Have you ever discovered a mention of your business on social media and thought, “How should I respond to that?”

If the post is negative, you may be especially anxious to answer that question. Should you delete negative comments, respond with a counter-argument, or ignore them altogether?

The following flow chart offers a helpful way to evaluate social media posts, and provides a response strategy for each. Remember, what goes online stays online, and your response to posts on social media should positively reflect the mission and values of your small business. Before you respond to any negative post, use this flow chart as a quick reference to help cooler heads prevail.

Listen to Peter and Jonathan discuss the social media flowchart on the sixth episode of The Bcast, Bplan’s official podcast (at 21:43):
Click here to subscribe to The Bcast on iTunes »

Note: there are a lot of variations of these kinds of charts online. When creating this flow chart, I used a personal internal document, and had direct inspirations for the framework and content from two sources, the Air Force Blog Assessment, and the Social Media Crisis Decision Tree.

Social Media Response Flow Chart

Do you have an example of how you appropriately responded to a negative post? Tell me about it by posting a comment below!

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Jonathan Michael
Jonathan Michael

Jonathan is the Engagement Marketing Manager for Palo Alto Software, and has spent the last 9 years developing and implementing digital marketing strategies. During that time, he has learned that empathy and authenticity are strengths by which companies can effectively engage with individuals at every point throughout the customer journey.