6 Tips for Monitoring Negative Comments on Social Media
Social media has been a business-changer when it comes to marketing and building relationships with customers. There has been so much good that has come from the abililty to interact with one customer, that may be across the world, within a matter of seconds. But with all the good comes the ability for people to put out conflicting and detrimental messages about your business. The key to maintaining a positive brand identity is being ready and willing to respond when that time comes. Here are six tips that will help you combat negative social media publicity and help you stand out as a trusted authority.
Have an Action Plan
There’s one thing you can be certain of and it’s that you’re going to encounter negative feedback at some time or another. The best thing you can do is be prepared. Having a plan of action on who is going to respond, what steps should be taken and what the follow up will be, should be part of your reputation management plan.
One of the most important and most overlooked areas when negative feedback pops up on social media is the area of time. Comments should be monitored and responded to within a short period of time (1-2 days). When you’re efficient with your responses and following up, you are not only offering top customer service but it also boosts your company’s persona to that person and those that see you responding. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is allowing people to paint their company’s persona without playing the leading role and guiding the conversation.
Avoid the Delete Button
One of the worst things you can do is to go and delete negative comments (apart from malicious ones). The whole point of social media is to allow people to build relationships and dialogue with you and other customers. To think that you will never receive negative feedback is unrealistic. The best thing you can do is allow people to share their concerns and respond accordingly. Depending on how well you have built up you current, existing relationships, your other customer and followers may event beat you to it.
Pick Your Battles
Morst often those that complain have a real reason to be upset, or at least they truly believe so. However, there are times that people just purposefully say things to be mean and spiteful, for whatever reason. Comments that are clearly untrue and are meant to be malicious towards your company aren’t worth the time or energy to try and remedy. Depending on the nature of the comments, you can simply ignore them or delete them if they are foul, profane or adusive in nature.
Social media gives you the ability to show off your company’s personality and let people know that there are actually real people that make the company engine run. This reigns even more important especially for medium to large sized companies that tend to get lost behind their tall buildings and large staff. By responding to complaints in a way that evokes emotion (care, understanding, humor, etc), people will connect with your company on a much deeper level. Think about how you would normally respond to a complaint phone call or email, and that should help guide your interactions.
Honesty Goes a Long Way
I know it hurts, but I’ll say it – Don’t be afraid to admit you’ve messed up! People have a lot more patience, compassion and understanding for companies that fess up to their mistakes (even the little ones). Saying “sorry” goes a long way and says a lot about what your company stands for. The best follow up would be sharing with them how your business plans to remedy situation.
People want to know that you care what they have to say and that they are being heard. The companies that jump on that will expand their customer base and leave their competitors in the dust.
How about you? What are things that have worked for you when encountering negative comments and press?