I’ve been starting to post makeup videos on my YouTube channel and am getting viewers, but am a bit overwhelmed: how can I keep track of comments and respond without checking each video every day?
I don’t know what the deal is with YouTube, but on most videos, the comments are pretty awful and the commenters are just hostile without reason. I even see it on my own YouTube channel – AskDaveTaylor – where people criticize how I pronounce a word, complain about my hair, and generally have nothing good to say, but say it anyway! I guess there are a lot of people who never had their Mom say “if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything.” 🙂
In any case, if you’re posting on YouTube, you really need to know, learn and grow to love the YouTube Creator Studio, which you can get to by going to youtube.com/dashboard (there are other ways you can get to it, but that’s an easy bookmark URL you can use to jump right into the thick of things). It offers stats, trends, and so much more, it’s really your, well, dashboard into your YouTube channel.
Here’s mine, so you can see what’s displayed:
Lots of great information, including the latest comments, analytics for the last 28 days (not 30, and I have no idea why), and at the top, total video views, total subscribers and your channel status with YouTube.
Looking more closely at the Comments, notice that it’s in order of when the comments were left, and it’s across all my videos. In fact, the four comments shown are against four different videos! You can click on “View all” under the comments to see and respond, but I want to show you a different path to that because there’s a lot more you can do here with your community.
In fact, click on “Community” on the left. It opens up and offers a bunch of choices:
You’ll see all the comments on the right pane, but notice all the other sections you can explore, including the YouTube inbox “Messages”. That’s a good one to check sporadically; when I just checked it, I had an email I hadn’t seen from a month ago!
Comments are now shown in a neat interactive format:
At this point you can thumbs up or thumbs down a comment (I’ve done that with comment #2), you can Reply to a comment, which we’ll explore in more detail in just a second, you can delete a comment by clicking on the trashcan and you can flag it. Click on the little flag icon, in fact, and there are a number of options available:
Check out the last option: If your channel is really booming, you can actually bring other people on board to help moderate and manage your comments by adding them as “comment moderators”. That’s pretty cool!
Hiding a user’s comment is smart too: they’ll still see it as associated with the video, but no-one else will. To the rest of the world it’s non-existent, but to the complainer, hater, whatever, it’s still visible. Why? Because then they don’t know you’ve changed its visibility and don’t leave yet another comment because you deleted it. So smart on YouTube’s part.
Let’s go back and reply to one of these comments too, something that’s super easy to do in Creator Studio.
A click on the “Reply” link immediately below the comment you want to answer and a tiny window appears:
Type in your comment or response, click “Reply” and it shows up, not just here on Creator Studio but in the actual video’s comment stream too. Without you having to go to that specific video.
My personal philosophy with YouTube comments is that if they’re abusive or hateful I ‘hide’ them, but otherwise I try to reply to everyone and, as shown above, try to pull out what they’re really trying to say. A lot of people become quite reasonable when they realize someone’s paying attention.
So it’s all about the YouTube Creator Studio. It’s not just for creating videos, it’s really for managing your YouTube channel. And good luck with your makeup videos!