You can go too far in responding to people. I have an author friend who will not respond to any comments left on her posts. She reads them but will not comment back. Then there is the other friend who responds to every little thing and tries to get conversations started with every individual. No one has that much time on their hands. You need to find the happy medium.
It is a good idea to vary how you respond to people. Saying the same thing over again makes you sound robotic. Not a good way to appear when networking. You want to show that you read their comments. Here are a few suggestions.
Thank them - Try to thank the person commenting. It could be anything like “Thank you for comments” or “Thanks for stopping by.”
Personalize - Read over their comments. Respond to them. It can be as simple as “I totally agree with you” or “Never thought of that.” If you add a personal comment like this, you don’t always have to thank them. Look at each case individually and see if a thank you fits.
Responding to Attacks
Sadly, attacks will happen no matter where you are networking or who with. You can make the most neutral comment and still get attacked. So expect it to happen. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s the response you have control over.
You have a couple of choices here. You can either ignore the attack or respond calmly and rationally. Typically, it is best to ignore the attacks. Sometimes others will jump in and defend you. If it gets out of hand or is too vulgar, delete the comment and move on.
If you do respond, be nice. Say something like “Thank you for your comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.” Even this can be a catalyst for a fight with some people. That is why it is better to just move on. If you think you said something originally that was misunderstood, just clarify. That happens a lot. If they are still attacking, walk away.
The Art of Responding
Responding to people while networking is an art form anyone can develop and perfect. It just takes practice and a willingness to learn.
Think of how you react to responses or the lack of. Follow your likes and dislikes while taking into account that not everyone is like you. Feel groups and individuals out. Some like to joke. Others are more serious. You’ll make mistakes, but think of it as a learning curve.
At least like the comment. That shows the person that you read it. Most times that is all you need to do. No one likes to feel ignored. Let them know in some way that they didn’t waste time networking with you.