As your branded community grows and flourishes with activity, you will inevitably run into some sort of conflict from within. No matter how peaceful your content and connections are, people have differing opinions and will use your platform for discussion.
Never fear! Navigating conflict can be a positive experience for your brand and your fans. Just like leading your community through targeted content, leading your members through tough feedback or disagreements starts with listening and understanding needs.
1. Put an End to Any Harassment
If the conflict is arising out of true harassment or hateful content, stop those instigating it immediately. No community is safe when one or a few members are excluding others on any basis.
2. Listen to All Parties
Communication is the most important part of your brand and your community. Make sure you’re truly opening your ears and taking notes from thoughtful members. Remember: These community members are your advocates out in the social world. How you listen and respond in these situations is public and can garner respect for your brand if done graciously.
3. Find Common Ground
We’re all human and we all want to be heard. Your brand’s needs are just as important as your clients’. However, there’s got to be some similarities between the two. Talk it over and share why you see things the way you do, what you’re doing to improve the situation, and how you’ll incorporate these new ideas in the future.
4. Turn Critique Into Constructive Feedback
No doubt, initial words are sure to be harsh and critical. Keep listening and asking questions. As your members give you more information, start asking questions that lead to a solution. Don’t simply tell them that you have it under control. Get their opinions on what a solution looks like. This way, they feel heard and you can work on a compromise that pleases all parties.
5. Stay Positive
Most importantly, you are the voice of your brand and should mediate with a smile. Each conflict is just an opportunity to learn and grow in new directions. There will certainly be more than on tense moment within your community, so learning how to handle them with grace is an essential for your brand’s success.