For The Hard Times That I Am Facing Today
Top 10 Issues Facing Our Youth Today
Now that we are well into the new Millennium society has begun to recognize serious concerns with issues that kids have to deal with today. Some issues have always been there but are now coming to the eyes of the public to find solutions.
Other issues are new trends as society begins to adapt to a faster pace of life. Below are the top 10 issues facing our youth today. Add your suggestions to the comments.
What do you think are the major issues facing the young people today?
10. Single Parent Households
The problems begin at home. Since the 1950s, the number of single parent homes has consistently increased to the point of catastrophe. Today, 14 million single parents are responsible for 28 million children. Raising a child is difficult enough in a two parent home, especially in tough economic conditions.
The situation is even direr when there is only one parent. Economically, a single parent is ly to bring less income home. This equates to fewer opportunities for such vital necessities as education.Trying to make ends meet also takes time – time that is spent away from children who need a parent’s guiding/influence.
Absent a parent’s diligent guidance, children become subject to higher dropout rates, higher risk of dangerous sexual behaviors and pregnancies, higher chances of drug and alcohol abuse –etc. It truly takes a village to raise a child.
9. Drug/Alcohol Abuse
There was a time in cinematic history where virtually every actor/actress was portrayed on screen with a cigarette in hand. Smoking, it was implied, was cool. As a result everyone was doing it, including kids.
Well, as awareness to the danger of smoking increased, “cool” images of smoking disappeared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about drugs and alcohol. These vices are staples in everyday media.
Simply, drinking and using drugs is shown as being cool.
The numbers bear the tale. 21% of high school seniors say they get high and 41% of the same group report drinking alcohol. Our kids are literally moving around in an intoxicated daze. Immature behavior is then amplified due to being under the influence. Drunk driving, poor grades and attendance, anti-social and violent behavior and the list goes on.
8. Growing up too Fast
There was a time when kids enjoyed being kids. Today, even at the earliest of ages, children are partaking in adult activities with serious consequences. Similar to what we see with alcohol and drugs, sex is a very popular and portrayed subject matter. The movies, TV, the internet, essentially everywhere a kid turns he or she is bombarded with sexual suggestions.
In fact, there are entire TV series marketed directly to kids dealing with sex – the egregious being The Secret Lives of an American Teenager and Teen Mom, to name two. Music is a culprit as well.
Songs have always had sexual innuendos, but at least “back in the day” you had to be old enough to understand them. Today, it’s all about “How low can you go” and “baby let me sex you up.
” Kids are having sex as early as 10 and 11, with teen pregnancies increasingly on the rise. The concept of childhood is literally being wiped out.
7. Violence in Schools
A child’s education is the foundation from which he or she will be able to go forth out into the world and build a life. Schools play a major role in this endeavor, and therefore it is reasonable to expect that these places of learning would be safe havens for the children while they are preparing for adulthood. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
In many instances, especially in low income, urban settings, schools can be a war zone. We are not talking about minor bullying, but rather serious violence.
Consider that in the last decade 284 kids were murdered due to school violence – these were shootings, stabbings, fighting and suicides.
Growing up is tough enough without having to be worried about being killed while going to math class.
We live in a society that promotes materialism and so we perpetuate this particular malady by instilling bad habits into our children.
We teach our children that the measure of success and happiness in life is how much stuff you have. Kids naturally want things –especially if their friends have something similar.
Unfortunately, there seems to be little restraint on accompanying guidance as we go about this.Essentially, we provide our kids with whatever they want that is within our financial ability to do so. The concept of “earning” what you get or the idea that something “you don’t need” seem to have been lost and discarded.
Is there really any wonder why the average adult is $15,000 in debt at any given time? We have a mentality of getting what we want and when we want it that has been ingrained in us since childhood.
The unfortunate result is that there are devastating consequences for such continued behavior later in life.
Our kids are fat and getting fatter. Recent numbers show that 20% of American children are obese. Not chubby –OBESE! Video games, TV, the internet and fast food are partly to blame. Kids are spending more time sitting in front of a TV/computer screen than running around outside. This sedentary lifestyle has consequences.
Socially, it’s no secret that overweight kids are going to be subject to ridicule from their peers – it’s sad, but nevertheless true. This can result in such issues as low self-esteem, depression, etc.
Then there are the health concerns. High blood pressure, diabetes and other maladies that is associated with obesity.
Psychologically and physically, obesity is an issue that can be resolved with a simple increase in activity and awareness.
4. Education Disparity
Education is important. Few people would dispute this well regarded fact. A good education (in comparison with a bad one) will provide a child with an increased chance of taking advantage of opportunities to be successful in life.
Unfortunately, some people have it better than other. This is not an issue of just one school being better than another school.
Rather we are talking about whole classes of American children being denied a proper education that will prepare them to compete in a job market with their peers and have the same access to the American Dream.Disparity in educational quality is delineated by race and financial status. If you live in a poor neighborhood or are a minority, there is a good chance that the schools you attend are lacking many necessities.
While Asians and Whites enjoy high graduating rates, African American and Latinos continue to lag behind.
Not surprisingly, because job opportunities are lessen for dropouts, these two groups have the highest incarceration rates.
3. Shifting Economy
America used to sustain itself with making its own products through manufacturing and then turning around and selling those products. The economy is shifting to more of a service industry versus a manufacturing industry.
In order to cut costs and keep product prices down companies are forced to outsource manufacturing to other countries. Other countries can produce products at much lower labor costs. Some companies have even begun to outsource call center jobs to keep labor costs down.
Not only is America now having lower paying service jobs than the average blue-collar job with a sustainable income but our economy is now a global economy.
For example, what happens in Japan or Iraq can drastically alter prices for our stock exchanges, gas/oil, and many other products. What exactly does this mean for our youth? The youth cannot graduate or even drop school without going through the pains of a low-income job. The jobs offered with no experience pay very little with very little room for pay increases.
In fact, the competition to get a promotion can be fierce. In the past, your high school senior could graduate and go work at the local factory for the rest of his or her life and make a good living. They would not necessarily need to have a college education to survive.
In fact, youth today will graduate from college with multiple degrees and still cannot find work that pays enough to sustain a decent lifestyle.
The federal poverty level is $22,050 for a family of four. This equates to 21% of all children (15 million children) are considered in poverty. Just to cover basic expenses for a family of four you would need to have a salary of $45,000.
This means that nearly 50% of our children are living in poverty. Half of those kids receive no government assistance because their parents earned more than $22,050 that year.
According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), that poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s well-being.Poverty impedes learning and contributes to social and behavioral problems. And guess what? There is no income to counteract these problems. Mommy cannot afford a tutor or Daddy cannot afford a counselor.
There is a huge opportunity for society to stop being so materialistic and in turn poverty wouldn’t be such an issue because most children will all have the same things –things they need instead of what they want.
This would decrease violence in schools because fewer kids would be teased.
1. Erosion of National Pride/Identity
If every year the Olympics were held, this probably wouldn’t be a problem. This list is indicative of the fact that America ( any nation) has problems. The issue at hand is collective though amongst the people affected about how to deal with them.
Unfortunately most folks tend to focus on their self and not the whole. We see these problems as affecting “them” and not “me/us” When we hear that America’s children are the fattest among Western nations, this doesn’t sting.
When we learn that America’s children lay educationally behind other industrialized nations, we don’t cringe.
There is very little sense of collective identity of people, as Americans. This is a result of our children not being properly educated and guided. There was a time when every child would begin the school day by standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Children were taught the significance of the 4th of July (besides fireworks). These practices are long gone and so is our sense of common destiny.
With so many diverse nationalities, races, and ethnic groups that comprise America, the one common bond we all have with one another is that we are Americans.
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10 Forgotten Truths to Help You Get Through Hard Times
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
The wisest, most loving, and well rounded people you have ever met are ly those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved, and have found their way the depths of their own despair.
These people have experienced many ups and downs, and have gained an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, understanding and a deep loving wisdom.
People this aren’t born; they develop slowly over the course of time.
Angel and I have worked with thousands of these incredible people over the past decade, both online and offline, through various forms of coaching. In many cases they came to us feeling stuck and lost, unaware of their own brilliance, blind to the fact that their struggles have strengthened them and given them an upper hand in this crazy world.
Truth be told, when hard times hit, and the challenges you face are great, you can either let your situation define you, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you. The choice is yours to make.
In today’s article I want to remind you of a few powerful, yet easily forgotten truths that will help you choose wisely and grow stronger even through the hardest times…
1. Pain is part of life and love, and it helps you grow
So many of us are afraid of ourselves, of our own truth, and our feelings most of all. We talk about how great the concepts of life and love are, but then we hide from both every day. We hide from our truest feelings. Because the truth is life and love hurt sometimes, and the feelings this brings disturbs us.
We are taught at an early age that all pain is evil and harmful.
Yet, how can we ever deal with real life and true love if we’re afraid to feel what we really feel? We need to feel pain, just as we need to feel alive and loved. Pain is meant to wake us up. Yet we try to hide our pain.
Realize this. Pain is something to carry willingly, just good sense. Because you can only learn how strong you are when being strong is the only choice you have.It’s all in how you carry the things that don’t go your way. That’s what matters in the end. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you – your own reality.
If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting the lies of insecurity destroy your reality.
You should stand up for your right to feel pain – to endure it – to own your scars – to deal with the realities of life and love, as you grow into the strongest, wisest, truest version of yourself.
2. Mindset is half the battle
It’s okay to have down days and tough times. Expecting life to be wonderful all the time is wanting to swim in an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down.
However, when you recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the exact same ocean, you are able to let go and be at peace with the reality of these ups and downs.
It becomes clear that life’s ups require life’s downs.
In other words, life isn’t perfect, but it sure is good. Our goal shouldn’t be to create a perfect life, but to live an imperfect life in radical amazement. To get up every morning and take a good look around in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is extraordinary. Every day is a gift. Never treat life casually. To be spiritual in any way is to be amazed in every way.
To paraphrase the poet Iain S. Thomas, “Do not let the pain of a situation make you hopeless. Do not let negativity wear off on you. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Even though others may disagree with you, take pride in the fact that you still know the world to be a beautiful place.”
Change your thoughts and you change your reality!
And mindset is especially powerful when it comes to accepting that…
3. Your biggest fears don’t really exist
When times are hard it can be difficult to follow your heart and take another step, but it’s a tragedy to let the lies of fear stop you. Although fear can feel overwhelming, and defeats more people than any other force in the world, it’s not as powerful as it seems. Fear is only as deep as your mind allows. You are still in control. So take control!
The key is to acknowledge your fear and directly address it. Fight hard to shine the light of your words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless, obscure darkness that you avoid, and perhaps even manage to briefly forget, you open yourself to future attacks from fear when you least expect it. Because you never truly faced the opponent who defeated you.
You CAN beat fear if you face it. Be courageous! And remember that courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid; courage means you don’t let fear stop you from moving forward with your life. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
4. You are growing through experience
Over time you will find that life isn’t necessarily any easier or harder than you thought it was going to be; it’s just that the easy and the hard aren’t exactly the way you had anticipated, and don’t always occur when you expect them to. This isn’t a bad thing; it makes life interesting. With a positive attitude you will always be pleasantly surprised.
When you stop expecting things to be a certain way, you can appreciate them for what they are. Ultimately you will realize that life’s greatest gifts are rarely wrapped the way you expected.Experience is what you get when your plans don’t go as planned, and experience is the most valuable commodity you own – it builds your strength.
You have the power to turn your wounds and worries into wisdom; you just have to do something about them. You have to accept what has happened and use what you’ve learned to step forward. Everything you’ve experienced has given you the upper hand for dealing with everything you have yet to experience. Realize this and set yourself free.
5. You can’t change situations you don’t take responsibility for
Sigmund Freud once said, “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” Don’t let this be you. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you surrender power over that part of your life.
Make no mistake, in the end, the price of happiness IS responsibility. As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be. If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault.
Ultimately, your happiness depends on your self-reliance – your unshakable willingness to take responsibility for your life from this moment forward, regardless of who had a hand in making it the way it is now. It’s about taking control of your present circumstances, thinking for yourself, and making a firm choice to choose differently. It’s about being the hero of your life, not the victim.
6. The present is all you really have to deal with
Life is not lived in some distant, imagined land of someday where everything is perfect. It is lived here and now, with the reality of the way things are. Yes, by all means you can work toward an idealized tomorrow. Yet to do so, you must successfully deal with the world as it is today.
Sometimes we avoid experiencing exactly where we are because we have developed a belief, past experiences, that it is not where we should be or want to be. But the truth is, where you are now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow. So appreciate where you are.
Your friends and family are too beautiful to ignore. Take a moment to remember how fortunate you are to be breathing. Take a look around, with your eyes earnestly open to the possibilities before you. Much of what you fear does not exist. Much of what you love is closer than you realize. You are just one brief thought away from understanding the blessing that is your life.
Happiness is a mindset that can only be designed into the present. It’s not a point in the future or a moment from the past; yet sadly, this misconception hurts the masses.
So many young people seem to think all their happiness awaits them in the years ahead, while so many older people believe their best moments are behind them. Don’t be either of them. Don’t let the past and the future steal your present.
(Read The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.)
7. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for
Life is better when you’re smiling. Being positive in a negative situation is not naive; it’s a sign of leadership and strength. You’re doing it right when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead.
What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were thankful for today?
Think of all the beauty that remains around you, see it and smile. Be thankful for all the small things in your life, because when you put them all together you will see just how significant they are. At the end of the day, it’s not happiness that makes us thankful, but thankfulness that makes us happy.
8. Great things take time
Instant results are rarely the best results. With patience, you can greatly expand your potential. If your desires were always fulfilled immediately, you would have nothing to look forward to. You would miss out on the joys of anticipation and progress.
Remember, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. It’s the willingness to stay focused, confidently staking one small step at a time, knowing that the way you move a mountain is by moving one stone at a time. Every stone you move, no matter how small, is progress.
Bottom line: You deserve more than mere instant gratification. Value that arrives in an instant is often gone in an instant. Value that takes time and commitment to create often outlives its creator – YOU.
9. Other people cannot validate you
When we’re struggling to achieve something important, sometimes we look to others to validate our progress. But the truth is, they can’t…
You are not in this world to live up to the expectations of others, nor should you feel that others are here to live up to yours. Pave your own unique path. What success means to each of us is totally different. Success is ultimately about spending your life happily in your own way.You don’t have to be flashy to be impressive. You don’t have to be famous to be significant. You don’t have to be a celebrity to be successful. You don’t need to be validated by anyone else. You are already valuable. You just need to believe in yourself and what you wish to achieve.
You can be quietly humble and still be amazingly effective. Just because people don’t fall at your feet and worship you, doesn’t mean you are a failure. Quiet success is just as sweet as loud, flamboyant success, and usually far more real. Success is how you define it, not what everyone else says it must be for you. (Read The Gifts of Imperfection.)
10. You are not alone
In the midst of hard times, it’s easy to look around and see a bunch of people who seem to be doing just fine. But they’re not. We’re all struggling in our own way. And if we could just be brave enough to open up about it, and talk to each other, we’d realize that we are not alone in feeling lost and alone.
So many of us are fighting the same exact battle alongside you. We are all in this together.
So no matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, know that there are others out there experiencing the same emotions.
When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it’s just your worried mind trying to sell you a lie. There’s always someone who can relate to you. Perhaps you can’t immediately talk to them, but they are out there.
If you’re feeling desperate right now, hear me: I often feel and think and struggle much you do. I care about many of the things you care about, just in my own way. And although some people do not understand us, we understand each other. YOU are not alone!
One of life’s greatest gifts is the fact that life is difficult. Because in dealing with life’s difficulties, we build invaluable strength.
This strength enables us to successfully fulfill our deepest, most meaningful purposes. It is precisely because life is difficult that we are able to make it great.
It is because life is difficult that we are able to rise above the difficulties. We are able to make a difference and we are able to truly matter.So remember this…
When times are tough, you must be tougher. Don’t pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a tough one that leads to greatness.
What have you learned that has helped you get through hard times? What truths do you keep in mind to motivate yourself? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Photo by: Rita M.
Bible Verses for Hard Times: 21 Uplifting Scriptures
Life is full of twists and turns and sometimes we fall upon hard times. No matter what the circumstance we can rest in the fact that God is always faithful. He will hold us in the hollow of His hand and when we ask, He will help us through the hard times. If you are struggling today, or you know someone who is in hard times, I hope that these 21 uplifting Scriptures will be a blessing.
Featured Verse: Psalms 119:67-68 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes
Cry Out To Jesus
Psalms 3:4 I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
Psalm 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them all their troubles.
Psalms 50:15 …call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near
Keep Your Head High and Sing Praises
Psalms 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation
Psalms 66:17-20 I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!
Psalms 146:5-6 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever
Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Blessings & Deliverance On the Way
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 1:10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son
Hebrews 6:19-20 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
On the Other Side of the Hard Trial
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Psalms 119:71-72 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Psalms 119:75-76 I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
: “Cry Out to Jesus” by Third Day
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5 Hard Times Every Business Will Face on Social: What to Do
I have been managing social accounts for various businesses for about 5 years. I do really love social and it can be very rewarding, but there are times when things can get very difficult. I think any business that wants to have a strong social presence should have plans and strategies in place for dealing with the hard times that arise with social media management.
So, today I am going to explain why I think all businesses must have social plans and strategies in place and then I am going to go over some of the hard times I think every business will face.
First, Why Plans and Strategies are Important
1). Plans and strategies ensure that the person managing social represents the company in the appropriate manner.
You need to make sure that whatever is said on social is a good representation of your company’s core values.
With plans in place you can ensure that the same values your employees show to customers is also shown to those contacting you on social media networks.
2). Often there is a team of people running social media for a business to ensure someone is always available to people reaching out. With plans and strategies in place you can ensure that the same style of voice and the same level of customer service is available no matter who is managing social at any given time.
3). Backup is helpful! Fatigue, sometimes after 4-5 hours on social you start to just get emotionally tired, especially on rough days. There are times when written out plans and strategies are just a lifesaver. For me personally they are something I can fall back on when I am drained.
One Critical Recommendation For Everyone
I am about to go over the 5 hard times and give you some suggestions, but I have one serious recommendation that will apply to all situations and that is to be honest. Please keep in mind that when businesses lie and people find out about it the business always takes a hit.
When people lie on social and get caught it is actually quite sad to see the melee that is almost always an unmanageable situation to handle. Just tell the truth.
Website is Down
At some point, for every business, their website will go down. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as hosting issues, mistakes made, bill didn’t get paid, etc. So basically, just know that at some point it is going to happen.
For smaller businesses this might not cause social media managers too much stress, but for larger businesses the social media blowback can be massive and exhausting. Website users are often not happy when they can’t get access to what they want. This is where plans and strategies can be really helpful.
- What will you say?
- Who handles site issues – who does social contact to find out when the site will be back up?
- What resources are available for the community team to answer questions when the site isn’t available?
Tell the Truth? The website is down and people don’t always need to know why, but if it isn’t your fault there is nothing wrong with explaining the situation.
Employee Offended a Customer
Sometimes employees offend a client or customer. Sometimes it is the employee’s fault and sometimes the client/customer is too sensitive or looking for a problem (bosses, always keep this in mind).
All that matters is that you represent your brand well in this situation. People are watching and people write articles or create news stories about interactions they see on social. It is really important to be understanding and come up with a solution for the person that is upset.
Try to get them offline!
You don’t want to air your dirty laundry, right? So try to steer these folks towards, direct messages, messaging, an email or a phone call.
Your interaction should be positive and empathetic, but you never know how people will react! The best thing is to make sure everyone does not see the bulk of a negative conversation.
This doesn’t always work, so be as kind as possible and let others see you provide a solution.
Product or Service Failure
Product and service issues are a given. Sometimes it is user error and sometimes a product or service fails. Here are some suggestions:
Create a spreadsheet of all complaints/issues – If there is a fix for any of the issues write it down so everyone on the social team can quickly help people reaching out. This helps your support teams as well because social can answer questions and reduce the number of people being sent to support.
Be prepared for common user error issues and everyday questions – Keep in mind that people don’t know what we know. They may be using your product or service and truly have no clue how to troubleshoot. You have to be ready to help with user error and answer the same questions every day; this is part of the job. Keeping a list of common issues and solutions is good as well.
Be honest – If you don’t know why something is happening, just say you don’t know and they need to contact support. If a product or service has common problems discuss with management what is appropriate and not appropriate to say (legal is an issue). Sometimes the best thing you can say is, “We see this issue often and want to help you with this problem.”
Anger and Trolls
ANGER! There are some folks that are just angry all the time and nothing you say is really going to make anything better. Then there are those that will let their anger go if they see you have made an effort to win them over. When it comes to angry people you have a 50/50 shot at making it better.
The best thing you can do is keep in mind that people are watching you and you need to look you are really trying to the masses, as well as the person reaching out. If you see, after repeated attempts to help, that the angry person isn’t going to let it go just step back for a while and see if they will stop. Remember, you can always try to steer it offline.
TROLLS! Then there are those that love to troll social media accounts. They are there just to create problems and argue and they are very good at it! If you can avoid it don’t engage because it just fuels the fire.
What I find often is that they will go away quickly if you just don’t engage.
Sometimes you have to step in, but just know that you won’t win an argument with one because they aren’t there to find a solution, they are there to cause a problem.
Negative Discussions About Your Brand
When I am managing social accounts I always follow discussions, which means I don’t just look at mentions…I follow links and discussions that don’t mention our handle on or are not on our / page. If I feel something is completely inaccurate I can say something from the brand and I can also reach out under my personal account and be a little stronger in my defense.
By following links in social discussions and using tools such as Fresh Web Explorer I can keep an eye on conversations about the brands I represent on websites.
Often I take these to community teams and/or managers and we determine what step we will take.Sometimes we say nothing and sometimes someone within the company will reach out and say something via comments. This has been very successful.
Pro Tip: To be really good at social media management you have to follow the breadcrumbs. Watch conversations everywhere, keep lists of issues and find ways that your brand can be better.
No one is perfect and everyone can improve in areas. Sometimes the best information I see on how we can improve is from discussions on social (where we are not or mentioned) and in comments on websites.
It isn’t easy, but it can be done right. Just have some plans and strategies in place and make sure everyone on your team has the same values and vision in place. This is a great start.