Of all the concerns nonprofits have about Facebook, the challenge of dealing with nasty comments ranks at the very top. Even higher than getting more comments in the first place.
This video shows you how to deal with mean spirited Facebook comments from a technical perspective. (Yes you can block people.)
But above and beyond the technical is the cultural. Interaction is key to being successful on social media – they don’t call it “social” for nothing. The ability to make comments is an attraction to Facebook. You want comments, as one comment makes a second comment more likely and so on. This rings true for comments in the positive or negative.
Hootville promotes the idea of a social media playbook as opposed to social media policy. Policies tend to be heavy on the don’ts and light on the dos. Part of any nonprofit’s social media playbook should be how to deal with unacceptable comments.
How do you define ‘unacceptable’ beyond the blatantly privacy-breaching, malicious, threatening and unsubstantiated? What if someone writes: “I used to use your service but I found Service X and they are so much better. More friendly and half the price. Losers!”
Will you let that stay visible? Will you reply? We hope so. Some nonprofits are affronted by anything that isn’t blatantly positive but copping critical comments with dignity, grace and humour is a good look. Something like:
“We don’t see ourselves as losers but we are sorry to lose you. Anyhow we are happy you’ve found a new service that pleases you.”
Have a policy to write back to such comments that are close to, but don’t step over the line. Even better, you may find that others who are part of your socal media networks step in to defend and praise you.
And remember – not everyone who reads what you write believes you, even when you are being sincere and helpful. The same goes double for people leaving critical, nasty comments on your Facebook wall. Most often the only people who look bad are the commenters.