When people leave a comment on your blog, reply to your tweets or leave a comment on Facebook, they are initiating a conversation with you, and responding to something you have put out there with the intention of soliciting a response.
Why would you then leave a comment unanswered or a tweet ignored? If you respond to comments then it shows that you are engaged and listening, that you are interested in your commenters as much as they are interested in you. This should increase their loyalty to you and your brand, and it should help to enhance your credibility.
This is especially important as you are building your audience, but even when you are publishing from a position of an enhanced reputation responding to comments will show that you are still open to conversation and interested in those who have helped you build that credibility.
By responding, you are building a relationship with your readers, demonstrating that you value interaction, and making sure that your readers will keep coming back with increasing loyalty, and that they are more likely to remember and to recommend you.
What do you think? How do you feel if your comment or tweet is ignored? I would love to hear from you in the comments below – I always try to respond!