When Social Media Goes Sour

Friends and colleagues in CCPRO have had lively discussions since the start of fall semesters about what to do when social media goes sour. Disgruntled student? Financial aid woes? Construction in budget crises? Parking? Parking? Parking? We all seem to have differing methods of dealing with sour grapes on our social media pages, strategies determined by institutional policy and communication mindset.

Responses and posts on our social media pages can be some of the most rewarding aspects of the work colleges are doing on social media. It cannot be denied that college social media coordinators breathe a sigh of relief when the post is about a happy student getting the classes they need or students responding to one another when someone complains. It can be the little things which make a tough social media day better.

But the sour social media can be damaging and devastating and leave you wondering why the hell you are doing this. Social media offers anonymity to the poster. They can pop in, blow up a situation, and leave. Simple as that. So what do you do when that happens? The Bianchi Biz Blog gave some tips on responding to negative social media feedback in a recent blog post.

Perhaps the most salient point of Bianchi’s blog is to avoid responding to trolls. We all have them, but sometimes it can be a challenge to stay quiet, especially when they are putting their (typically wrong or misguided) ideas out there for everyone to see. A couple of colleges have mentioned an interesting strategy for dealing with trolls and sour grapes. They wait before responding to see if other students will take up the cause. It seems many times, students do take the initiative to respond to inaccuracies or negativity.

Take a look at Bianchi’s Biz Blog. Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with negative social media feedback you can add?

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One Response to When Social Media Goes Sour

  1. Scott Crow says:

    Good post! Timely, too, as I noticed a thread on the PIO listserv about this very topic today. The linked blog has some solid practices. The hardest part is when a post doesn’t fall into a neat category (jerk, clueless, whiner, etc.). That requires more work in responding. But it can be worth it, especially if the poster is sincerely interested in engagement.