I work for many different types of businesses, with very different types of marketing needs - but handling negativity on social is a common concern for all. The reality of social media is that once you have a brand presence, you can’t avoid negative reviews and comments.
I’ve approached many potential clients who just weren’t into the idea of social. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? In a digital era, where almost everything happens online, there are still people out there who wouldn’t want their businesses’ to be traced on social. There is a fear that social media will discredit the brand or affect [maybe destroy] the reputation of their business.
We all know that handling negative comments on social media can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, but you can manage it better by having a plan on how to deal with the negativity in a way protects your company and keeps your social engagement high.
Having a plan on what to do if someone begins to negative talk about your business on social allows you to manage things with more control.
So, what should you include in your plan?
Set a comment and post policy
Starting with the basics. You need to have a comment and post policy, that maps out the type of comments and posts you allow. Publicly share this policy on your social channels. You want to ensure that your policy is clear on the language that you will allow and what posts and comments will be filtered out.
For instance, perhaps your policy states that foul language will not be tolerated in any form [e.g. comments or posts.] and any posts that are off topic will deem unacceptable. Explain what will happen if the policy is not followed. Will you ban users from your page on a permanent basis? Or will you block them temporarily? You need to be as specific and as clear as you can be.
Define guidelines for handling the negativity
Now, let's say a post or comment is on topic, but it's not supportive of your product or service or just your business in general. What do you do about it?
You can follow these guidelines and turn just about any situation around.
Guideline 1: Address the post or comment in an effective manner
Almost all negative posts fall into one of these four categories:
When you keep your conversation transparent with the client who has had an issue with your product/service or is unhappy with your customer service; you're giving your client the feeling that their request is being taken care of in high priority.
Guideline 2: You better not get defensive. EVER.
It’s natural and easy to get all defensive and take things personally. Save yourself from the trouble, don’t! A defensive reply will only make things worse. Identify the issue, be polite and try to find a resolution as quickly as you can. You can’t make everyone happy, that’s the fact, but you can give it your all and try to find the best solution for the problem. Believe it or not, but that’s all really anyone can ask.
By being polite and not playing defensive, your other followers/customers will see that you’re making the effort to resolve the problem quickly and are concerned about handling the matter at the right pace.
Guideline 3: Don’t be afraid to own up to a mistake or error
Mistakes happen. Everyone knows this. There is no company out there that has a perfect track record. So, if you've made a mistake, just acknowledge the issue and try to resolve the fuss quickly. Never be afraid to apologize, that can go a long way especially with someone who is being negative and combative.
You can either try and sort things out online or define a pattern to address similar situations offline and work your way through it.
If you’re having trouble setting up a campaign for your brand on social, or need some help in managing your Facebook page, feel free to write me through here.