Are You “Really” Responding to Your Online Community?

Did you know that 83% of Facebook fans expect a response the SAME day they make an inquiry?! It’s no surprise that people have pretty short attention spans today and instant gratification is a very real thing. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few reasons why it’s SO important to respond to your social media community in a timely fashion. People really just want to be heard and by answering the comments, questions, and concerns, you are showing them that you value your community and their input.

This advice holds true for both positive and negative feedback you get on social media. We often rush to put out the fire caused by a negative review or comment and we fail to graciously accept and respond to the positive feedback. If regular community engagement seems daunting, it may be worth looking into social media management. If you are not at that point in your nonprofit right now, here are some things you or a staff member can do to work on responding to feedback from your community.

How to respond to positive feedback

If you receive a compliment or any other type of positive feedback on your social media accounts, graciously respond to it! If someone shares one of your posts or tags your organization in a post, “like” the post and share it with your audience. You don’t need to share every review or testimonial, but it’s a great idea to sprinkle them throughout your social media content calendar. We all love to see positive news and it will help develop the “know, like and trust” factor for your nonprofit.

Another great way to get more community engagement is to highlight social media followers that regularly like, comment and share your posts. Everyone loves to get a pat on the back, so give them a shout out!

What do you do if someone leaves a negative comment or review on your social media?

Negative reviews often cause a business or nonprofit to panic, but rather than get defensive and fire off a hasty response, it’s best to give yourself a little time to cool off before you formulate a reply. Here’s what to do:

  • Walk away from your phone, tablet or desktop for at least 10-15 minutes to give yourself some space and blow off any steam.
  • Realize that the person leaving the comment really wants to be heard, so the first step is acknowledging their feedback (no matter how crazy or unrealistic you think it is!). You don’t need to agree with them and it can be as simple as saying, “Thank you for taking the time to let us know _________. We are sorry that you’ve experienced ____________.”
  • Think about what might have happened with your nonprofit or business that might have caused them to have a negative impression and see if there’s any truth to their complaint/feedback. This will help guide your response to the situation, both on social media and in your business practices. 
  • Consider how you will try and make things right with your customer or donor. Is there something you might do that would smooth their ruffled feathers? Most often a small gesture goes a long way and can turn a critic into a loyal fan!
  • Walk back to your phone, tablet or desktop and craft a respectful reply. 

Why this matters

Regular community engagement on your social media channels can do wonders for growing your donor base, increasing awareness of your nonprofit’s mission and recruiting more volunteers. While community management can, at times, seem like just another item on your to-do list, it can go a LONG way in building a strong relationship with your target audience!

If you are a woman-owned service-based business, Seaside Digital Design and Marketing LLC is happy to help you craft a social media and community engagement plan as part of your digital brand design. Schedule a free 15-minute connection call HERE.