Should you Enable Comments on your Hotel Blog

So you’ve just added a blog to your hotels website, and you’ve been posting articles on a regular basis, with little or no interaction. You’ve checked your Google Analytics stats, and readership of these posts are generally low – most views are coming from within the hotel, as you obsessively check the blog post for signs of life, and you’re unsure what else you can do to improve the situation. Then you stumble upon other blogs, with large numbers of comments, and wonder if that will fix your problem…

Implementing a quality comment system on your hotel blog is a great way to build interaction and to encourage discussion on your blog, but it won’t solve your traffic problems. In this case it’s likely that more “after-post” works needs to be carried out to build the number of readers of the blog. But this is something we’ll discuss in a later article; for now the question is how and why to enable comments on your blog.

Why enable comments – won’t it open myself up to spam and nasty feedback?

Of course if you enable comments, or install a comment system on your blog, then you will find spam comments. But if you’re careful you can work to discourage this. Any comment system worthy of being installed on your website will come with some kind of spam protection, you just need to do some research. Anti-CAPTCHA systems work well, asking users to imput a field of characters before they can submit a comment. Asking users to register on the site before posting works too, but can put off some users.

So you can protect yourself again spam. You can also protect yourself against nasty comments, or dangerous (libelous) messages. Your blog CMS should have an option to “hold” comments before being posted to the site, allowing you to moderate them before going live. This is an invaluable tool, and one all blogs should make use of.

Comments with Disqus

Which comment system should I use?

There’s no right-or-wrong answer here, and it will depend on what is available on your CMS. The best, in our opinion, are Disqus and the Facebook comment system.

Disqus works very well and is a WordPress based system. Disqus has a nice interface and enables users with other social networks and profiles to login and post from whichever system they like; by email, Twitter, Facebook, Google and so on. So it’s a good all-rounder, and few people should feel left out. It has powerful moderation features, and is great for spam protection too.

The Facebook comment system is a powerful and interesting option. Users who are logged into their Facebook account, when visiting a blog post with the Facebook commenting system, will see that they are logged in on that site, and will be able to comment as if they were using their Facebook profile – so they see their own profile photo, and a comment box. It really encourages the user to post, because it’s already logged in and ready, they just have to type a reply and hit enter. Seeing their photo draws them in, and gives them that impetus to post. The best feature though is that this comment goes onto the site whilst also being shared on Facebook (unless the user chooses to make that comment private), so your comment would by default get shared on that persons Newsfeed – a huge benefit to the hotel, as the persons friends on Facebook then see the comment and the website they left it on.

Negatives to the Facebook system is that not everybody has an account, so you could miss out on some comments. But in our opinion this comment system really bridges the gap between social commenting and blog commenting, helping keep the conversation going on your hotel blog instead of being lost in Twitter feeds and Facebook pages.

Conclusion: Should I enable comments on my hotel blog or not?
Ultimately the decision of which comment system to use on your hotel blog will be down to your own preferences, and the technicalities of your website CMS, but if you were to go for Disqus or Facebook you should find yourselves happy with the end results. And if you don’t like how it’s turning out? Then just disable the comments!

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