Social media has opened up a whole new world for the marketer. How do you partner social media with traditional marketing and media opportunities? Who’s responsible for the social media side of your business? How often should you post? What content should you include? Or, perhaps the greater question is, what happens if you’re not on social media?
A Response to Haters
The truth is, even without a social media presence, your business still has an online existence. Social media sites allow consumers to share their best experiences—and their worst—with anyone who will listen. These customer reviews can appear on a company’s Facebook page, on a Twitter feed, on a product sales page on your own website, or anywhere else they are able to share. But what do you do when that feedback is negative?
Do you create a video like “Thank You Hater” as a response?
Fact: Most Consumers Believe Reviews
A Nielsen study found that 70 percent of consumers trust online reviews, compared to only 47 percent believe traditional broadcast and print ads. Social media truly rules the roost when it comes to public perception of customer experience.
Turn a Negative Comment into a Positive Outcome
Many reputation management companies suggest that it’s possible to turn negative sentiment into winning customer experiences. Beyond the Arc, a consulting firm, recommends going the extra mile—beyond an apology or refund—by offering a special gift or new benefit will “win back the customer’s loyalty and motivate them to praise your brand to others.” Consider the risks and missed opportunities of not responding to customers; Prioritize negative feedback to focus your communications appropriately; and Transform negative situations into positive engagement.
Take a deep breath and don’t respond when charged with an emotional reaction. Social Distillery offers this advice: Address the situation publicly so there is a record of the company’s response and so your company is seen as responsive and accountable, but take the conversation offline to better understand the consumer’s position.
The Right Now Retail Consumer Report found that “68 percent of consumers who posted a complaint or negative review on a social networking site after a negative holiday shopping experience were contacted by the retailer. Following that contact, 34 percent deleted their original negative review, 33 percent turned around and posted a positive review, and 18 percent became a loyal customer and bought more.”
Damage Control Action Steps
So what should you do with negative sentiment comes to play? My Web Writers suggest these action steps:
- Make sure you have a process determined before you take the social media plunge. Do you respond to negative sentiment? If so, who manages the process?
- Create a posting policy for your page, and keep it visible to all who visit.
- Stay on top of your social media pages – that means all day and night, every day.
- Keep tabs on your frequent commenters. Some may always leave positive feedback, and that’s great! But it’s quite possible there will be Negative Nellies in your community who will never have anything nice to say. Weigh the consequences carefully before engaging with these individuals.
- Publicly respond to a legitimate complaint quickly, and then take the conversation off-line.
- Once the issue has been resolved, leave a comment on the original post letting followers know the issue has been fixed.
Oftentimes, negative sentiment is coming from those who just want to be heard, so show consumers that you hear them. Allow them to drive the conversation and listen to what they want. And remember, converting a naysayer to a brand loyalist is possible!