Do You Have Comment Guidelines?

Creating comment guidelines?

The more active you are on social media, the more success you will have with your personal brand. However, you run a slight risk of being exposed to people’s derogatory comments and complaints. Social media gives most people a false bravado, meaning they will say things on social media that they would not say to someone’s face. Sometimes, this translates to someone complaining about your service on your Facebook page, or trolling your blog and leaving inappropriate comments.

You can’t stop it from happening, but you can be prepared in case it does. The best way to prepare is to create your comment guidelines – a collection of scenarios that could happen on your social media accounts and guidelines for how you will respond.

Setting up your comment guidelines

The easiest way to create your comment guidelines is to put them into a grid format. You can do this in Microsoft Word or Excel, or just draw the grid on a piece of paper. You need to have a column for the scenarios; this is where you will brainstorm any negative scenario you can think of.  Then, create another column for how you will respond (be sure to include the exact verbiage).  Also create another column for other actions, such as deleting the comment or blocking the person.

Why creating comment guidelines are important

While I hope you never get a complaint or derogatory comment on social media, it is always best to be prepared (somewhat like carrying an umbrella on a rainy day). When you have planned how you will respond to a negative situation, it alleviates your anxiety.  Instead of that panic-stricken moment when you think, “Oh no! What do I do with?” you’ll have your plan already in place. You will know how to response and what to do.

The most important customer service tip

As you think of your responses, remember this important tip: move the conversation offline. Offer your apology, and then include a phone number or email address where the person can use to get in touch with you. Don’t try to solve the person’s problem on social media. It can become tedious and not representative of your overall brand.

Also, it’s always best to not delete any complaints you receive. It often upsets the person who initially made the post, and she may leave more derogatory posts as a result. You may be uncomfortable with having a complaint out in the open, but it’s really okay, especially if you have an immediate response where you apologized and offered additional assistance.

Personal branding growth and social media go hand in hand. As a result, you may have to address negative comments on your social media accounts. When you plan ahead by creating your comments guidelines, you will feel more in control and less nervous if you receive a complaint. You will respond with confidence, and never have to worry about the “what should I do now” question – because you will know exactly what to do.

Photo courtesy of rabinel
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