Episode 44

Published on:

8th Feb 2023

Should You Delete Bad Social Media Comments?

I don't know if you know this, but sometimes people aren't nice on the internet. Mind-blowing, right? So what do you, as a podcaster, do when someone leaves a really bad comment?

Dealing with Negative Social Comments

How handle negative comments on social media as a podcaster:

  1. Stay active: Regularly monitor your social media pages; your Slack, Discord, subreddit, or Patreon comments; and other forums and respond promptly to inappropriate comments.
  2. Have a policy: Establish clear guidelines for appropriate and inappropriate comments, and use them as a reference for moderation.
  3. Handle criticism professionally: Don't delete comments that are critical to you or your show, but instead address them in a polite and professional manner.
  4. Remove offensive comments: Delete comments that are racist, homophobic, bullying, or otherwise offensive to your listeners.
  5. Don't allow political comments: Unless you have a political podcast, delete comments that are overly political, contain misinformation, or are meant to be inflammatory. Ban repeat offenders.
  6. Eliminate spam: Delete spam comments as they make it appear that you don't pay attention to your page.
  7. Avoid commenting about deleted comments: Unless the community is actively talking about it, don't make a big deal about it when you delete a comment as it may attract more trolls and bullying. Besides, most trolls love the attention.

To Delete Or Not To Delete

Here's my general rule of thumb:

  • If you're deleting a comment for YOU - don't delete it.
  • If you're deleting a comment for YOUR COMMUNITY - delete it.

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Fuzz Martin 0:00

Good Morning. Podcasters What do you do when a social media post goes south? Or the trolls come out to play?

Fuzz Martin 0:10

Hello, and thank you for listening to Good Morning Podcasters I'm your host Fuzz Martin and every Monday, Wednesday announced Thursday, I bring you actionable advice, news ideas, and other stuff you can use for marketing your podcasts. Today we're going to talk about social media comments, particularly what to do when things get out of hand. This advice is relevant to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but also applies if you have negative comments flowing on your discord, your Slack channel, your subreddit, your Patreon. What I'm about to talk about, however, does not relate to reviews or ratings on podcast platforms. That's a different topic for a different time, requiring a different set of skills.

Fuzz Martin 0:56

This topic is coming up for me because my agency recently started getting some really inappropriate comments on one of our Facebook posts. Our social team had sponsored a post linking to a blog post about how AI is not going to take your job, but it is going to change how you do your job. It's a good article. Well, some trolls in our newly reached audience had some thoughts. And some of those thoughts turned into invoking the name of a genocidal Austrian dictator. It's really nice to get an emergency call from an employee on a Sunday morning about a social media comment, but our social team knew what to do. They stepped in and they sorted it out right away.

Fuzz Martin 1:37

So what should you do when you're getting troll ish or offensive comments? First, I will say that it all depends on your brand as a podcaster, you're the owner of your community, you may have more leeway than some brands and big brands or companies, you have a personality on the air and you can respond in whatever way is appropriate for you and your brand, or whatever you want your brand to be. However, maybe your brand is more buttoned up and professional, or maybe you're a celebrity or you work for a celebrity, and reputation management is important. Or maybe you simply don't have time for this shit.

Fuzz Martin 2:12

So here is what I would suggest. Number one, you got to stay on top of things. You need to be actively involved in your social media pages or forums or whatever communities you have to make sure that you're able to identify and respond to inappropriate comments as soon as you can.

Fuzz Martin 2:30

Number two, I recommend creating a policy you need a policy on what is appropriate or inappropriate for your page. If you're on a platform where you can actually list out the rules like a Facebook group, a Slack, Reddit discord, you can easily point to it when you make a decision. And some places like Facebook groups even allow you to make the user look at the rules and agree to them before joining the group. Even if you are on a platform like Instagram that doesn't have an option for setting the rules for your page, you can still have a policy for yourself, that you use personally to determine what common stay and who gets the ban hammer.

Fuzz Martin 3:07

Number three, don't fool yourself being in the public sometimes means people aren't going to love you. As my mentor, Mike Elliot, may he rest in peace used to tell me if everyone loves you, you're vanilla, and nobody remembers vanilla. At some point you're gonna get messages from people who don't like what you're creating. So don't go deleting comments just because somebody criticized you. made you feel bad or insulted your work that's going to happen. When it does happen, your real fans are likely to defend you. And if you start deleting negative comments, people might accuse you of censorship, cherry picking, or even just think you're inauthentic. And that might be the worst insult of all. If you do address criticism, do it in a professional and polite manner, free from personal attacks or negative language. And my caveat to all that is the old internet adage don't feed the trolls or as Mike used to say, if you get in a pissing match with the skunk, you smell bad and the skunk wins.

Fuzz Martin 4:07

Do however, delete comments that are racist, homophobic, or otherwise offensive to your listeners or a group of humans. If you leave that post up or don't address it, you're setting yourself up to look like you endorse it. And this all brings me back like Brian McKnight would say back at one actively monitor your social channels.

Fuzz Martin 4:30

And if you see something, address it so that was number four number five, unless you're a political podcast, overly political comments, blatant misinformation, comments meant to be inflammatory. Those should be deleted and repeat offenders should be banned. And of course number six have a comment is spam. Just get it out of there. If you leave it it looks like you're not paying attention to your page. And it makes the experience for your community members poor Am I final point number seven here.

Fuzz Martin 5:02

Another good rule of thumb is to not comment about deleting a comment. Unless the community is actively talking about that comment. Or talking about the commenter. When you address it publicly, when you bring it to light, you're generally opening yourself up to more trolls, more bad comments, more bad vibes. And if you didn't ban that commenter, or or user, sometimes it turns into bullying against that person. And you don't want to start a flame war.

Fuzz Martin 5:32

I get brands and people all the time who asked me if it's okay to delete comments. And to recap, it is as long as you're not deleting it to make you look better, or to drown out different viewpoints. But it is totally okay to delete a comment if it's racist, homophobic, and appropriately political. If it's blatant information, or if it's downright spam. You don't need to be a hostage to trolls. But you also do need to protect your authenticity. And the rule of thumb for me is, if you're deleting it for you, don't delete it. If you're deleting it for your community, or a community of people. Do it. Delete it, drop the hammer.

Fuzz Martin 6:17

That'll do it for today's episode of Good Morning Podcasters. You can find all of the episodes of GMP at goodmorningpod.com. Also, be sure to follow the show on your favorite podcast player. Okay, click the Follow button. Appreciate that. As I mentioned on Mondays show, new episodes are now on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays so you can catch another episode tomorrow morning. Right here on Good Morning Podcasters

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About the Podcast

Good Morning Podcasters!
Marketing, Advertising, PR and Social Media Tips for Podcasters
Good Morning Podcasters explores marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media topics as they relate to podcasting and content creation. The show is hosted by Fuzz Martin—an agency owner and former broadcaster. The show is published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with regular bonus episodes of "Podcasting Sucks!" with co-host Jeff Townsend on Saturday mornings.

About your host

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Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.