Don’t Feed the Trolls: Keeping Comments Positive in the Social Space

It makes sense for most of the world to think that YouTube is a scary place when it comes to feedback. Comment sections can be a bit depressing if you dig in deep. (Even good enough for an SNL sketch.) But what confuses me is that the marketing community could be so uninformed about why these things shake out the way they do and the best way to combat it: community. More on this in today’s video.

People who ask me about how I “survive” my comment section are clearly not paying much attention to the community that has actually come from Savvy Sexy Social. Our conversations tend to be extremely positive, even in terms of criticism. We may be the exception, but we are.

I heard a podcast recently hosted by a fairly prominent content marketing expert and my mind was blown when I heard him say “people don’t use YouTube for community, just for a place to host their content and boost SEO.” Clearly, this is not the most seasoned “expert” out there.

If there is one thing that YouTube does better than anywhere else, it’s the community aspect. I’ve never seen a more loyal audience than the ones that hang out on YouTube. I may only has 12,000 YouTube subscribers, but I know from conversations with them that when my videos are late THEY NOTICE. They expect highly of me and are waiting so that they can return the favor with their engagement. It’s phenomenal.

What are my commenters so fun to be around?

I really think the lesson here to make your responses and engagement more of an enjoyable return on your investment is to BE PRESENT. I know we preach that all the time, but as this marketer made clear, some preachers are not always following suit with their advice or not implenting in every way possible.

Think about it. How often do you talk crap about someone to their face versus behind their back. People are just more likely to feel an ego boost to say whatever if they think you’re not listening.

But when you respond. Not to feed the troll, but to handle the conversation professionally and in line with the atmosphere that you want for your audience to engage, what do you think happens? In my case, they either run with their tail behind their legs and never come back, they clarify what they said in hopes that it wouldn’t be taken offensively, and/or they come back to another video and slightly change their tune…a little nicer this time.

Treat others as you want to be treated. That’s the best way to get the right audience engaging your comments and making it a productive place to be rather than detrimental.

How have you handled trolls/negative commenters in the past?