Social Media Community Management Dos and Don’ts

You’ve just gotten the hang of posting to social media — a couple of company updates and pictures later— and suddenly, people are commenting on your posts! How quickly should you respond, and what should you say? Keep reading and we’ll walk you through the do’s and don’ts of interacting with your audience on social media.

The Dos:

  • Do set guidelines: Guidelines tell your audience how they can engage on your page, encourages engagement and can help prevent conflict. We recommend starting by prohibiting hate speech, harassment and spam on your page, although you can add guidelines as you see fit. You can also inform your audience how deleting comments and blocking members will be handled. After you write out your guidelines, post them on your Facebook profile’s “about” page so your audience can refer to them.

  • Do have a list of anticipated questions and answers, especially in the event of a crisis: Before or shortly after you launch your channels, try to come up with a list of FAQs or grievances that you expect you will receive, as well as appropriate “template” responses for each. If multiple people from your team are responsible for community management, this ensures that all responses share the same brand voice and answers, no matter who responds. This is particularly crucial in the event of a crisis, so you can respond quickly and with uniform messaging even to difficult subject matter.

  • Do start the conversation: If your channels are quiet, why not start the conversation? Try adding a call to action to a couple posts. Polls on Facebook and Instagram are a great way to foster audience participation and get responses from even the shyest audience members!

The Don’ts:

  • Don’t ignore negative comments or criticism: Consumers comment when they want to feel heard. Be sure you are acknowledging them by responding to every comment. Yes, even the negative ones. Start by apologizing, and letting them know that you’ll look into their problem. This not only builds a rapport with that individual, but also with others that happen to see the exchange.

  • But don’t respond to everything: Negative comments are not the same as blatantly offensive comments. Do not respond to comments that intentionally violate your community guidelines, as this simply stirs the pot and may foster additional hate. If the comments are extremely offensive, you should delete them and/or block the member, but remember this generally only happens in extreme circumstances.

  • Don’t be slow to respond: Quick replies aren’t just nice, but it turns out that 42% of consumers expect a response in about an hour. Sometimes, this is easy, but other times, responses require a little more work on your end. But don’t panic! This is where that list of anticipated questions and answers comes in. If a commenter has a tricky question or specific grievance, be sure to quickly let them know you are working on the problem and will get back to them. Many times, acknowledging a commenter and ensuring that they feel heard is the most important.


Community management is a little different for every brand, but following the tips above can help simplify the process if you are just getting started engaging on social media. Remember, if you get stuck, community management is all about authenticity, so stay true to yourself and your brand voice and give us call if you have any questions along the way.

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