Government agencies and private companies, leery of controversy, will sometimes not allow Facebook comments to business accounts.
Such policies often emerge from the concern that previous customers or general members of the public will leave unreasonable comments defaming the page. Better to play it safe than risk bad publicity, goes the reasoning.
Here’s the argument to the contrary:
You’re limiting your reach.
The more interaction there is on a Facebook post, the more likely it will be seen by followers. This is a result of how Facebook prioritizes certain posts in a newsfeed. It’s unlikely that you’ll reach all of your followers with any given post, but an organization does not allow Facebook comments, it’s a certainty that you’re reaching less people than you otherwise would. When you discourage interaction, you limit the reach of your message.
How you respond to comments can turn bad publicity into good publicity.
If someone leaves a negative comment, respond quickly. By taking action, you’re demonstrating that you care about feedback. Refrain from in-depth discussions on the page; rather, direct discussion to a phone number or an email. Try to keep the onus on you as the alleged offending party to respond. Rather than “Call us at this number to further discuss your concerns,” suggest that the commenter direct message their number and a convenient time for you to call them. Address the issue if possible, apologize and offer restitution if not. When you respond well, you broadcast your professionalism.
Without Comments, you’re missing valuable feedback.
Comments are an easy way to gain feedback on whether a certain message is resonating. Additionally, suggestions from fans of the page can lead to new initiatives and improvements upon what you are or aren’t doing.
By blocking comments, you’re banning the good with the bad.
This may be self-explanatory. If commenters aren’t allowed, that includes those wishing to rain accolades upon the page.
Facebook is social media.
Banning comments runs counter to all the typical objectives of creating a social media account: directing people to your website, branding, and gaining feedback. Comments directly and indirectly play an important role in accomplishing all these goals.
Facebook’s flaw is its benefit. Interacting directly with fans is a far more effective method to encourage action than blasting a TV commercial or print ad at them. Though it carries risk, interaction is what makes social media an effective marketing platform. For every critic that decries the comments section of YouTube, there’s another lauding the democratic nature of it all.
To gain the most benefits from this medium, comments are a must. While concerns regarding negative comments are understandable, the benefits of allowing discussion will ultimately outweigh the negatives, if given the chance.