If you are a brand on YouTube, you may be tempted to disable the comments on your videos but on this week's Creator's Tip, we but we want to give you a few reasons why you might want to reconsider that decision. Brands and marketers often disable comments on YouTube videos because they don't have the time to moderate them so think it's best to turn them off completely rather than have a free-for-all. We say, if you are going to go to the trouble of creating and marketing a video then you may as well follow best practice at every stage, and enabling a discussion around a video is a positive move. This is why it's called social media – it's meant to be social, right? Taking 5 minutes a day to moderate comments is very achievable:
Negative Comments: Google Plus is Now Your Friend
Many brands and creators are also wary of negative comments because they feel they will drive away potential viewers and potential customers. That's no longer as much of an issue as it once was now that YouTube has integrated with Google+ over the comments system. There are algorithms in place that will raise the most valuable, helpful and engaged comments to the top, forcing the trolls down. Since the update, a lot of the comments that brands may have worried about in the past won't show up as high, probably not even on the first page. That's assuming that you are getting enough positive comments to drown up the negative ones of course.
What if All Your Comments are Negative?
If that's true then you actually have a much bigger problem that's probably not confined to just YouTube. Of course, there are people on the site that will dislike and leave nasty and offensive comments across the board. Why? Because they can. But disabling comments because you fear, or have seen evidence, that they will be consistently negative, suggests a wider reputation management problem to address. You may want to consider putting resources into audience and community development and taking steps to find out just what it is that annoys your viewers so much. If the flow of unfavorable remarks is overwhelming, than disabling comments makes sense as a short-term plan. But long term, you need to address the wider issue to you can open up those comments once again.
Don't Take Negative Criticism so Personally
Some creators react very badly to criticism and even if they receive 100 amazing comments for every contrary one, that one bad comment really affects them. If you have an over-sensitivity to criticism then it can be difficult to deal with feedback that isn't positive. But, understand that you are putting your work out there and people are going to view it in many different ways. Don't take it personally, learn what you need to, and then move on.
Four Reasons to Enable Comments on Your Videos
#1 Disabling comments on your video kind of makes it seem like you have something to hide. The vast majority of YouTube videos do have comments enabled so when a viewer comes across one where the comments are turned off alarm bells can start ringing.
#2 Disabling comments can frustrate and alienate viewers who do have something positive to say. Give those people a platform before writing off their opinions.
#3 Leaving comments enable can generate even more interest in your video. It isn't uncommon for people to view a video whilst skimming through the comments at the same time, looking for validation that they should keep watching. If they see that others have found value, then chances are they will keep watching to the end too. And we know that increased watch time can influence how your video ranks in the search results.
#4 A lively comment discussion will keep people returning again and again for the latest update.
Also, take advantage of YouTube's moderation tool to weed out inappropriate comments.
For those who have disabled comments, let us know why in the comments below. For those who have them enabled, what's your moderation policy?