As a business on social media at one point or another you will have to deal with negative feedback; and if there’s one sure-fire way to damage your brand on social media it’s by ignoring negative comments by users.
As a digital marketing platform, social media allows brands to connect and engage with their customers in order to build relationships with them and ultimately turn them into advocates. It’s that rapid expansion that encourages growth, turns the tide on negatively trending web traffic and fundamentally increases sales through brand awareness.
Because of this, it stands to reason that the last thing you want to do when something potentially harmful pops up on your page is ignore it. When a business decides to disregard and delete a negative comment they are not only avoiding addressing a bigger issue, they are also inadvertently making a statement about how little they value their customers.
Your social media pages should be the human face of your brand, and that means responding to all sufficiently.
The difficulty with social media comments
Unfortunately, the majority of negative comments and complaints left on social networks come from consumers who don’t feel they are being sufficiently listened to by a company, either through different media channels or in person. These are consumers who understand that users look to social media for reviews and insider information about a brand – so they want other users to hear what they have to say.
Because of this the majority of negative comments will be on the harsher end of the spectrum. That’s why efficient and sufficient responses are always required. Honesty and transparency is the name of the game here.
Company errors range depending on your industry and your business. When a legitimate comment comes through, time is of the essence. At this point it’s vital that you take time to respond in a way that sufficiently shows you understand the issue from the user’s point of view. Even if the issue arises from a process that your business has no control over, such as another supplier who lets you down, this means nothing to the customer. For them the only reality is the inconvenience that has been caused.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if it you are at fault be willing to admit to it. When users see evidence of businesses addressing issues head on they are far more likely to respect them. Address these issues; offer an incentive that would restore their faith in your brand.
When an issue arises from a misunderstanding you should still be willing to offer the customer an apology and see things from their point of view, then supply an explanation and a solution. Again, it’s all about being as responsive as humanly possible.
People who just want to ruin your day
Some might have you believe that there is a lesson to be learnt from all negative comments, but the truth is that there are a lot of trolls on the Internet. From time to time, you will experience spammy comments to some extent. At that point you have to make a decision - to ignore or to call out. When dealing with trolls, often it’s better not to feed them.
Whether you respond or not is an important judgement call that you will have to make, however, if they are a reputable user making completely unsubstantiated claims, it could be a good idea to call it out. How you do this depends on your tone of voice. For more professional businesses it’s a good idea to point out the inaccuracies in their statement with the support of facts, in order to provide other users with the bigger picture.