Whether you like it or not, commenting on a blog or a video is the norm in social media. Sure, the trolls are making their attacks on your favorite YouTube star or too many people are on a commenting overload to defend something you inherently dislike, but at least you know where some people stand.
Now imagine if social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, or even that favorite blog of yours never gave its users the opportunity to comment. How will you get feedback for your brand? What do you know about your fanbase’s thoughts or what your detractors think?
In a way, a comment-less social media system is like how traditional media like the recording industry, television or newspapers gauge their audience—wait ‘til the numbers come out. While statistics on sales and viewership give a glimpse as to how many people are looking at your video or your latest posts, comments give a human side to your numbers. Whether you have 50 comments or 5,000 comments, you can find that genuine posts are helpful to evaluating your strategies and your skills.
For Kong Pham of the YouTube seduction artist group SimplePickup, without having the comments tool, his group would have to think longer about ideas for their next video. He said having people comment on their videos is “like having another person brainstorming with us” and that they like to bounce ideas from their fans. Pham said their recent pickup video involving lines from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was from a person commenting on their YouTube site.
Having the tools to praise, to criticize and to suggest ideas is what gives social media its appeal. It’s instant and gauges what works and what doesn’t work—despite the incessant trolling or the always positive fans. Social media allows fans and critics alike to voice their opinions in real-time. The days of waiting for the review in the newspaper or pondering the ratings are over. Without that instant element, YouTube, Facebook and the like will just be like the familiar traditional media channels—all numbers and little input.