A few years ago, the US Air Force created the Air Force Web Posting Response Assessment (PDF), a flow chart that takes their Public Affairs Agency and other agencies involved in web publishing and social media through a step-by-step evaluation of how to respond to comments and interactivity on social media sites.
- The discovery of the post.
- Decide to respond or not, or monitor.
- Review the comment code for spam, emotional context, appropriateness, customer service, and facts. Respond appropriately by monitoring, fixing the facts, deleting, or finding a solution.
- Choose to agree, disagree, or acknowledge.
- Choose to share the success of the conversation or not.
The “Response Considerations” are very helpful to everyone in planning your response strategies.
- Transparency: Disclose your affiliations and connections to employers, expertise, or other policies or responsibilities that may or may not influence your response or the acceptance of your response.
- Sourcing: Cite and qualify sources in your response to support and defend your position if necessary.
- Timeliness: “Take time to create good responses. Don’t rush.” Couldn’t say it better. Not every comment requires an immediate response.
- Tone: The written word doesn’t always speak well for us. The Air Force states that the tone should reflect positively on the “rich heritage of the Air Force.” Make your response represent your own personal integrity and reputation.
- Influence: They recommend focusing on sites and policies of the Air Force, but you think about what and how things influence your response. Are you in a good mood, bad mood, biased, prejudice, or influenced by anything in your response? If so, explain what influences you towards your specific response, if necessary, but consider what might be influencing how you respond and check anything that might make your response be a little off target or a little too much on target.
Your Blog Exercise is to create your own flow chart in how you would respond to comments and social media interaction. Make it specific to your site and your needs.
What type of comment will trigger what reaction? Measure out the information so you have a clear self-policing policy when you respond to comments.
Some bloggers thrive on negative comments and interactions. You still need a plan to keep you on track as you walk a finer line between aggressive and defamation and libel.
If you have contributors to your site or multiple administrators, this type of flow chart is critical for them, keeping everyone on the same game board playing fairly.
The following are additional blog exercises to help you with comments, social media, and interactivity.
- Blog Exercises: What Do You Do?
- Blog Exercises: Define Your Target Audience
- Blog Exercises: Polls and Surveys
- Blog Exercises: Comments and The Blog Bullies
- Blog Exercises: Backlinks
- Blog Exercises: Trackbacks
Remember to include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.