Social media sometimes means engaging in difficult discussions

User engagement isn’t always rainbows and unicorns

By Rose Reinert
Guest blogger
dialogGood morning! Last week we discussed chapter 14 of The Social Media Bible, which focused on  webinars and online radio. This week, I am veering from my normal review of Lon Safko’s book and sharing a bit about my recent experience with  Social Media – for better or worse.
As part of my current role as a Community Outreach Liaison, I oversee the planning, posting and monitoring of my agency’s Facebook Page. The experience has been fun and challenging.
I have a secret to share. As I have walked you all through the The Social Media Bible, I too have learned so much on how to improve my posting and engagement for my agency. So, I have gotten creative, shared links and posted photos and videos to better engage and attract attention from our followers.
Well, this past week I experienced first hand what it means to embrace this communication tool for better or worse.
Over the weeks, I have written all about how social media is a tool that:

  • ensues two-way communication
  • provides an opportunity for open communication
  • builds trust

All sounds wonderful doesn’t it?
Well . . . sometimes . . . the truth hurts.
Recently, I received a clear and urgent email from my boss saying:

“There are negative comments on our Facebook page. Delete them and let me know when you do.”

Upon further investigation, I discovered some negative reviews, and these were not gentle notes of dissatisfaction. These posts were very detailed, passionate negative reviews from those who we had clearly failed. Despite my better judgment, I posted an apologetic response on each of the reviews, of which some were months old.
The following details are blurry, but let’s just say the untimely response threw gasoline on a fire.
Here is what I learned.  If you enter the Social Media realm:

  1. You must accept, for better or worse, feedback.
  2. Having a clear plan and strategy for responding to negative and positive reviews as well as run-of-the-mill comments is critical.
  3. Approach your job with an understand that you cannot please everyone.
  4. Despite the potential for negative feedback, the opportunity for enhanced engagement and communication through social media outweighs the risks

So, like any good life lesson, I pick-up, learn, and move on.
Misery loves company. Please share with me your teachable moments with your social media marketing.
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  1. Very nice post — important in every sector of business. What I think is as important is to know that as business owners, non-profit directors, etc. sometimes that means that we have to forego our own personal opinions because it is not in the best interest of our organization. This all too often is ignored on social media sites. I could give you examples, if you would like, in our own social network. Hint — I think that might be a good follow-up to this piece. Remember, you are my friend and you can tell me I am out of my fu**ing mind too and I would still love ya! Love this stuff! Mary H-S

    1. Mary . . . as always, thanks for weighing in with your thoughts and opinions. They are always appreciated here. However, if you’re referencing me becoming for active and sharing my opinions on Facebook in recent years (and getting involved in supporting an old friend in his city coiuncil campaign), I need to stop and ask an important question:
      “I ceased being the executive director of the local Boys & Girls Club on April 1, 2006. When am I allowed to get my voice and opinions back?”
      During the six year period where I served as the executive director, I was VERY careful not to share personal opinions or get involved in political campaigns especially in very public ways. I did this because I knew it would be a reflection on my agency, which is precisely the point you’re making. I let more than half-of-a-decade pass before allowing myself a voice.
      Was the timeframe an issue? Should I have waited longer? Or do I just need to move to a different community?
      I agree with everything you’ve said just short of implicating me in this story. I think you’re also right in that this might make another great blog post. 😉

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