Raise the level of discourse between your users.
“We have plenty of comments, but how can we increase the quality of the comments?” This is one of the most common questions we hear from our customers. Take heart – it’s possible to elevate the quality of comments on your site!
But it will take a bit of planning and some old fashioned elbow grease. Like any relationship, online communities aren’t built overnight, and they require care and attention as they grow. Here are some tactical tips on how to promote respectful and thoughtful commentary on your site.
Best Practices to Increase Comment Quality
Prominently post the community guidelines for all to see. This will set expectations for site behavior and explain that moderators will be reviewing content. You can also encourage community members to flag inappropriate content.
Have your editors frame the conversation you’d like to see unfold in the comment stream by posing stirring questions along with the article. Offer to pin the highest quality replies to the top of the stream using Featured Comments.
Reward Good Behavior
Reinforce your community guidelines by liking or featuring exemplary comments. This encourages users to continue writing high quality comments and sets an example for the rest of your community. Comments that are featured or have a high number of likes tend to gain more responses from the community, furthering conversation around the highest quality comments. You can also choose to redisplay featured content from across the Network or Site on your homepage.
“Featuring comments allows us to steer the conversation and give a small reward to commenters who contribute to the value of the article.” – Bree Royce, Editor-in-Chief, Massively
Optimize your Moderation Settings
Livefyre offers best in class moderation tools to give you fine grain control over content before it appears on your site. Review our Customize Settings guide or consult with your Technical Account Manager to ensure you’re getting the most out of our automated moderation tools.
Ask Readers to Get Specific
Sidenotes naturally encourages high quality commentary on your content. Offering readers an outlet to create a dialog around a specific sentence, paragraph or media element can reduce the number of overly generalized and inflammatory comments in the lower comments section. Read our strategies for Sidenotes for more information.
Join the Conversation
Editorial and moderator engagement demonstrates to your community that their comments are valued and that you are interested in a two-way conversation. Civility is significantly increased when journalists participate in the comments section, signaling to all users that their comments will be read and potentially responded to by the author.
Tip: Programmatically tag each collection with the author’s name for easy filtering in Studio.
Badge Your Community
User Groups is a great way to draw attention to comments written by noteworthy users. Whether it’s industry luminaries, paid subscribers, top commenters or groups that organically emerge within your community, badging these users’ comments sends a message that this is a community conversation and your team takes comments seriously. Read our guide to Create User Groups for more information.
Glamour badges top commenters and Glamour staff with User Groups, giving their comments more weight and keeping the comments section on brand.