Social Media Is a Great Conversational Tool
Having a conversation with your customers is a prime way to increase your company’s sales and market share, establish trust, and build customer relationships. Social media also provides one of the easiest avenues to hold conversations with customers. Conversing about new products, promotions, and sharing success stories are great threads of conversation to raise awareness and increase sales. But what happens when something goes wrong and people post negative comments on your company Facebook page?
Negative Postings Are Bound to Happen
When someone posts a negative remark to your company wall, do not react in the heat of the moment. Anthony Juliano of Asher Agency in Fort Wayne, Indiana recommends that you “take a deep breath, walk around the building, and remember that it’s about the brand—not you.” Responding quickly is important, but you should take a moment to be objective and try to understand the author’s intent. You might also need to do a little research to gather facts before you respond. Juliano explains that there are typically three categories of negative comments:
- Constructive criticism
- Simple criticism
It’s always a good idea to anticipate negative comments on your Facebook page. Discuss potential damaging observations as part of your social marketing strategy. By knowing ahead of time what might come across your company’s Facebook wall and being able to classify negative comments, you can respond appropriately.
How to Respond to Negative Posts
Saving face on your company’s Facebook page is achieved when you handle negative comments quickly and with grace. If the negative post falls under the category of constructive criticism, you should respond by thanking the author for his or her observation, and apologize if necessary for the bad experience—or explain things from your company’s perspective, thus framing the situation in a more positive light. Be careful not to “air dirty laundry” on your Facebook page. If the explanation is more involved, then take the conversation off line to fix any misunderstandings.
When a negative Facebook posting is simple criticism, such as “your product stinks,” apologize for the bad experience, ask for more specific information if the comment is vague, and offer to fix the problem. If necessary, explain things from your company’s point of view and clear up any misunderstandings.
If the negative comment is complete profanity or slander, you may need to ignore or delete the posting to protect your brand, as well as the people who support your brand. It’s very difficult to reason with irrational people, so offering up an apology or explanation isn’t the best response. If the profanity continues, block the sender. However, it might be best, instead, to bury the posting by responding with several positive postings so that the slander disappears off your company Facebook page into the archived files.
Continue to Listen
Your company Facebook page and other social media outlets are notable listening platforms. Keep listening to the conversations and stay engaged with what people are saying about your company brand. Remember that social media is a platform for improving relationships and can work in your favor—even when criticism occurs. Be objective, don’t escalate a negative issue, and try to understand the intent of the negative comment. When you need help finding the right words, contact My Web Writers for assistance.