Another nonprofit I work with told me they were afraid to get social because of negative, unwanted comments. I told them that yes, they may get those, but you can also educate people in your responses. This particular nonprofit is now very active on Facebook and doing quite well. So...the heart of the matter is dealing with negative responses. Here is how I deal with them and advise my clients along the same lines.
- Respond immediately. If you're managing your company's online presence, you really don't stop at 5. If someone responds negatively, you respond immediately or as soon as you learn about it.
- Acknowledge the person and the problem. People want to feel heard, whether you think they are right or wrong, they want someone to listen.
- Address the issue. Start with, "I'll look into this further and get back to you as soon as I can." Then do it. That statement buys you some time, but not much.
- Ask for the commenter to send a direct message or email their account and contact info so you can research further.
- Resolve the problem.
- Stay in constant contact until the issue is resolved.
- Acknowledge publicly that the issue has been resolved. If the person made the comment on a social platform, use that same platform to confirm the issue has been solved. This lets others know that you do work hard to ensure satisfaction.
- Educate. Some naysayers just want to be negative because, sadly, it's who they are. So instead of ignoring them, and NEVER IGNORE a negative comment, educate the individual with facts. Include links to sources as well.
- After you provide the facts, ask the individual to get involved and volunteer.