5 Ways Brands Should Handle Negative Feedback on Social Media

5 Ways Brands Should Handle Negative Feedback on Social Media

5 Ways Brands Should Handle Negative Feedback on Social Media: The truth is, your brand can’t adequately handle bad comments on social media if it doesn’t first see it, route it, and assign it to an employee who can promise a pleased consumer on the other side. The advice above will apply for your business regardless of how you conduct social customer service, but we offer software that can help, too.

The amazing speed and fluidity of social media is a miracle of our digital age. Social media is an unmatchable form of directly communicating with your audience — just think, 95 percent of social media posts are 1:1 conversations — but it also opens up a new realm of crisis management where one complaint may swiftly build momentum, putting your brand’s reputation at jeopardy. And that’s not all.

According to Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at the PR firm Weber Shandwick, social media disasters are also dangers to a company’s profits: “One tweet, just one risky post, may significantly damage your share price.”

To develop enduring trust among customers and prospects (and to set the stage for the creation of dedicated brand advocates) it’s crucial to have a structure for responding to bad criticism on social media – before it snowballs into a larger debacle. Here are five measures applicable to every enterprise social marketer, no matter your industry.

Read: 10 Things You Shouldn’t Share on Social Media

1. Listen carefully

Stopping a problem in its tracks (and developing enduring partnerships) starts with social listening. Unfortunately, a disgruntled consumer won’t always talk directly to you. To make sure you don’t miss important feedback, employ technology that allows you to track all mentions of your brand, branded hashtags, and branded URLs posted on social whether they include a @ mention or not.
The first place you’ll hear about a problem is usually social media.

2. Remember that response time matters

Establish your response time, and know: speed matters. Common service-level agreements (SLAs) can vary from few minutes to hours, depending on a variety of factors including your sector and your team, and are likely to fluctuate based on peak times, unique events, or campaigns.

But one thing is consistent across the board: quick reactions are anticipated. In fact, 37 percent of clients want a response within 30 minutes. And with sensitive situations like an emotionally charged complaint, a slow response might leave a client feeling ignored and feed the flames of greater displeasure.

Read Also: A Step-by-Step Guide to Recognizing Bots and Trolls on Social Media

3. Be human, be transparent, and never go negative

Brands may take charge of the situation by responding in a helpful and honest manner. Never respond negatively or defensively.

Avoid canned responses and strive to make a human connection. Ensure your consumer feels listened to and don’t be afraid to apologize for inconvenience or a less-than-stellar experience to help alleviate a hostile situation.

4. Respond publicly before and after moving to a private conversation

The days of strictly 1:1 communication are behind us. On social media, a brand may be answering to a comment addressed entirely at them, yet this dialogue is still going place in the public eye. Responding publicly is vital to showing your brand as transparent, responsive, and helpful.

When reacting to a complaint on social media always reply publicly. If you must take the customer to a private conversation to deliver a solution with further detail or ask for sensitive information, like an account number or identifying details, attempt to do so on the same platform. Later, make sure to follow up publicly that the issue was handled – to close the loop in the public eye.

Negative feedback on social media can also represent the possibility to turn angry customers into brand evangelists and create unique opportunities to surprise and delight.

Responding publicly is vital to showing your brand as transparent, responsive, and helpful.

5. Know when and how to engage

Responding to inbound posts, both compliments and complaints, strengthens a brand’s relationship with its customer base, but comments that veer into hate language territory (comments that are racist, sexist, or otherwise aggressively derogatory) may require a brand response which clearly states that kind of language is not acceptable.

Be open with your audience by including a declaration of what violates your online community terms in your bio or about me section. For example, on our own Facebook page we note: We seek to develop an engaging and constructive community through our Facebook Brand page.

We encourage feedback, new ideas and vibrant conversation. We do, however, reserve the right to remove any postings of a rude, obscene, discriminatory, promotional or inappropriate character.

PS: Be mindful of deleting comments, since it might cause further anger and additional comments are likely to increase – both in number and in hostility. If a comment is insulting, you can report it and on some networks, like Facebook, you can hide the comment from the public, but let the comment remain visible to the user who submitted it, as well as to the original poster’s friends. This lowers the chance for more dispute when removing a comment from the public light.

Investing in your client experience begins with listening. And what better way is there to understand what your clients need and want than by their own feedback? A bad comment gives an opportunity to highlight your brand’s desire to resolving any concerns with transparency and empathy. With the five steps above you’ll give service necessary for a satisfied fanbase – and develop a brand worthy of client loyalty.

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