As well as creating social media content for a channel, own posts and third-party posts need to be monitored for comments, questions and feedback. Engaging and building a community is as important, if not more important, than producing new content. Here’s a guide to managing a social media community, whether on an external public channel such as LinkedIn or Twitter or an internal platform like a FoodHIVE group. It covers everything from proactive engagement to build relationships to recommendations for responding (or not) to negative comments.


  • Be active – ensure you are posting and commenting frequently.

  • Be responsive – set minimum response times to questions and comments, and ensure you stick to them. Most people expect a same-day reply to a comment being posted.

  • Be knowledgeable – due diligence is key when responding to EIT Food audiences and ensuring the facts and insights offered are taken from reputable sources.

  • Be engaging – encourage conversations and follow on actions.

  • Be considerate and kind – EIT Food must present a balanced outlook.

  • Be helpful - reply to direct messages and comments swiftly even if it is to say you’ll come back with an answer shortly.

  • Be observant - use social listening tools to identify opportunities to share content, quote others and comment on relevant posts.

Top tips and tactics


  • Morning monitoring – set up Google Alerts on relevant topics, monitor news and brand channels to identify reactive opportunities to engage, and use social listening tools to identify conversations to enter.

  • Always on – turn social media notifications on so comments can be responded to swiftly.


Plan initiatives – create specific community engagement posts and actions to spark conversation. These may include: 


  • Polls around topical issues relevant to your team and area.

  • UGC (user generated content) that has been created by audience members or users independently that can then be (re-)shared. 

  • Conversation starters such as resharing content with a comment, creating a retweet post, asking if you can create a quote asset to share an inspiring post or asking if you can tag someone in a relevant post. 

  • Online events to bring people together around a shared interest or topic such as a Twitter Q&A or LinkedIn Live.

  • Planning to share relevant content around international initiatives and campaigns such as World Food Day. 

You can find some examples of how these different initiatives could work in the best practice section below. 

Best practice examples 

The examples below show how EIT Food has added value, joined conversations and provided useful support across the wider community.

Share events that might be of interest to individuals based on their comments.

Engage audiences with quizzes and polls

Acknowledge people who are speaking or attending your events

Share your latest news and tag relevant people

Reshare content from a Changemaker with a comment 

Start conversations by resharing content with a comment 

Exclusive online events to bring people together around a shared interest or topic such as a Twitter Q&A

Responding to comments and questions

Social media is a fast moving environment. In a matter of minutes, a single message or comment can make its way around the globe. The rapid spread of information on social media is both an opportunity and a challenge as an organisation, especially if you receive a negative comment. 

Reply swiftly and openly, and if you make a mistake, apologise. 

Social media response flowchart

This simple flowchart can help decide what action to take when you receive comments on social media:

Responding to negative comments and tough questions

Always consider if you can use a negative comment as a way to demonstrate your social media skills. It can be an excellent way to show that we are listening, seeking to learn and are happy to convene interesting conversations without shutting them down. 


Top tips to consider when handling negative comments:


  • By being friendly and open in your response, you can change the tone of a negative conversation.

  • Show that you’re interested in what people are saying by asking a question. It can be a good way to turn the comment into a friendly conversation that is educational for all involved.

  • Think of a negative comment as an opportunity to turn a detractor into an active and positive contributor to your community. 

  • Respond swiftly to show that you are active and engaged with the community. 

  • If it’s a tough topic or conversation, sense-check your comment with another member of your team or community before posting as a way to ensure the reply won’t offend or escalate a difficult situation. 

Use this table to help you to decide how to respond to negative comments on social media:

Low threat

Medium threat

High threat

Post contains

Commentary that incorrectly identifies a non-EIT Food activity as an EIT Food activity.


Includes accurate statements that pose limited or no threat to the reputation.


Criticism of an EIT Food colleague.


Statements that need further investigation.

Confusion over spokesperson bio and area of expertise. 

Criticism from a colleague.

False stories regarding potential safety or ethical risks of EIT Food activities.


Personal allegation about EIT Food leadership or company ethics called into question.


Spokesperson makes controversial political or religious statements.


Accusations of partners of EIT Food acting improperly. 

Stories regarding potential safety or ethical risks of EIT Food activities, with images or video of alleged improper practices.


Personal allegation about EIT Food leadership or organisational ethics, with purported documentary evidence.


Accusation that partners of EIT Food are acting improperly, with video or other purported evidence. 


Correct inaccuracies sensitively - linking to relevant materials, resources which support the facts where possible 


Monitor if necessary and/or continues 


Escalate if necessary and/or continues 

Escalate with HQ to determine response 

Alerts to relevant staff members as and when necessary 

Best practice examples

Replying to comments and questions

How do I respond to comments in different languages?

Sometimes you’ll receive comments in different languages, which can make managing them difficult. You can translate comments on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn using the ‘see translation’ button. If it’s a good comment, you can reply in English. 

If a comment doesn‘t make any sense and it’s not a threat (use guidance above) you can ignore it. 

What is spam and how do I respond to it? 

Spam involves people commenting with unwanted content or requests. It can also be an activity that is intended to negatively impact the experience of people on a social media channel. This includes unsolicited or repeated actions such as sending bulk messages, unsolicited replies or mentions, excessively posting irrelevant content to your timelines or posting unrelated comments on posts. See the sections below to find out how to manage spam on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Managing on Facebook

You can use the Manage Permissions tab on Facebook under the edit page/manage permissions tab to flag certain keywords as spam to reduce the likelihood of spam-type comments. These can be added and subtracted at any time. The best way to report spam on any Facebook posts you have published is by using the ‘Report’ link near the content itself.  

You can also delete spammy content as explained above.

Managing on Twitter

You can report spammy behaviour on Twitter such as fake accounts or offensive content via their helpdesk.  Once reported Twitter reduces the visibility of spammy or suspicious looking accounts while they investigate whether the Twitter Rules have been broken.

You can also hide spammy content as explained above, although this will only hide it for you.

Managing on LinkedIn

You can report spam on LinkedIn via the post itself, simply click on the three dots at the top right of any post. You can read more about how to manage this on LinkedIn

You can also delete spammy content as explained above.

How can I hide or delete a comment?


In some instances, it may be a good idea to hide or delete offensive or spammy comments on one of your posts. 


Remember, you should only hide or delete comments that are offensive (e.g. a swear word) or spammy (e.g. jhgdsfb). Negative messages might be upsetting, but they’re also a great opportunity to show off your social media skills and share helpful information to steer the conversation in a more positive direction. An uncomfortable opinion is still someone’s opinion and should not be censored unless they’re clearly insulting or make no sense. 

Hide or delete a comment on Facebook 

To hide a Facebook comment, hover over the comment, click the three dots and select Hide Comment. You could also delete the comment from your page if it contains offensive language.

Delete a comment on LinkedIn 

Locate the comment you want to delete and click the “...More” icon in the top right corner of the comment. Click “Delete” from the dropdown and click “Delete” to confirm.

Hide a reply on Twitter 

You have the option to hide offensive or spammy replies to any of your Tweets however everyone can still access hidden replies through the hidden reply icon, which shows up on the original Tweet when there are hidden replies. Additionally, the Tweet author can unhide a reply at any time. When a Tweet author hides a reply, the author of the reply will not be notified. 

If you are hiding an offensive or spammy reply, then it is best to also report it at the same time (see section above).


  • To hide a reply, click or tap the  icon.

  • Select hide reply and confirm.

  • To view your hidden replies, click or tap the hidden reply icon which will be available in the bottom-right of your original Tweet.  

This article was last reviewed in November 2021 and will be reviewed again in April 2022.

If you have feedback on this article, do let us know. You can drop us a note via our contact form.