6 Golden Rules for Responding to YouTube Comments

Replying to comments on YouTube is the key to growing an active, engaged audience. Want to do it the right way? Here are six golden tips!

By now, you probably know that a small percentage of people post YouTube comments. It only happens when a video is insightful, inspiring, or polarizing in a way that riles people up. In other words, comments aren't easy to attract.

That's why you should treat each one like digital gold. Whether you're getting 10, 50, or 500, it means you have some engaged viewers on your channel. Many of them will become the heart of your community, and if you want them to stick around, you have to show them attention.

All it takes is a few responses here and there. Here are six rules for thriving in the comment section!

1. Respond to Comments Quickly

The best time to reply to a comment is shortly after it's posted. By doing this, you prove to viewers that their thoughts and concerns are a priority for you, which unlocks their hard-won allegiance!

But what if you're getting hundreds of comments on average? No matter how social you are, the thought of replying to each person can be daunting.

The best solution? Set realistic expectations for you and your audience. For instance, how many comments can you address before feeling overwhelmed? Whatever that number is, use it to set a healthy benchmark. Tell viewers you'll respond to the first 25, 50, or 100 comments you see after hitting publish.

2. Thank Viewers for Their Positive Feedback

A little recognition goes a long way, especially when you want to make viewers feel special. So when you see those "golden" comments, such as "awesome video" or "this is really inspiring," send a quick note expressing your gratitude.

These messages don't have to be long and flowery, either; a simple "thank you" works in many cases. We spotted a nice example from gaming creator Blubber109, where they used a brief response to acknowledge a viewer.

3. Address Criticism in a Productive Way

No matter how positive you are, you're bound to have critics on YouTube. If someone is critiquing anything about your video, such as the lighting, intro, topic, or something else, take it as a learning lesson. Can you improve your video ideas and content structure? Could the lighting actually use some work?

If so, let viewers know that you understand and will think about making improvements. After all, you're there to create content for an audience, and they should be able to weigh in from time to time.

Or you could take the comedic route. In the example below, creators Josh&Sav respond to criticism with a lighthearted response and a string of laughing emojis.

4. Personalize Each Response

Many influencers on social media post canned responses, which are messages prepared ahead of time to make the process of replying much easier. It saves time when you have a large audience, but there are better ways to engage with viewers.

Building a community takes empathy, trust, and some level of personalization. So when you craft your responses, be conversational and down-to-Earth. Make viewers feel comfortable in the comment section, and they'll keep coming back!

Below, check out Camille Collazo's response to a viewer who got scammed by a business coach. Camille gets personal, says she has also been scammed, and adds, "Sorry about your wife being victimized." It's empathetic, emotional, and a moment that likely bonded Camille and her viewers together.

5. Ignore the Trolls

When it comes to fighting with trolls, you just can't win. They never show their face on YouTube, so you have no idea who they are or what they represent. Even if you manage to shut down one troll, another one pops up like a pesky garden weed.

Unfortunately, that old, common phrase is still accurate: The internet is undefeated.

So if you want to keep your sanity, don't argue with random viewers (or any viewer, for that matter). Spend your energy on people who matter, such as viewers that offer support and healthy critique.

6. Go Easy on the Self-Promotion

You should promote yourself on YouTube, especially if you have a small channel. But how much promotion is too much?

Let's just say that if every video has a "salesy" comment from you, it's time to pull back. Try to align your requests with normal YouTube behavior, such as asking questions or challenging viewers to get a specific number of likes before releasing the next video. You're simply asking for engagement, which is much safer than asking for sign-ups, money, or downloads every time.

Keep it Respectful in the Comments

Want to win over your comment section? Imagine that each conversation is happening in person. Be light and conversational, avoid pointless fights, and show appreciation when someone compliments you. Most people will follow your lead in having healthy, positive dialogue.

Want to take your community-building to the next level? Here's how to properly engage on the YouTube Community tab.