The good community managers can maintain professional communications when faced with the most belligerent trolls on the internet without letting themselves be goaded into unprofessional behavior. As a community manager, you are often the face of your company to the outside world and everything you do in the community reflects on the organization that you represent. If your interactions are unprofessional, the company looks unprofessional, not just in front of current and potential customers, but also potentially the media and industry analysts. Staying professional at all times can be harder than it sounds, especially when someone catches you on a really bad day or when you are being bombarded by negative comments. The Earth Class Mail example in the image below provides an example of what can go wrong.
Here are a few tips to help you stay professional.
- Don’t be afraid to wait and see if other community members chime in with a positive response. A post coming from the organization might sound defensive when the same information would be seen more positively coming from a neutral third party.
- Don’t post angry. If you start to feel really angry, step back and stop interacting with the public until you cool off. Go for a walk or catch up on some work that can be done without talking to anyone else.
- Take a really hard look at what you plan to say. Can it be misinterpreted? Would you want to read a quote of that post on the front page of the newspaper? Would you be embarrassed if your mom or your boss read it? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, throw it away and start over.
- When members lash out at you
- Social Media Policy: Does your company need one?
- Whole Foods message board fiasco
Part of a series of community manager tips blog posts.