No one wants to join a Facebook page and feel like they're not heard or appreciated. It's important to make your supporters feel like they're a valued part of your community... because they are!

A great place to start is in the comments section of your posts. That's where a lot of your community dialog will happen.

So how do you keep up with all that... without constantly checking back, scrolling, and searching? Don't worry. We've made it easy, right there in your ActionSprout tool.

Step 1: Turn on Comments Inbox

Log into your ActionSprout account and enable the Comments Inbox feature under the Comments tab. 

All it takes is one click. Now you can see all of your Facebook comments right there in your new Comments Inbox!

For more info on this feature, check out our introduction guide.

Step 2: Write Your Community Guidelines

If you truly want to build an engaged and self-sustaining community, you're going to need to establish some ground rules. It's not that hard, and the results are well worth taking the time.

Just let your supporters know what you want to see on the page, as well as what you don’t. Describe your hopes for your page and the community that it's building. Paint an image of the ideal state that you'd like everyone to strive for.

Don't know where to start? This guide will walk you through it, step by step. 

Step 3: Publish Your Community Guidelines

Once you've written your guidelines, it's time to make them public. Just plug your comment policy into the About section of your page as a Note, like this:

Step 4: Start Replying To and Liking Comments 

You want your Facebook page to feel like a vibrant, engaged community that really wants its supporters to be involved. Responding to comments is one of the most powerful ways you can just that.

Remember, Facebook is not a broadcast communication channel. It’s is a social network. The network is you and your supporters. The social part is often experienced right there in the comments stream.

But don’t feel like you have to respond to every single comment. (You can be active and attentive without hovering.) A good place to start is simply “Liking” all positive and productive posts. And when you do respond, feel free to keep it simple. It's the acknowledgement that counts.

Step 5: Hide Detrimental Comments and Contributors

Negative comments on a post can strongly influence others to leave negative comments as well. Therefore, the more negative comments you receive, the worse this problem will get. This can quickly snowball out of control! 

If you can help it, don't let commenting strings get to this point. Instead, try to remove negative comments that add nothing to the conversation as quickly as possible. We suggest hiding the comment if it isn't too bad and deleting ones that really cross the line. 

Hiding a comment means the person who left it, and their Facebook friends, can still see the comment, but no body else can. The commenter is never notified that their comment was hidden, nor will there be any indication on the post itself. 

On the other hand, deleting a comment removes it for everyone, including the person who wrote it. They may or may not notice that their comment has been deleted. 

If it's already gone too far, and things have really gotten out of hand, you may need to start banning negative folks from your Facebook page. According to Facebook:

"When you ban someone from your Page, they'll still be able to share content from your Page to other places on Facebook, but they'll no longer be able to publish to your Page, like or comment on your Page's posts, message your Page, or like your Page."

Step 6: Recognize Trolls and Know How to Deal With Them

Unfortunately, trolls, bullies, and generally rude people just come with the territory of Facebook. Therefore, it's wise to understand who these people are and how they operate. The PBS Idea channel has a great 12-minute introductory video on the subject. Once you get the basics, take your anti-troll strategy to the next level with this study summary from Stanford and Cornell University. 

Still have questions? Have your own tips? Want to share a success story about these strategies? Drop us a line at info@actionsprout.com. We'd love to hear from you!


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