6

I'm trying to find the best words to motivate visitors to comment on my website (IT based blog/portal). Commenting rate is ~ 0.1% (1 comment per 1000 visitors).


This is the default one (for Drupal):

Add new comment


And these are the ones I think I can use instead:

  • Your comment?

  • Any comment?

  • Make a comment:


Which is the most motivator one or any other idea?

  • 3
    how about "add a comment" that made me make this comment – Ameen Akbar Jul 6 '15 at 2:45
  • 5
    This question assumes that 1) you can achieve more comments than that, and 2) the way to do this is through changing the wording of the comment button. What is the base for these assumptions? They seem pretty arbitrary. – Rumi P. Jul 6 '15 at 11:09
  • Changing the wording of comment button is one of the things I will do for more comments. These assumptions are the first ones come to my mind, not coming from a scientific research, of course. Any other suggestion, please? – herci Jul 6 '15 at 11:13
  • 3
    "Comment on this article for a chance to win an iPad!" – Bobwise Jul 7 '15 at 20:36
  • 1
    @unor yes, there is no registered user. Commenting possible for (only) guests. They see the full form (name field, e-mail field, comment textarea). This question is about motivating guests to comment. – herci Jul 10 '15 at 12:44

12 Answers 12

10

Commenting is all about context. A few examples of websites encouraging people to generate content

  • On a social platform like Facebook, asking "What's on your mind?" in the new-status box is an interactive, clear and concise way to hint as to what is to be written.
  • On a knowledge-sharing, social platform like Quora, indicating topics of interest to the users is likely to prove as motivation to the users to write an answer.
  • Medium has a unique commenting interface wherein people don't comment on the entire article as a whole but instead comment on particular sections or snippets
  • Reddit has a similar strategy in place for those wanting to comment on specific clippings. Selecting some text and then pressing reply will quote the original text with the users reply beneath.

So, summarising:

  • The key here is being interactive
  • People like to share opinions. Encourage that behaviour within your articles (you could include an opinion of yours in the article and ask people who differ to state in the comments their reasons for that) (this could be difficult in a technical IT blog, but not impossible).

Edit:

As pointed out by Chris, A/B test various options. Sometimes, you never know what might work (and why)

6
+50

If the internet has taught us one thing it's that everyone has an opinion. It has also taught us that attention spans online are short so unless I feel that sharing my opinion is worth the effort I'll pass.

Here are a couple things you can do to remedy this situation and increase reader engagement...

1. Make sure users know why their opinion is important

You could end each article with some variation of the following...

Your opinion is very important to me. I personally read every comment and respond when appropriate. Help me improve future articles by telling me what you like or dislike about this one.

2. Make it as easy as possible to leave feedback

Allowing users a way to provide feedback in a single click should greatly improve your reader engagement. Clicking Like or +1 next to an article is about as simple as it gets for letting a user tell you that what they just read was helpful. You could also do things like create a specific poll (with not too many choices) where visitors could quickly give feedback with a single click.

  • 2
    Great points. Commenting isn't the only way for users to contribute. Baby steps ;-) – plainclothes Jul 7 '15 at 16:41
  • Thanks for your answer, it gave me some other ideas to implement on my website. – herci Jul 14 '15 at 12:32
3

I think people are getting off topic here, essentially you've asked 'which of the options out of my choice of 4 is best'. In which case the current option you are using is best as it's the most common and clear. The ones with questions could help as they are leading people in, but frankly if 1/1000 visitors is commenting at present I'd said switching to one of these 4 options isn't going to be a game changer.

Options:

  • Improve the quality of your content (or ruin it...it's up to you! haha) by making it more engaging. People will only comment if you've posed lots of questions, made them think, or made them happy or angry. Push some of those buttons and you'll get interaction.
  • Find a way to use more than these 4 options, get a little more traffic and then run some A/B tests to see if you can get improvements. I imagine it will be hard to get a large enough sample for the results to mean much though. Try www.optimizely.com or www.vwo.com to see a few related products or just google A/B testing.
  • Thanks for the "options" but the question is only asking the words for commenting. Of course, improving the quality is very important but assuming everything is the same but only changing the words effects or not. – herci Jul 8 '15 at 12:52
  • yeah, and as said: if 1/1000 visitors is commenting at present I'd say switching to one of those 4 options isn't going to help measurably. If I need to be more explict then YOU'RE WASTING YOUR TIME ON WORDING – Chris Jul 8 '15 at 15:47
  • Thanks. Actually I'm not wasting time, just trying to increase the motivation of commenting. Let's see what will change. – herci Jul 8 '15 at 17:45
  • The sooner you change the wording, the sooner you'll know if it works as you're hoping. If it doesn't work, then you can think a bit more about what Chris has advised. – JeromeR Jul 13 '15 at 11:28
2

As Chris pointed out, of your choices, you're using what seems most appropriate. It's common language (good for scanning) and clearly states what the action is about.

You have more than words at your disposal

But there's more to it than language. If comments are what you're after, have you considered position, scale, and styling? Take StackExchange for example: The big push here is for answers. The answer box takes up a nice chunk of real estate and closes with a big action button. They've done a bit of pre-qualifying by placing it at the bottom (they could have placed it above other answers). But once you're there, you can't miss it.

Consider using an exposed multi-line text input (not just after clicking 'add'), contrasted from the background (white on some background color), with your call to action in a clearly styled button. And if it is your primary action as your question suggests, make sure other elements on the page aren't competing for that valuable attention.

Going back to our StackExchange example, imagine they decided that comments would be their new focus (God forbid!). Applying my recommendations here could look something like this. The comments input is persistently available, it gets an engaging header, and the text link CTA becomes a button.

Comment-centric StackExchange

Test it

Test the "improved" solution against your current design and see what happens. If that doesn't generate more comments, you can probably start looking into something other than the UI.

You might also find that as comments go up, other areas are impacted. For instance, more comments from a small group of users may lead to lower overall engagement. There are usually more factors in play than you at first appreciate. Testing has a way of bringing those to the surface.

  • 1
    It's so important to test. This is the most important point I've read on this page, because a change in context will completely change user behaviour. And thanks for pointing out that layout, size/scale, visual formatting, and aesthetics are a factor. – JeromeR Jul 7 '15 at 20:33
  • Thanks for your answer. In my website(s) the comment form is below of the post and it has a big textarea as your example. Everything will be the same except the words. – herci Jul 8 '15 at 12:56
  • Without more context it's hard to say for sure, but it sounds like the comment interaction isn't your problem. – plainclothes Jul 8 '15 at 16:12
2

It's hard to know what copies work best without any user profile in mind... I mean, it took us a lot of research on emotional needs of users to understand the tone in which they needed CTA's or other written content, make sure you understand if your users like to feel smart through commenting or if they are more prone to commenting out of fun... Even if they are programmers and very smart people, perhaps they are bored of the conversation and need a different emotional motivation. I'd analyse a bit on their behaviour towards the tone of the site and maybe experiment with a change of tone... A/B test is definitely what I would start with.

I agree with Chris... you should focus on your content more than just figure out which of these options will work, and content strategies begin in defining your tone, are you readers engaged with the way you're talking to them? Go deeper.

Check out the Mailchimp Tone/Voice Page... I find it very engaging as a typical user. http://voiceandtone.com/

I'm not saying your solution lies within the fun tone of Mailchimp, but it does with figuring out the right one.

1

In order to motivate your users and increase the user engagement for comment section, you need to show them that you need their comment. Among those 3 options, "Your Comment" makes more sense about this issue.

Also you can check 45th guideline of this list

1

Find out what could be a reason to comment there, maybe the microcopy isn't the problem.

  • If you are looking for your visitors opinion then ask for it. What is your opinion on that?

  • If you want an answer check if there was a question right before the comment section.

  • If critique is what you want you can provoke. You know I'm right.

  • For approval, use something else like likes.

1

A reluctant commenter might be "lured" into commenting. For example, it's easy to press a button and cast a vote. Attaching a comment dialog to a voting button might capture some additional portion of visitors who basically decide "oh well, I'm voting and I've got this dialog open now, so I might as well put in my two cents."

  • 1
    Thanks, I will add both +1 and -1 buttons. If somebody clicks +1 then it displays a message "Please add a comment and make the post better!" and if anybody clicks -1 then it displays a message "Please make a comment and improve the quality!" etc. – herci Jul 8 '15 at 12:59
1

Consider bespoke CTAs. Ask a specific question or make a challenge that's tailored to this post.

  • "Cat lands Boeing 777 at LAX" headline
    • "Should the FAA regulate feline pilots?" CTA.
  • "Max Headroom announces candidacy for GOP presidential nomination"
    • "Should the GOP be open to synthetic humans?"
  • "Molly Cyrus walks kids to school."
    • "How cute would it be to teach twerking to kindergartners?"

This drives a few behaviors:

  1. Triggers a thought by the reader, involuntarily. The open comment field invites the reader to utter their thought.
  2. Bypasses the "banner blindness" of generic prompts.
  3. Forces the author/editor to think of reader engagement more than they do now.
  4. Creates an incentive for regular/returning readers to read all the way to the end of a post to see the CTA. #lagniappe

So, do you really want to see that cat land an airliner?

1

Its a case of "whats there in it for me. It depends on the context that you have set up before the user reaches the comment section.

Motivation is an emotional response out of

  • The content,
  • The cheese at the other end and/or
  • Sudden discoveries (really useful information/controversial information or comment that forces you to react/comment in this case)

Like on UX.SE I am motivated to see the new questions, issues faced by UX designers, and the responses make so much of learning, its absolutely priceless. Hence I comment, to help out there, to have my say and if I get voted up, it gives me satisfaction.

Similarly, in your case, based on types of users consuming the information from your website, you can build up strategy to get comments.

I believe that mere choice of words are not sufficient to motivate users to comment. Real motivation is when you answer your users' question "whats there in it for me".

A recognition system can really motivate your users to comment more and more. A blog is read only once but it lives because of comments, as users jump in with their views.

Consider Developing a motivating system. Feature the user who commented first on home page. He will be thrilled to see and others will get motivated instantly. Continue with the same system and keep featuring them, under some heading that recognizes their contribution. Like Active Users for example.

Though, to answer your question, it should be simple enough like Add Comment or Have your say etc. But Do you really find them motivating enough to comment? Its the backbone that motivates and not the words.

0

It's a question about affordance, ryt?

  • Something provocative: 'Let's decide why it's wrong?'
  • Invite for discussion: 'We need to talk about IT'
  • Insert title in the calls: 'Cats in the office: your pros and cons'
  • Placeholder as example of message: 'whut a rubbish bro'
  • Standard calls: 'Spread your opinion', 'What's your point?' etc.

Note that the style of invitation must be referenced to the communication style of the whole resource. Also make sure that your target audience are interested in comments.

And, of course, the best way to raise a discussion - had already published 3-5 comments.

  • 1
    These will probably drive the nature of the comments in a certain direction. If this is the case it's fine. e.g. 'Cats in the office: your pros and cons' will give you most likely get comments about pros and cons. – Ameen Akbar Jul 6 '15 at 5:54
  • @Razor9012, yep, sure. But it's a part of motivation -- give them a reason to talk. – Lara Sorokina Jul 9 '15 at 5:57
0

It depends on the emotion you want to create. In the case of technical site like IT portal/blog I would go for something like Say your word which can give the user the feeling that his opinion is wanted and matters while keeping short and simple.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.