Social media is indeed a powerful tool for all types of brands. It helps them connect, engage, and establish trust with current and prospective customers, increase brand awareness, website traffic and ultimately increase sales.
Connecting and engaging with people and fans is a great way to show the human side of your brand and establish trust. But what happens when something goes awry and negative comments start popping up on your brand’s Facebook page or Twitter feed?
Why should you care about negative comments on social media?
Social media is public. Every time someone writes badly about your product or services, the whole social media audience can see it.
People are going to judge you based on several criteria: how quickly did you respond, what was your reaction, what was your customer’s reaction and how did the whole thing end.
If you decide to have a business profile, you have to be ready to do the same. You might think that no one will notice one negative review, but people definitely will! And if you don’t help people will draw the conclusion that you don’t care about your audience.
Every case is different, but here are some ways to guide the way you deal with negative social feedback:
1. Be quick to acknowledge
Social media is a time-sensitive platform. Most people who post comments would expect a reply within 24 hours at the most. So when you receive a negative response, make sure you immediately reply.
It’s fine to not have an immediate solution – an open, non-judgemental inquiry about exactly what happened will be enough to start the process of constructive engagement and open up an opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Of course, you’ll also need to follow this up with concrete actions— more on this later.
2.Document the Comment
You should document everything when you are handling negative comments on social media. If possible take a screenshot of the offending comment in case the commenter decides to edit their comment later on. Use this documentation to create a list of frequently used responses for future use.
3.Keep it cool
Never take any comment personally or challenge the person negatively. Because, this is in public, and you’ll be judged on every single thing you post not just by the poster, but all your followers. Act as if you are responding to an angry mob: being right might not be the end goal. You don’t have to reply to everything. If the comment is clearly an attack or an effort to pick a fight, let it go.
4.Say sorry when it’s your fault
If it is clear that your product or service failed, then a sincere apology followed by a product replacement or refund is must. Unfortunately,for
some companies on social media, “sorry” is indeed the hardest word. Often it’s because they don’t want to take the blame. Or they don’t agree with the customer’s point of view. But, if we look at it from the customer’s viewpoint then it is hard to argue with their experience. So, if you are at fault, don’t hesitate to say sorry. Copy pasting a quick response sounds too robotic. Make the effort to personalise your response.
Do you have something to add? Tell us about your experience with negative comments on social media below.