Do you have a lot of negative talk about your town on Facebook? Yeah, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of that going around.
Something about being online makes it too easy to complain. People say things they would never (or should never) say face to face. And that gives a hint of the best way to deal with it: get people face to face more often.
The more you bring people together in person, the more chances they have to talk. Community happens when people talk to each other. And how they talk to each other determines the kind of community you’ll become.
What about answering the negative comments? That’s a poor place to invest your time and energy. Most of the serial complainers are not your target market. They’re never going to be positive, so it’s best for you to keep your attention on the people who are willing and excited by positivity.
There’s a second hint in the Facebook problem for us. The setting matters. Just like people will be nastier in an impersonal online forum, they’ll be more negative and inflexible if they’re in a formal meeting room. The more often you can get people out of the room and into the outdoors, the more likely you’ll hear constructive conversations.
Get people together in person outside the meeting room. That’s the best answer to the ongoing online negativity.
Keep shaping the future of your town,
PS – If you’d like more practical advice, check out our video on Dealing with Negativity and Opposition