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Facebook Community Management

We’ve noticed lots of comments and questions popping up lately concerning community management on Facebook pages. Even this week the Northampton police Facebook page was highlighted in the media as it struggled to cope with the negative fan engagement. It proves that a lot of company pages are still unsure as to how to respond to their fans on Facebook when they get inundated with responses. We often get asked, how do I respond to an offensive post? Do I delete it? Should I ban the person who posted it? What do I do when my customers start complaining on my wall?

All very good questions indeed, more and more companies are starting to ask these questions as their company Facebook pages gain an online social presence. Quite often it has to be said, Facebook pages run very smoothly indeed without even having to worry about these issues nevertheless when a situation arises it’s highly important to have a plan in place.

More specifically, a response map is the ideal way to manage your Facebook company page. By implementing this even before you start your page you at least have a clear idea of how to respond to fans. Furthermore, it also means you’ve had a chance to think about all the possible issues and problems that could arise and how to act accordingly. It puts you in a much better place than if you’ve never even sat down and had a think about how to react when complaints or issues come in.

Here’s a map that we’ve used to help divide up different issues and how to address them:


The key element here is to separate the different types of issues and this will help you simplify the response process.

First ask yourself, is the post a query? Feedback?  Or criticism? Next try to establish what the query or feedback relates to – is it related to a promotion? A product or service? Perhaps it relates to recent press coverage or it may even be a simple misunderstanding. The next step is to react, do you direct them to a customer service agent, a client or press department. Think about whether you need to record the complaint details.

Community Management FAQ’s

I have a customer complaint on my wall, what do I do? – Act like you would if a customer called asking for customer service.  Make sure you are courteous in your reply and deliver an unbiased response.  This demonstrates to your online fan base that you put the customer first and that you are willing to deal with customer issues in an honest manner. By acting quickly and correctly you’re likely to receive a positive feedback from the customer.

I am worried about one negative post causing a whole stream of negative feedback. How can I ensure that this doesn’t happen? – Clearly act on the post in question and let the customer and your fans know it’s being dealt with in a concise manner. Once the issue has been settled an explanation can be posted as to the misunderstanding so that the issue doesn’t occur again in the future.

What do I do after 5pm when my social media monitoring team goes home? – There’s no need to worry, many fans understand that your offices are no longer open so long as you clearly state to them when you’re actively responding to their messages. There are two ways of doing this – add your opening hours in your basic company information and it should appear in your header at the top left like so:



Another popular way of informing fans of your Facebook monitoring hours is to include a  ‘House Rules’ tab which states the code of conduct online fans should adhere to whilst using your social company profile. Not only does this provide a guide to fans but it also holds as policy that you can refer fans back to whenever issues arise outside of company hours.

Should I respond to everything, bad or good? – Ideally you should try to get in touch with the majority of comments that come your way as it portrays your business as a company which values consumer feedback.  Nevertheless, reward or thank truly genuine efforts of kindness from fans and quickly respond to negative feedback if you see a problem arising. Once you get to know your fans, you’ll quickly realise what types of comments require your undivided attention.  

How quickly should I respond to a crisis? – The amount of time it takes for you to respond is important, take too long and your fans could get disappointed and even frustrated at your lack of feedback & customer service. Act too quickly and you might not have thought about the issue with a clear head, reacting by impulse. It might be worth writing down a clear set of time goals in which you expect to respond to customer queries. Be rational and reasonable, question why the issue has come up and aim to sort out the issue before it escalates.


If you incorporate some of these strategies then you'll be in good shape to ensure that your social media reputation management is well prepared in all possible scenarios.