Q2:  Do you leave a link to an article or links to your social media profiles when you comment?

  • @TsarKasim:  “If there”s a text box for it, you bet I”m leaving a link!”
  • @brightmatrix:  “Yes, I offer links to either my blog or Twitter. Again, to help bridge the connection I”m making by commenting.”
  • @40deuce:  “If I can I put our website in the “your site” field, but I always make sure to at least leave my company name somewhere”
  • @iamChuckHarris:  “I like to leave links to my profiles so people can connect with me off the blog.”
  • @ambercleveland:  “only if they are relevant. Never link just to link. But it’s ok if someone uses comment luv or something similar.”
  • @marketwire:  “When I comment, I stay away from the personal plug, but I include relevant links as well as links to my SM profiles.”
  • @buona_vita:  “Leave a link ONLY if it pertains to what the blogger wrote about, not just to backlink.”

Q3:  What tools do you use to find blogs/articles to comment on?

  • @JPedde:  “Google Reader/Alerts”
  • @brightmatrix:  “Twitter. For me, all roads lead to/from Twitter. :-)”
  • @40deuce:  “(plug) I use our Sysomos software to find blogs relevant to our area to comment on”
  • @nmorganhowell:  “MY RSS feed has all the blogs I read regularly, but is great for finding new ones”
  • @buona_vita:  “I like looking at Blogrolls of blogs I currently read, and Google came out with a search yesterday which is neat!”

Others include Wikio, Google Blog Search, Scribnia, and  The most popular “tool” to find blogs/articles to comment on was Twitter.

Q4:  How do you measure relevant comments on blogs, forums and other discussion areas?

  • @DavidSpinks:  “Do you guys focus on being the first to comment on really popular blogs? It”s actually pretty effective…”
  • @nmorganhowell:  “Look at sentiment, then research the commenter. Reply to almost all comments, but decide which to give more time to”
  • @40deuce:  “I look for number of comments, sentiment in each comment and then value of said comment”
  • @accuconference:  “Isn”t every comment, as long as it”s not spam, considered relevant? Just a thought. Comments = readers.”
  • @jgombita:  “If youre blog doesnt have a “subscribe to comments” feature, you are missing out on return visitors/commenters.”

Q5:  What action do you take after you”ve collected the measurement data? What are your next steps?

  • @inspiredtrain:  “My dentist told me to brush only the teeth I want to keep. Same applies to tracking. Measure everything.”
  • @CelciusMI:  “Re-Evaluate Interaction… What works? What Does NOT?”
  • @BrandEngineers:  “Data is only as good as the insights you can derive from it. Think about it in the context of everything else you know.”
  • @inspiredtrain:  “Measurement data is v. useful, esp. over time, Guides you to what subjects create most engagement. future subjects”
  • @iamChuckHarris:  “I like to use the data to for future conversations and posts. Use comments to better the blog.”
  • @nmorganhowell:  “Analyse data, see what tactics work, what needs tweaking, create more content & repeat! Also good to set benchmarks for msrmnt”

Funniest Tweets of the Chat

We have a nomination for Twitter’s theme music:

  • @iamChuckHarris (responding to Q2 on tools used to find posts to comment on):  “I trust my Twitter community for great articles. They never let me down.”
    • @bikespoke responds:  “Never Let Me Down; Depeche Mode, sorry song just popped in my head”

In addition to creative minds, we have comedians.  What a fun group!

  • @CelciusMI responding to a comment about users who leave anonymous comments
    • @brightmatrix responds: “Yeah, that dude Anonymous Coward is everywhere these days. ;-)”

On Thursday, September 9th, Klout, the company that measures and scores online influence, will join us to discuss their platform and online influence.  You can send questions to me by tweeting @marketwire, posting on our Facebook page or emailing me at nshin[at]marketwire[dot]com.

Check back here every week for #smmeasure chat recaps and transcripts.  Join the Marketwire Facebook page to get #smmeasure weekly discussion topics.  If you have any questions or specific topics that you would like us to discuss in the future, please tweet @smmeasure or @marketwire.  Keep track of all the #smmeasure chat recaps.

Join the #smmeasure LinkedIn Group to connect with others interested in social media and measurement.  See you next week at 9:00 am PST, 11:00 am CST, 12:00 pm EST.

Until next time,

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