They’re Tweeting! They’re Commenting! Now What?

Something I hear a great deal when companies are creating new websites, or a Facebook page, or a Twitter feed is that they want the wall disabled, or the commenting turned off. Why? Because they don’t want people to say mean things about them. They only want positive feedback on their company/efforts/initiatives.

Well nobody wants people to say mean things about them. But there’s a few problems with this logic.

1) People say mean things ALL the time. Doesn’t it make more sense to have them be said directly to you, rather than behind your back? If they say it in the comments section of your site, you have the chance to respond, the chance to fix it and the chance to control your own brand. If you are still uncomfortable, you can set it so comments must be approved by you. Which is fine. But it means you must approve them and post them – along with your response. Refusing to approve only negative comments is equally bad. And you’ve got to get to it fast. We live in an on-demand society. The second I hit post I expect a reply pretty darn quickly. Waiting a day or two or a week simply adds to the list of mean things people might say about you. Respond just as quickly, if not quicker than you would to an email or a phone call – believe it or not, there’s a real person on the other side of that comment.

2) Nobody’s company is 100% positive all the time. Things go wrong, things happen. That’s life. By only pushing out a positive image, you lose out on getting your readers’ opinions, experience and assistance with what you do. and given that they’re the ones you’re doing it for – wouldn’t that be helpful?

3) Not allowing comments is a one-way conversation. A one way conversation is a monologue. You wind up being that guy at the party – the one who talks incessantly about himself, doesn’t allow others to get a word in edgewise, and trumpets about the greatness that is him. Does anyone like that guy at the party? No. No they do not. The last party I was at with that guy, I literally physically steered him out of our conversation and to another part of the room.  Nobody wanted him around. (For those that know me personally – that’s not an exaggeration. I did it. I’d do it again.)

4) Sometimes there are people in this world that you cannot help. Sometimes there are people who will never be satisfied. And sometimes there are people who are jackasses. And yes – they have to be dealt with.

5) What’s your social media policy? Who’s tracking, who’s posting, who’s tweeting? A solid policy can help you avoid many pitfalls and problems to begin with.  Not sure where to begin?  Google social media policy. you’ll find 136 MILLION choices. Dive in and start crafting.

And so you’ve braved it, you’ve set up your Twitter account or Facebook page and you’ve turned off comment approval on the site. I hope it goes well for you – and no I won’t leave you hanging. Here’s another awesome article from Mashable on how to recover from a social media pr disaster.



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