A successful online community is all about a positive and supportive atmosphere. With that, members and managers can be transparent, helpful, and direct about the messages they share.
The only downside is the inevitable complaining about the other guys. Some members may be so excited they found your community that they start bashing other less-supportive communities. That’s not what your community is all about.
Here are some ways to step in and squash that negativity.
1. Don’t engage anyone bad-mouthing your competitors
It’s just not good etiquette. No matter how much your followers love you and your products or services, don’t join in when they start gossiping about the brands they left behind. They chose you. Focus on encouraging phrases, happy emojis, and gratitude you can share with them instead. Keep it focused on what your brand offers, not what other brands don’t.
2. Shut down gossip and rumors
Fake news has no place in your community. Gossip and rumors feed into that hype and that doesn’t help your community grow. Show support by thanking all of your members. Then address any gossip one-on-one with the folks spreading it. Let them know you appreciate their support, but the icky rumors need to stop. They’ll appreciate your honesty and commitment to the community.
3. Include a note in your community guidelines
Clarify what you mean by “negativity” or “gossip” or “bad-mouthing” in your community guidelines. Make sure folks know it’s okay to express opinions, just not lies or destructive comments. You can direct new members to these guidelines and remind existing members to review them. Keeping everyone on the same page is a great way to keep it positive, supportive, and focused on your main message.
Contact us for more on growing a positive online social community.