#protip: Create a Flowchart For Responding to Comments On Company Pages

When you’re the point person for your company’s social media efforts, and there are a lot of pages to be managed, one thing you will need is a post-response flowchart to guide how employees should respond to posts and comments.

The need for a post-response tree will make itself known once the first questionable post appears on a Facebook page or Twitter feed. The knee-jerk reaction will be to delete the comment because it isn’t flattering to the company, or doesn’t promote the company’s products.

It will be tough for some stakeholders to understand and accept that this isn’t the right approach.

That is when you know that you will need a post-response tree for the company and its employees to use as a guide.

A standard post-response tree will be separated out into sentiment: Positive, negative, neutral and other.

Positive sentiment will usually require a minimal response; likely a “thank you” or some variation of that, will do the trick.

Neutral sentiment is usually in the form of a question. You should do your best to answer their question, if you are able to. And if you are not, refer them to a phone number or e-mail address of someone who can.

The “other” sentiment refers primarily to spam and unwanted advertising, which can be deleted without follow-up.

Negative sentiment is where you will need more specific response instructions. Some response categories to consider:

Is it an unhappy customer?

Is the person agitated?

Does the person have wrong information?

Does the person use offensive language?

Of these four comment types, the only one that warrants immediate deletion without follow-up is if the person uses offensive language, or posts a personal attack on someone at the company.

In all other instances, there is an appropriate response, whether it’s apologizing and offering to correct a problem, to apologizing and clarifying any wrong information someone might have.

While every company’s response tree will be different, every company should have one. If you don’t have one yet, the need for one will present itself sooner or later.

Image credit: James Hupp/flickr