How should my nonprofit respond to negative feedback or off-topic posts on Facebook?

Written during my year of AmeriCorps VISTA at NPower Northwest, this blog post covered a frequent question I addressed during social media trainings.

leaves waiting to dropHow should my nonprofit respond to negative feedback or off-topic posts on Facebook?

This past Wednesday our Social Media Intermediate Brown Bag was a packed house! Focusing on using social media strategy to take engagement to the next level, we enjoyed lively discussions. Topics included RSS feeds, editorial calendars, social media management tools such as HootSuite & SocialBro and lots of questions. Nonprofits new to using social media, are often cautious about the possibility of negative feedback or unsure of how to handle off-topic posts. This issue came up in discussion during our brown bag and here is the re-cap of one of our answers:

How should my nonprofit respond to negative feedback or off-topic posts on Facebook?

A brown bag participant raised this question and mentioned that they were sometimes frustrated by other Pages posting their own (off-topic) stories on other Pages’ walls. Obviously posting on other Pages’ walls can be a great way to strike up conversation, however just using other Pages’ walls as free advertising is bad etiquette. In general, reaching out directly to someone who posts something off-topic is preferable, conversation provides many more opportunities to gain friendship then immediately deleting.

While no nonprofit likes the idea of encountering negative feedback on social media channels, one brown bag participant shared the story of how they handled some negative comments on Facebook. The nonprofit created a video featuring success stories from their clients. When the video was shared by staff members on their personal walls they received a negative comment from a former staff member upset by possible privacy violations. Before the nonprofit had a chance to respond directly, the broader community of supporters responded to the negative comment to defend the nonprofit. Community-generated support is a much stronger defender of one’s brand than any official statement, so by not immediately deleting the negative comment, the nonprofit gained additional support and positive attention.

More Resources and Examples of Dealing with Negative Feedback

For the powerpoint presentation and additional resources head on over to the Knowledge Center 

– Abby Nafziger

Originally posted on NPower Northwest’s blog

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