Social Media Strategist
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Social Media marketing, strategy and professional development blog for Jon-Stephen Stansel, a social media strategist living in Austin, Texas.

Can You Post This to the Facebook Page?

How to say no to social media posting requests.

-By Jon-Stephen Stansel

“Could you please post this flyer to the Facebook page? Thanks.” It’s a request we get almost every day and almost always the answer if “no.” As a social media manager saying no to request like these can be one of the most difficult parts of our job. We want to be helpful and accommodating, but it is also our job to protect the organizations social media accounts and insure that the content posted is of the best quality, reflects well on our organization, and aligns with our social media strategy. Still, it is never easy to say no and it can sometimes result in conflict. From the standpoint of the person making the request, their post is important, needs to be shared, and after all, what’s so hard about posting something to the company’s social media accounts? It’s just Facebook, right?

The misconception of the duties of a social media manager makes saying “no” all the more difficult and all the more important. Here’s a few ways to soften the blow when turning down these requests.

Gently Explain Your Reasons:

Be honest and give a brief explanation of why you can’t share their posts. Explain that flyers designed for print don’t work well on the web, that the social media calendar is full and ask that they provide more notice in advance, or explain that the focus of their post is too narrow and doesn’t align with the current social media strategy. Don’t be overly detailed into the minutia of it, but be open and honest.

Offer an Alternative:

Maybe their post isn’t right for Facebook, but might work with your Twitter audience. Perhaps with the right image and a little tweaking, their post could work after all. Maybe there’s a better outlet for their information or a smaller social account within the company that might provide a more targeted audience for them. By providing another solution, you give them another jumping off point and not just a dead end.

Education, Education, Education:

Prevent these requests before you get them. If your organization provides professional development workshops, offer to host one. Explain the organization’s social media strategy and show what goes into crafting a post. Show the difference between a strong post and a weak one. Word will get around and you’ll get better requests and even stronger content that will help you fill your content calendar.

Brand Guidelines are Your Friend:

If the image they want you to share doesn’t match your organizations branding, point to your brand guidelines. “I’m sorry I can’t post this, it doesn’t meet our branding standards.”  Not only is this a valid reason and protects your organization’s brand, it also takes your refusal out of your hands.

Get Back Up:

Talk to your supervisor and be sure they have your back. You need someone higher up to understand that you are saying no for the good of the organization and not just flexing your muscle. This is especially important when you need to say no to the higher-ups.  Sometimes it will take someone above your pay-grade to say no for you or to explain that it’s your job maintain quality control. You need someone to have your back when making a case to those in charge. They can help you clearly and respectfully state your opposition. However, be ready to acquiesce and back down if the CEO or President insists that something is posted in whatever form. Choose your battles wisely.

If All Else Fails:

Send them here.

Saying no is never easy. We want to be team players and be helpful whenever we can. But maintaining a high level of quality and focusing on overall social media strategy is crucial to your organization’s success on social media. As a social media manager, it is your job to be the gatekeeper to the accounts and only post what furthers your organization’s goals and to do that, you have to say no…a lot.

What are your suggestions for making it easier to say no to request to post on your organization’s social media outlets?