So, someone's using your event hashtag to complain?

Things can go wrong at even the most carefully planned event, and some people are just looking for an opportunity to vent their frustration online. A strong social media strategy will allow you to respond to them in a thoughtful way. Read on for tips on how to deal with negative comments on social media.

6 Tips for Social Media

1.    Monitor for mentions.
Use a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to monitor mentions of your event. Most will let you see when your event is mentioned even if it’s not an @ mention or a hashtag. Not only will listening give you a chance to respond, it also gives you the opportunity to see patterns and fix problems before they get out of hand
2.    Have a plan.
Develop standards about when to respond. If someone mentions your event without tagging it, do you respond to them? If someone is specifically tagging you or using your hashtag, you can assume they wanted you to see it. In that case, you should respond to each legitimate complaint. You can also craft some boilerplate text ahead of your event if there are problems you think you can anticipate – long lines, for example.
3.    Be forthcoming if you make a mistake.
Nobody’s perfect and mistakes happen. People won’t hesitate to let you know when something has gone wrong—sometimes loudly. But if you can own up to your mistake, you’ll earn respect for being transparent.
4.    Stay above the fray.
You poured your heart and soul into your event, so hearing someone being negative about it hurts. The most important thing is to remain calm and collected. Don’t respond in kind if the complainer is being sarcastic or unreasonable. Be sincere, compassionate, and polite.
5.    Don’t feed the troll.
Unfortunately, there are people on social media who try to stir up trouble just for trouble’s sake. Carefully consider if something is a legitimate comment or if it’s someone trying to cause trouble. If they’re being a troll, feel free to hide or delete the comment. And if it keeps happening, it’s perfectly acceptable to block them from commenting on your page.
6.    Keep it online.
Ask people to direct message you if they have contacted you about a legitimate problem through social media. This makes them feel like you respect and value their time by not passing them off to someone else. Most people who post negative comments online aren’t doing it to be overly cruel or difficult. They’re just used to communicating that way. If you handle something well, those same people are likely to post about it and sing your praises.