Our community engagement strategy spans our various functions, business partners and geographies. As such, our approach can be expressed across any channel — social or web, internal or external — where Bayer engages our community to enhance their experience by answering questions, articulating our contributions in life science, dispelling rumors and fostering dialog.
What We Engage
We will answer any questions or comments on social or web using Bayer tone that are:
- From users appearing to be legitimate (legitimate names, profiles and likely have at least 100 followers)
- Rational questions or comments, e.g. those that are logical and not those using inflammatory language (cursing, caps, bullying, name-calling, combative tone or any history thereof in the existing thread)
- Supportive comments or compliments
- Comments containing misinformation or incomplete sources
- Comments from influencers or celebrities, if approved via escalation process
- Opportunities to ask follow-up questions, express personality or transparency
Cultivating Meaningful Conversations
Responding promptly to comments on our posts allows us to stay active in the community, build relationships and contribute to the conversation as it evolves. It also provides a good user experience. This assures our audience our that we are listening and interested in what they have to say.
Not every conversation goes as planned. Seeing negative comments on social media directed to our company or the industry can be frustrating. Before you react or respond, take a minute and use the rules to help navigate the situation, while maintaining your social and professional graces.
7 Rules for Effective Conversation
- Find a shared value — be relatable: No one wants to finagle their way into a conversation. If the opportunity arises, find common ground in order to add value.
- Jump in quick, but not too quick: Respond in a timely, but considered manner to craft a thoughtful and logical response.
- Elaborate and give detail to your response: Don’t assume people know what you’re talking about; stay succinct and cite any relevant sources.
- Link to outside evidence: Use examples and sources like third party news articles, studies, reputable sites and organizations.
- Don’t nitpick or quote: Focus on the discussion at hand; don’t indulge in tangents, pithy remarks, or personal attacks.
- Stay calm; don’t respond in anger: If you’re feeling heated, step away for a while. Maybe work on something else or sleep on it until you can respond effectively. Matching or surpassing someone’s negative tone is never productive.
- Engage in conversation — “Rule of 3s”: The best practice is to respond a maximum of 3 times to someone and move on if the argument/conversation isn’t going anywhere after that. This keeps conversations manageable and productive. In many cases, a single statement is sufficient rather than entering a discussion that ends nowhere.
Response messaging will come directly from the approved Community Engagement Playbook. These playbook responses align with overall narrative, talk track and other relevant global messaging documents created for external use and optimized for social media or web.
The playbook is updated consistently and consists of top questions and answers, as found from community engagement insights and web/social listening search insights. If the response requires a deeper or more complex answer, collaborate with the media team to create an approved response.
If responses are developed for news, events, initiatives or business partners, they will be added to the full playbook if they're ongoing and/or commonly used for responses. Otherwise, they will be added as a separate tab in the playbook or just used for reference by the business partner focus leads.