Social media marketing has become an almost invaluable tool for brands across all sectors. And no wonder – sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are low-cost and far-reaching platforms that nurture business-customer relationships that would simply not have existed before the Internet became so ubiquitous.
However, despite their many uses, social media sites also increase the risk of negative customer feedback being broadcast for millions of eyes to see. Antagonistic social media users can spell trouble for marketing specialists that are only trying to do their job, and can sometimes lead to public relations disasters. So how can such crises be avoided?
1. Do not place blame on anyone
If a customer is dissatisfied with your services, the worst thing you can do is point towards an unfortunate scapegoat. Rather than dwelling on the situation, offer to work towards a solution in a neutral and professional manner. Reply publicly in the first instance, apologizing and demonstrating your willingness to help them. If you need the customer to share personal or sensitive information to solve the problem, you can then move the conversation to a private messaging forum.
2. Avoid deleting negative comments
It can be tempting to delete negative comments, but this should generally be avoided unless they are abusive towards a particular individual. Indeed, getting rid of public messages may seem like a form of censorship, and customers may start to believe that you have something to hide. Demonstrate that you are a transparent and honest company by addressing all comments fairly.
3. Keep a close eye on all of your platforms
Neglecting your social media platforms for long periods of time can mean that negative comments go ignored. To the outside social media user, this may seem reflective of a wider company reluctance to help dissatisfied customers and may turn them away from opting for your services. Try and check your platforms at least two or three times a day.
4. Establish a clear policy for employees using social media
The best way to deal with the prospect of social media crises is to avoid them in the first place. Create guidelines surrounding what is and is not appropriate for staff to post on social media, and give them clear instructions regarding how to reply to negative comments.