The comments section is the most under-leveraged asset.
It’s not a place to test out your new emoji keyboard.
It’s a place to say, “hey I really like what you said. Let’s take this even further.”
Did someone take time out of their day to write a comment that’s more than three words long? Return the favor.
The comments section is not a place to shortchange empathy, either. The problem isn’t “thanks for this, I needed that.” That’s fine. You said exactly what you wanted to say. The problem is, “if I respond to this, how many more followers will I get?”
Every time I write an essay as a response to a comment, I’m surprised at how surprised people get. It’s sad, actually. How many people are crying out for someone to hear, see, and work to understand? To have someone say, “I sort of get what you’re saying, but could you go further?”
The stereotype of the desperate salesperson has been replaced by the value hound. Sub-for-sub. Free subscribers. You follow me, I follow you. Oh, I see. You’re trying to engage at me, rather than with me.
Being engaged with. That’s what delights us, surprises us, makes us miss you when you’re gone.
Seen, heard, understood.