Is someone in charge of your nonprofit’s social media?

I get a lot of offers to purchase charity lottery tickets and, I assume, you might as well. The offers arrive via Australia Post, Email, and also social media. Last week, I checked out a lottery offer from Surf Life Saving Lotteries on Facebook. I was curious about the house on offer. I noticed seven people had commented on the post, so I also reviewed the comments on the listing.

I was horrified at what I saw.

Surf Life Savers 1 Surfe Life Savers 2

One foul comment and another negative one had been posted, and remained, online for a day. This caused me to ask: is someone in charge of social media at this particular organisation and are they watching over the accounts after hours? Does a person or team monitor your organisation’s social media regularly, even after hours? Would your team delete these sorts of comments or allow them to remain? What’s best practice, especially when foul language is used?

Social media is a fantastic channel to promote our nonprofit brands and to raise needed funds. Social media is also a means for people to offer praise or criticisms of various brands. Donors may choose to promote their support of your nonprofit organisation’s mission and others may choose to criticise your organisation for whatever reason. Every organisation needs to monitor and be responsive on social media – even during the evening or weekend hours. (To be fair, I note Surf Life Saving Australia have responded to many comments on Facebook regarding their lottery, including legitimacy questions and other comments).

If your organisation only monitors social media during daytime hours, think about the harm that might be done in the evening or the weekend if you allow comments to remain or if you fail to respond to feedback. Charities ought to create a schedule for “on call” staff who will monitor social media after hours. Frankly, these staff are likely on their own social media accounts during the evenings and weekends. Monitoring additional accounts is likely to not cut much into their personal time. Dividing the responsibility through proper scheduling will also reduce the time each person needs to spend on this out of office hour task.

There is no doubt social media has added to our workday and increased our workloads substantially. Nonetheless, in this day and age, we must incorporate a plan to be responsive to comments positive and negative. And, there are times we may want to delete offensive comments from posts such as this one.