July 14, 2016

BELCHATOW POLAND - MAY 02 2013: Modern white keyboard with colored social network buttons.

In the realm of social media, much like day-to-day life, manners matter. Unfortunately, some people may not feel the same. Say a user posts a negative comment or false accusation on organization’s Facebook or Twitter. What’s the correct way we should respond?

Essentially, it comes down to minding our Ps and Qs. We must always keep a discussion as such professional. Politely respond to a negative comment with factual insight and logic. Never reply with a comment filled with malice. It’s important to keep the mentality of the organization at the forefront of discussions.

It’s also more than likely that dedicated members of the community will show their unwavering support.

responding to comments is a crucial component to any coalitions social media tactics. Treating social media comments correctly can be an awesome image booster for your nonprofit. Making the wrong move, however, can create an instant PR nightmare.

Here are some ways to respond to different types of interaction on facebook both bad and good.

  1. Positive Comments

These are obviously the best kind of comments. A random person has taken the time to publically make positive mention of your organization. This isn’t something that rarely happened before the days of social media, and you need to take full advantage of the opportunity. In this situation, you should ALWAYS thank the person for their kind words. You should also consider reposting/retweeting the comment, but this is not something you want to do TOO often. 

  1. Offensive/Inappropriate/Malicious Comments

If a comment is offensive, inappropriate, or straight-up spam, you need to delete it immediately. If the same user continues to post offensive material to your social media accounts, banning them is a perfectly acceptable solution. A good way to prevent comments like this is to set up some community guidelines. Mention that comments are strongly encouraged, but warn that anything offensive, hateful, or malicious will be deleted without consideration.

  1. Complaints/Concerns

If someone calmly and inoffensively (no swearing, vulgar language, etc.) addresses a concern or voices a complaint via your social media account, reply to that person and tell them you will get in touch with them directly, and then promptly do so. Letting the person know publicly that you will get in touch with them shows others that you are open to hearing from those involved with/following your organization, are open to suggestion, and genuinely care about your nonprofit’s image as well as fulfilling your mission.

  1.  Negative Comments

If a comment is negative and/or filled with false information, take the time to politely respond to the poster with factual information that supports your organization’s position. Do not under any circumstances make rude, unrelated or personal insults. Keep things professional and show that your organization can calmly back things up with information and logic. If a user begins crossing into the offensive/inappropriate category (like we discussed in number 2) feel free to ban the user and post a comment explaining that such language is not tolerated in your community. 

What experiences, good or bad, has your organization had with social media comments? Maybe your example will help someone else who have been in a similar situation.

This article was re purposed from nonprofit hub.