Social Media Sensitivity Training, or How To Handle Negativity On Social Media
Jordan Peterson is a psychologist and popular media personality who was recently ordered to complete something called, social media sensitivity training, at the risk of losing his license. You can read about the specifics of his case, but in this article we're only going to get into what social media sensitivity training would cover about handling negativity on social media.
So let's save you some guess work!
A PR Coach by the name of Jeff Domansky wrote a great piece years ago which comes to mind, and the big take away is that social media has created a sense of information and content overload in society. And as a result, a more hypersensitivite society.
If you're a business owner though, you can't afford to let your emotions get the best of you. So the crux of social media sensitivity training is the sensitivity part. Knowing how to navigate your emotions and manage how you interact with people there.
Here are the basics that would be covered in social media sensitivity training, when it comes to handling negative social media interactions.
Basic Rules For Handling Negative Social Media Interactions
- Don’t take it personal.
- Step away. Breathe.
- Always remain professional.
- Report attacks.
- Ensure your social media policy covers how to handle negativity on social media.
- If you have a lawyer in-house, have them review it to ensure you are in line with first amendment rights.
- Ask yourself the following:
- Is the person commenting in good faith?
- Are they open to a productive conversation?
- Are they purposefully trying to get a reaction?
- If you can't think of a way to respond, not responding is sometimes the best thing you can do.
The best advice we can give you when it comes to letting something go (especially when it's something negative) is ask yourself, "What else requires my attention?" Focus on what you do best, and don't give so much power to what people online are doing. Social media is just one aspect of marketing, not the be all end all.
Things To Remember For Handling Negativity
1. Prepare your workplace, office, business and/or institution by training staff to:
- Recognize Signs Of A Social Media Attack.
- How To Respond To Negativity.
- Estimate When To Notify Leadership.
- Create A Social Media Policy (What You Need to Know Before Drafting a Social Media Policy - Geoffresh)
2. Staff responsible for monitoring social media accounts should be trained to look for the following:
- A spike in or higher than usual volume of negative comments.
- Unusually rude or mean comments from new accounts.
- Negative comments from suspicious, anonymous, or bot-like accounts.
3. When in doubt, ask for advice.
- Consult with a PR or Marketing professional.
- And/or consult with a legal professional who knows internet law.
And if all of this sounds like too much, and you really want to eliminate the possibility of negativity, you can turn off the comments feature on Facebook at least. After all, no one (not even a government page) is obligated to take public comments.
But in turning off comments and you are also turning off other possibilites. Like increasing the success of your business, interacting with customers or clients and learning from them, making it more likely for people to remember you and act upon the information you share.
Leaving yourself open to the positive outweighs the risk of negative interactions any day.
You got this!
And if you're looking for assistance, contact us here at Geoffresh.
A relevant article of ours you may wish to read: How To Respond To Negative Reviews On Google And Other Online Platforms