Hey lovely people, it’s Georgie here, the resident LWT Marketing gal!
In keeping with the theme of boundaries this month, we’re going to chat about how to set you and your business up for holding your own when dealing with people who give you a hard time online, especially on social media.
There are guiding principles set by social media platforms that you must abide by when using them, but so often people feel they can do what they want. We’re talking about trolls, you may have encountered them personally or through your business social media accounts. Classic identifiers are, calling names, ignoring the real facts, and they can be condescending, putting you or others down in public facing comments and reviews or even through direct messages.
Well at Ladies With Tradies we’re not here for this kind of behaviour and we’d like to support you in navigating this tricky area of community management. We actually have a name for these trolling kinds of folk, we like to call them Keyboard Warriors - they take advantage of a keyboard and cause havoc because they don’t have to face the music of in person confrontation. We’ll be referring to them throughout this blog as KBW’s.
The one temptation we all have with KBW’s is that even though there’s a screen between you and them, it doesn’t automatically give you the green light to reciprocate bad behaviour.
Know your values and stay true to them rather than adding fuel to their fire, because that’s what they want!
So, how do we gracefully put up some boundaries between us and them?
Take a read through our top 5 tips to navigate KBW’s on social media:
1. Write a set of ground rules for your business’s social media pages.
Even though there are principles one must follow on social media platforms, KBW’s often take no notice and that’s why it’s important to know and document what your personal and business’s rules and thresholds are when it comes to behaviour on social media. Some platforms, like Facebook even have a section that allows you to upload a set of guidelines, it can be found in the about section of your business page. This enables you to call people out when they are not adhering to them, so that you can create a community built on good values and with the right kind of people in it. These rules will stand you in good stead to know what your limits are when you have to block people, which leads us onto the next point.
2. When someone has gone too far, over and above your rules, it’s not worth entertaining it…don’t respond.
They may have got personal or unnecessarily offensive for no reason and the best thing to do in this situation is to delete the comment, message or review and then block them from posting on your page. Knowing your limits with this is going to enable you to have a line in the sand and when someone crosses it, don’t stand for it, cancel them.
3. If it’s a type of engagement that is worth managing, then Kill them with kindness!
Generally speaking, KBW’s are looking for a fight and so it makes it harder for them to respond to your lovely comment or message with one of hate. Having this approach can sometimes build a connection with the person that is behaving badly, potentially even defusing the whole situation.
One way to master this is to write out some standard responses to document and keep for moments when you need them. Keep these responses short and sweet and ensure they direct the management of the issue offline, to deal with the issue in person where people can be open and honest, so that in a heated flurry you don’t just revert to a defensive stance. Or in direct message, the last thing you want is a screaming match for everyone to see plastered on your account.
For example, if someone writes you a poor review, over exaggerating that you did a really crap job of fixing their toilet, when you know you did the best you could with the setup of their house. You could respond justifying yourself or you could in fact simply say:
“Thank you for your feedback, we really appreciate it and we’d like to chat about a solution for you, we’ll give you a call”
Stepping away from the computer for a minute to breathe often allows you to collect yourself before responding too.
4. Turn on the Facebook Profanity Filter.
This is a must, it’s just like Facebook’s own little gatekeeper, and they determine what terms to block by using the most commonly reported words and phrases marked offensive by the wider community. So when someone comments something offensive on your page, that comment will more than likely be hidden by Facebook, if deemed suspicious.
A hidden post/comment on Facebook will only be visible by the person who has posted it, their friends and the owner of the page.
Here’s how to do it:
- Go to your Page and click Settings at the top.
- From General, click Profanity Filter.
- Next to Profanity Filter, click the box to turn the setting on or off.
- Click Save.
5. Add in a list of words or terms to moderate in the back end of your Facebook page.
Just in case you didn’t know this existed, it’s a game changer! Upload a list (and it can be quite comical writing out the naughty list of forbidden words!) of words that you would like Facebook to moderate and if anyone writes that word in a comment or a review it will automatically be hidden.
Here’s how to do it:
- Click Settings at the top of your Page.
- Click Page Moderation.
- Upload a list or type the words you want to block, separated by commas. You'll need to add both the singular and plural forms of the word you want to block.
- Click Save Changes.
We hope this helps! And please get in touch if you’re needing a bit more help in this area - we’re always here to support you through your online and offline business battles!