Dealing with Negative Comments

Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and more are great tools for nonprofits to use to connect with donors. The great thing about social media is that you really put yourself out there. But with this openness, problems can occur. But how do you deal with negative feedback?

  • Create A Policy-Before you start having comments available whether it's through a blog or a Twitter conversation, make sure you clearly outline the organization's policy on commenting. I know it sounds excessive, but having some guidelines in place will ensure that you won't be caught off guard.

  • Don't Lash Out-It's easy to respond quickly when someone makes you mad. The best thing to do however is keep your cool, no matter what the situation. You will come off as the better person for it.

  • Respond Publicly-If someone makes a negative comment, respond publicly to let others know how you've handled the situation. Maybe others were wondering the same thing, but didn't want to ask. Being able to handle the situation shows that you (and the organization) is in control.

  • Respond Privately-This may seem the opposite to the point above, but let me explain. While some situations require a public response, others do not. If you are being harrassed, you may not want the situation to play out over the blog. Also, if a negative situation is going back and forth many times, you should move that to a private conversation as to not interfere with your other posts/comments.

  • Respond in a Timely Manner-If you take too long to reply, people may think that silence is your answer. Try to respond as quickly as you can, even if just to say that you will be able to provide an answer/opinion shortly. That way people know that you are involved.

  • Be Clear and Concise-Nobody's going to read a response that's many paragraphs long. Keep your answers clear and concise and you will get your point across.

Follow these guidelines and you should be able to handle negative situations. Remember that every situation is different so it's important to adapt and handle it in the best way possible.


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