If you are a business owner on social media, here are four important questions you need to answer today:
1 Are your customers happy with how fast you respond on social media?
2 Are your customers leaving negative or bad comments on your social media channels?
3 Are you satisfied with the level of engagement you are currently getting from your social media activity?
4 Do you need a plan to handle customer engagement or customer complaints?
Are you even on social media yet or have a social media plan? Maybe your customers are already talking about you on social media channels and you don’t even know about it!
Social media management is not for the faint-hearted. When you manage a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account with followers, especially a large following, people can be ruthless, and sometimes with good reason.
As hard as you might try, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy and social media is the go-to destination for disgruntled users. Responding quickly and appropriately to negative social comments can help you increase customer loyalty and retention.
The tricky part is that your social profiles act as the face of your brand. So how do you keep it blemish free? You don’t – people will always complain. It’s what you do after the complaint that matters. These tips will help you keep your cool and handle negative feedback in the best way possible.
Find out how to deal with negative comments on social media…
It’s important to respond quickly and efficiently to customer complaints on social media. However, lots of digital marketers will tell you to respond to everything, but all community managers know that some situations are beyond mediation.
Absolutely respond to both pressing and constructive feedback. You should also make a point to respond to 90% of disgruntled feedback.
Apologizing, offering up a solution, or even just offering up the opportunity to cater to this concern in the future can go a long way. However, sometimes there are people that are unreasonable and antagonistic. In this case, I’d opt out of continuing a conversation. There’s a huge difference between negative feedback and trolling.
Identify the Type of Feedback
Once the feedback comes in, it’s important to gauge what type of feedback you’re receiving. Not all negative feedback is the same. In my opinion, there are 4 distinct types of negative feedback:
- Pressing: An example of pressing negative feedback would be someone Tweeting, “Hey @socialmediabizo – my free report won’t download.” This type of feedback is simply a heads-up of a problem you might have to act on immediately.
- Constructive: This type of feedback is usually coming from a good place. An example of constructive feedback would be, “This post is a little confusing – those two recommendations seemed very similar.” Constructive feedback gives you an opportunity to modify certain things in the future.
- Disgruntled: People can get nasty on social media, over both big and little things. Generally these people are very upset because of something and they can’t be reasoned with. The best thing to do in this instance is apologize and move on.
- Spam: If you’ve ever run a promoted Tweet, you know what I’m talking about.
Consumers know that no business is perfect, so instead of hiding mistakes, it’s best to own up to them. The number one priority when it comes to handling feedback on social is having patience. As community managers, we’re usually extremely well-versed in the workings of our company and the content circulating throughout the industry.
It can be easy to dismiss feedback as ill-informed or irrational (and it very well may be), but keep in mind that every interaction is an opportunity. The better you handle a situation, the more respect you stand to gain. Even if they’re complaining about something that is user-error, take a deep breath, apologize for the inconvenience or offer up a solution and then make changes (if need be) to make sure that the confusion doesn’t occur again.
Take Conversations Offline
All communications on social media are in the public eye, and often when dealing with negative comments, this can prompt others to join in. When feedback comes in, sometimes you don’t know what it’s going to turn into. If your conversation starts to spiral, don’t be afraid to shoot them a DM or a Facebook message instead of letting it drag on in everyone’s feeds. Some things are best handled behind closed doors.
Personalize Your Responses
When customers reach out to you with a negative social comment, they’re typically looking for you to acknowledge and help resolve their problem. If you respond with an automated reply, you’re sending a message that you haven’t taken time to understand the issue and don’t value the customer’s input.
Don’t Take It Personally
When dealing with negative comments on social media, remember that customers aren‘t angry with you as an individual. They’re angry about the situation they’re in. That’s why you should never take these responses personally or respond to the customer in a negative manner as a result.
Put Together an Escalation Plan
An escalation policy is a document that will help your employees figure out who to contact in the company when handling complaints. The document should include a full list of employees and departments in your company along with their contact details.
Go the Extra Mile
One of the main reasons customers leave negative comments on social media is they haven’t been able to get the information they need from the company.
Once you’ve responded to a complaint on social media, don‘t assume that you‘ve resolved the issue. Follow up to make sure you‘ve fully met the customer‘s needs. A personal approach lets customers know you value their opinion and put their needs first.
Don’t Delete Negative Comments
Deleting negative social media comments won’t make them go away. In fact, if you delete and ignore them, customers will likely keep on commenting and venting their frustration until you’ve addressed them.
Monitor and Listen for Conversations About Your Brand
To keep on top of negative comments and prevent issues from escalating, it’s important to monitor what people are saying about your company on social media.
Seek help form experts by outsourcing your social media management
We know it can be confusing and time consuming to manage social media for your business. Business owners know that having a strong social media presence for their business is an essential form of marketing, but in most cases they are busy running other aspects of their business. Negative feedback and delays in response can seriously impact your brand, damage your credibility and hurt your business.
With Social Media Authority you will never have to worry about your social presence being updated, we are here to perform all aspects of your social media strategy to drive traffic, engagement and sales for your business.
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