When I speak with nonprofits about their biggest fear in using social media, most say to me that they are scared of negative feedback.
Many nonprofits seem to think that all the wack jobs, former staff members and disgruntled clients will come out of the woodwork and vent on their Facebook Walls, tweet bad things about them and write nasty comments on their blog.
The thing is – these types of people are already talking about your organization, whether or not your nonprofit is “officially” using social media.
How can you stop being scared of negativity? I have a few pieces of advice.
1) Jump right in. Get in the conversation. Start using the tools to see what is being said, positive or negative, about your organization. In my experience, the majority of nonprofits never experience negativity on their Facebook walls and Twitter feeds.
2) Embrace the haters. If you are working towards a mission that is controversial and political, such as marriage equality or abortion rights, expect the nay-sayers to comment. Be prepared for their vitriol and their attacks, and respond in an educated way – school them with facts and kill them with kindness. Works every time.
3) Seize the opportunity to shine. Use any negative feedback or comments that you get as an opportunity to respond in an eloquent way. Show the world how you respond to criticism – it speaks volumes about your organization’s culture and character. (In other words, don’t respond like these people.)
4) Learn. Use comments and feedback gathered from social media as a way to improve your services and programs.
Conversations, discussions and debates around your cause and your mission are happening online right now.
Your constituents, donors and supporters are involved in these conversations, whether or not you are there participating.
You need to think about how your organization can insert itself in a way that helps move the needle forward.
Has your nonprofit experienced negativity on the interwebs? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!