No one likes a bully – so block them!

Some people just like to pick a fight.

What do you do when someone picks a fight with your credit union on social media? Or maybe they are baiting you to engage with them? What do you do? Ignore them? Engage with them? Call them out about how they are wrong? The answers are a mixed bag.

In the past month, I’ve noticed a significant uptick in people getting pissy with credit unions and those in the CU industry. The first thing you have to ask is, “Why is this person ‘attacking’ me on social media?” Once you understand that, then you can take the appropriate action.

The motives for people venting/complaining/coming after you on social media tend to fall into a few areas. And here are some proven ways to help out:

  1. They have a legitimate member complaint: typically people who post a complaint to your credit union’s Facebook (or any other platform) just want to have their problem solved. This should be handled as quickly as possible. Let them know that you read the post and that you’re working on an answer. This will buy you some time and it will give your member some satisfaction that they are being heard. After that initial post, the clock is ticking. So try to have a solid answer to their complaint within 24 hours and post your response publically. Most of the time this will work and resolve any issues your member might have.
  2. They want the world to know their problems: the venting member, who posts to your social media profile, doesn’t want an answer. They just want to know that you are hearing them. There’s really only one response to give, “We appreciate you letting us know about your concerns. We are always looking to improve and we will take this to our team and discuss how we can make our credit union experience for you and others better.” Again, most of the time, that’s all you need to do.
  3. They have a chip on their shoulder: There are people (you probably have relatives like this) who just cannot be pleased no matter how much good you’re doing for the community, for your members and even how noble the CU message might be. Some people just love to hate and love to bait people into their misery and into a conversation that’s not “winnable.” These people cannot be “won over” or “reasoned with” as you would with your typical member. And a lot of times, these people aren’t even members, but people looking to start a fight or just get under your skin so you’ll engage with them.

I’m giving this last category more space because it’s the hardest one to deal with, plan for and react to. The first rule of anyone complaining or raising a question on your social media platforms is to respond quickly with a minimum generic response of “Thank you for reaching out to us.” That way you are on record publically (or at least with those who see your feed) that you’re responsive and polite. After that, when the complaining and baiting continue, direct them to a customer service email and explain that “We have a member service email set up for member complaints and issues. Please send all of your questions and comments to this email. Thank you.” To be honest, it probably won’t work. But it’s a good thing to put out there publically because you ARE a credit union with a good and socially-responsible brand.

If this last step doesn’t work and the person continues to post complaints or off-topic issues to engage you in a conversation that won’t benefit anyone – BLOCK THEM! The blocking tool is seriously one of my favorite things and more brands should take advantage of it. Why? Because, you’re on social media to engage with members and the public to hopefully have healthy conversations and to provide value to your digital audience. Some people just don’t want that and only want to cause problems because, unfortunately, there are some a**holes in the world.

So, keep pushing through the negativity with your positive and truthful CU message on your social media profiles. The negativity and trolls will quiet down once they see that they’re getting nothing from you to feed their need to be bullies.

Michael Ogden

Michael Ogden

Michael has been in the social media business for more than a decade inside the credit union, technology, financial and food industries. He’s the founder of For3, LLC, which ... Web: Details