Entire control over your business’s message online is a complete impossibility. These days it is not uncommon to come across instances of large companies getting into trouble over mishaps on social media. Your company may never come across a massive controversy online, however, it is unavoidable that you will get some negative feedback on social media. How you deal with this feedback is paramount to social media success.
The worst thing you can do is avoid social media altogether out of fear of negative feedback, you want some control over what is said about your business. If you’re not on social media, you could risk not hearing what is said about your company at all. To booster your company reputation in a positive way be ready and waiting to tackle negative feedback head on.
Manage your reputation
If you can manage your online reputation effectively, you are taking proactive steps to positively advertise your company. Learning how to manage negative feedback on social media is essential, below we have included a few tips to get you started on protecting business’s reputation.
· When dealing with a public complaint on social media the best course of action is to respond publicly. It may be tempting to respond on a private channel or even ignore the post altogether, but you will put your company in the better light if you respond publicly. Responding publicly to a complaint on social media gives you the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your business’s customer service values. Remember to respond as quickly as possible to gain extra brownie points.
· Keep negative posts and comments on your social media platforms public. If you are seen to be deleting posts this could result in a possible backlash from customers. Addressing the problem head on is always the best way to deal with negative feedback. It is only advised that you delete posts or comments if they are extremely inappropriate and violate the policies of the social media platform you are using.
· Respond as quickly as you can to customer complaints and queries. This is especially important if you have many customers reporting the same issue. If you don’t have time to respond fully add a quick note mentioning that you are looking into the issue. Being quick to respond to queries goes a long way in building customer trust.
· If you make a mistake when dealing with a customer don’t be afraid to admit the mistake or backtrack if necessary. Customers are people too and understand that everyone makes mistakes. They will respect you more if you own up to your mistakes and focus on fixing them rather than if you try to cover them or shift the blame.
· Always be proactive to establish a good reputation for your business. Aim to be an influential force in your industry on both social media and in real world at speaking engagements and trade shows.
· Be very careful with what you post on social media. It is very easy for the smallest joke or comment to backfire. Often the written word doesn’t allow for nuances of speech, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher the tone of which a post or comment should be read. As this is the case think carefully of what you post and share, this is especially true of jokes.
· Have your social media crisis response plan ready and waiting. If you ever encounter a social media crisis on your accounts, you can deal with it quickly and easily if you already have a plan in place.
Your guide to creating a social media crisis response plan
1. Most importantly monitor your online presence. Keep your ear to the ground on what is being said on your social media channels. There is a plethora of free and paid tools and resources you can utilise to aid you in this.
2. Create policies and plans for the possibility of a social media crisis. Having these measures in place will help take most of the hassle out of responding to a crisis. You will also need your team assembled and trained to enact these policies and plans. The departments you may need in this training may be management, marketing, communications, IT and/or legal.
3. You need to decide your response to a crisis when one occurs and execute it quickly. Who does this information need to be shared with? Does it need to shared internally and externally? Should you target one audience with your response or should it span all your social outlets? What exactly will your message be?
4. After a crisis, it can be worthwhile to evaluate the process and your response. Discuss with your team possible improvements and identify any weaknesses that need ironing out, from here you can make positive modifications to your social media plan.