Community Management: Handling Negative Comments
The job of a community manager has many tasks that include creating, posting, sharing and developing content, as well as moderating the community inside the profile of a brand across the different social media networks. When posting content, you want it to be relatable to the company, and communicate what the company voice is. Most of us find these tasks relatively easy however, most people miss the mark sometimes while handling the context of content or approving or disapproving comments made by fans or community members.
The following tips are designed to provide community managers and social media content creators with a guide to improve their management skills and lessen the chance of damaging the company’s brand image.
Rebeca Ruiz from Mashable created a very interesting article on how Alex Chrum dealt with daily “sexist, racist, and homophobic” slurs while working as content specialist for debate.com. Crum’s job sounds delicate, and this is one side of content management that we often overlook in the training process. According to the report: “each day, she shifted through 50 to 200 questionable posts, trying to decide what to publish and what to let rot”.
“It was honestly the most emotionally exhausting thing I’ve ever done here at [work],” Chrum told Mashable.
To make your job easier here are our suggestions:
- Include a visible posting policy: Most brands include a statement in their “about me” section with a set of (common sense) rules (i.e. refrain from using profanity), in order to prevent any miscommunication or misunderstandings. You should define the elements that will be acceptable to ensure an environment of respect.
- Filter comments: On Facebook, you can modify the posting ability of your page by clicking the “general” tab and selecting “review posts by other people before they are shown on my page” in the Posting Ability option. This option changes depending on which channel you’re using so be sure to check the settings of that particular social platform.
- Like positive posts & answer them: Off the bat, consumers don’t trust brands, which is why you should be familiar with the brand voice while managing a brand’s public profile. By acting as the brand, while still sounding human, this helps the consumer trust the brand and therefore establishes a positive relationship. A technique that you can use to improve the odds of good feedback is by liking positive posts and answering them. The more you are worried to collect feedback and address consumer’s needs, the less negative reviews you will have.
- About deleting, hiding, and blocking: Posts that violate your comment policy can be hidden (i.e. any profanity or inappropriate slurs.) Posts that display negative reviews, however should not be hidden. Sometimes clients just need to vent, and it’s the responsibility of the company to address any concerns. If a community manager deletes all of the negative reviews, leaving only the positives, it may come across as an unreliable source. Be aware however, that even if you hide a comment, that comment can still be seen by friends of the person that posted it.
The key is to learn how to let the conversation flow in a clear and civil manner, be genuine and provide timely feedback to clients concerns. Avoid delicate topics and just enjoy the environment! For examples of community management fails, click on the following Buzzfeed article: 19 Companies That Made Huge Social Media Fails.
What do you think about our suggestions? Do you think there’s a tip that we’ve missed? Let us know!
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY Social Media company specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.