It’s no secret that people speak their minds on social media, which means that occasionally you may have to deal with comments, queries, or concerns that are less than polite. How can you avoid damaging your community’s reputation as you manage your responses on social media?
All comments – even the negative ones – provide an opportunity for you to show that you are paying attention to your social media pages and to support and protect your brand. Remember that even if a critique is incorrect or unfair, you’ll be evaluated on how you respond. You can either fan the flame or put the fire out. That said, it’s always appropriate to correct a misconception or inaccuracy, but you need to make sure you do it in a way that’s professional. Defend your brand without being defensive. Style, tone, and sometimes even humor go a long way.
Whether the same person manages all of your accounts on social media or multiple people own that space, all posted responses should have a consistent tone and voice. Your team is passionate about your community, your company, and your clients, but don’t confuse “emotion” with “emotional.” Word choice, style (conversational, business, first person, third person), proper grammar, correct spelling and punctuation, avoidance of typos – it all matters. Make sure that your responses are thoughtful and not rushed.
Once you determine that you’re going to maintain an account on any of the social channels, you must keep the content fresh and relevant. Inconsistent posting is often worse than having no profile at all – aim for at least six to eight posts per month. You can repurpose and share content between your channels, but make sure to respect the basic rules of engagement. Articles, videos, photos, pithy comments, and links can all be valuable but are not necessarily a good fit for all platforms. Above all, remember to avoid posting or sharing anything that could be viewed as controversial. You don’t want to go viral for the wrong reasons.
If you simply don’t have the bandwidth or resources to manage your social media accounts properly, you may want to consider outsourcing that responsibility. Finding a third-party solution that will respond to social posts and online reviews will take the burden off of you and your staff while enhancing your community’s reputation. Make sure you are working with a team of professional writers who are trained in fair housing and who can handle even the most cantankerous commenter with poise and grace.
However you manage your social media, remember to make the most of the digital community to enhance and protect your physical community. It’s time well spent.