How Should We Respond? CoSN Social Media Decision Tree Paves the Way

Preparedness is a familiar concept to our members and readers. District leaders, business officials and educators work tirelessly to make sure their organization is prepared for whatever is thrown at them. Plans, procedures and protocol are documented in binders, Google Docs and everywhere in between. But what happens when social media comments or posts start to accumulate? 

In this third installment of our four-part blog series, we will equip you and your team with a tool to guide your organization through social media comments and posts to ensure appropriate and value-add responses for your audience.

The CoSN Social Media Decision Tree is a simple, yet comprehensive road map to help you determine the best way to respond to a post or comment on your social channels. This decision tree will be advantageous in the event of a crisis situation, and for daily engagement too.

The Decision Tree was developed to quickly determine the type of individual posting, his or her intent, the sentiment, and how to best to respond.

Using this tool within your communication strategy creates a standard process for your social channels so responses are handled in a consistent, and ideal manner, regardless of who is managing the channels.

Within the decision tree, you will be ready to encounter trolls. A social media troll posts deliberately provocative messages to cause disruption or argument. As a rule of thumb, do not engage with trolls. As a Troll’s comments are usually profane or offensive, remove them without a second thought.

In the same vein, another character to consider in the decision tree is the glory hound, someone who posts satirical humor or intending to gain popularity, fame or praise. A glory hound may not be as aggressive or negative as a troll, but, you should avoid engaging with them.

With every post or comment, you can use the CoSN Social Media Decision Tree to determine how best to respond to meet your audience’s expectations. This is particularly helpful in escalated situations as emotions and stress may impact your response. By using the Decision Tree, you will be able to respond to followers consistently and methodically to limit dissatisfaction and further escalation.

You can view and download the full Decision Tree by clicking here. We welcome your feedback or suggestions.

The final post in our series will take a look at some examples of shortcomings as well as successes in crisis communication on social media. Our goal is to leave you more prepared and informed about handling your social channels to best serve your followers.