There's no doubt that the growth of social media has changed the face of marketing for the better. It gives businesses the opportunity to instantly connect with potential clients and customers, and encourages engagement through the click of the like button, or a comment on a post.
But, with the positive can also come the negative. We all have things that go wrong from time to time, and social media allows people to instantly air their grievances in a very public manor.
We sat down with our social media director Tracie Carter to chat about dealing with negative social media comments, and she has shared her top five tips.
1. Oh, hi there
First things first, acknowledge the comment. Quite often people take to social media because they haven't been able to get a response from more traditional methods of communications, ie, in a store, customer service, email, etc, so recognise that someone has commented. This can just be a quick "let me look into that for you", or even better, go with top tip 2.
2. Silence the alarm
The comment box on your Facebook or Twitter page is not the ideal place to resolve a problem, so offer to take the conversation somewhere else. Ask the person to message you with their email address or phone number so you can follow up – and make sure you do follow-up. This will take any further negative comments out of the eyeline of your followers. Unless the original post could cause offence, it's not always beneficial to delete it, as by showing that you have responded quickly to the comment can make you be seen in a good light.
3. Sorry shouldn't be the hardest word
Sometimes there has been a genuine error and the complaint is correct. Yes, it's frustrating that the the person has decided to complain via social media, but in these instances, it's a good idea to be quick to say sorry. You can also 'silence the alarm' by following-up with an email or phone call, but again, people are more likely to remain loyal if they read in your comments that you've apologised.
4. Say what you mean, but don't say it mean
We're hoping this is quite obvious, but we think it's worth highlighting – don't get into an argument in the comment box of your Facebook page. Even if the person posting has done something to cause the problem themselves, don't tell them they're an idiot. I'm sure the customer would much prefer some empathy, advice on what they could have done to stop the problem occuring, and help trying to fix the problem.
5. Who's that trip trapping over your post
Unfortunately, there are people who 'troll' across social media and get a kick out of posting negative comments. Long-term, it can be wise to just ignore these and not engage with the troll. However, it's understandable that you don't want to leave negative comments unanswered, so feel free to reply with a quick explanation advising their comment is incorrect. You could also pass on a phone number and invite them to discuss further – they will most likely never call!
Managing social media platforms can be a full-time job. Our team are experts across multiple-platforms and can create inspiring, enaging and effective posts to help grow your business. Please contact Tracie for an informal chat.