The rules for managing activism on your social media accounts are the same as in the physical world. If you choose to engage with an activist group, you must strive to de-escalate the conflict. Both journalists and consumers have little interest in the story of two organizations who share values and appear to be working together.
On the other hand, if you delete negative comments, shut down the conversation, or respond with hostility, you reinforce the appearance of conflict – precisely what the activists are seeking.
“When a brand does decide to respond, the message needs to be friendly and non-confrontational,” Silversmith says. “Express a commitment to work with the poster towards the best solution.”
As Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon put it so eloquently, the advice “fight fire with fire” is good advice if you’re trying to get back at your enemy; it’s bad advice if you’re trying to put out a fire.