Social media basics is not difficult or complicated for most businesses. However finding the right content that your audience will relate to and engage with is vital and normaly takes time and practice. Social media is about people and people like to be treated with respect. If you approach your social media marketing activities with people in mind then you should be OK. Treat people as individuals, be friendly and personal. When the crisis hits stay neutral and address the situation. Concentrate on what you can change, work to find the solution not the scapegoat.
What to keep in mind when dealing with negative feedback in your social media marketing:
- Avoid broadcasting, it’s not another advertising channel. Engage in conversation.
- Monitor your brand’s entire social media presence. Social media channels, blogs, forums and news feeds.
- Don’t think in campaign terms. There’s no end date on your social media activities. Social media is long term.
- Being too “corporate”. People like people and we get it really fast when we are fed another load of crafted marketing messages.
- Make sure that your employee cannot accidentally post personal messages on brand channels.
- Do not lie! Doh!
- Don’t bad mouth others. There are enough trolls out there to do it.
- Do not censor user content. This could make a trivial matter into a huge crisis.
- Do not use legal threats to silence customers.
- Be real. Faking customer interaction by hiring an agency (or employee) to pretend to be a brand advocate is not a great way to success. What is the benefit?
- Create clear social media policy. What gets deleted? Foul and abusive language, threats against individuals, hate speech, flame comments about products/services
- Create guidelines, what actions to take in case of a wave of negative conversations in social media. Attack against your brand, customer service gone bad, negative rumor.
- How you’ll respond to negative content. In many cases you can use this to your advantage, depending on the reason for the comment.
- Who decides what to do with negative comments.
- What’s the worst that can happen? How to respond?
- What should the response times be in different situations?
- Who is the person publicly available and accountable for crisis resolution?
- Do not ignore negative conversations. Watch and be ready to react. You don’t have to respond to every negative mention. Negative product reviews and comparisons with other brands will always be there.
When a negative event occurs keep your emotions in check. Most situations can be solved reasonably. Let the other side know that you understand how they feel and you are going to fix the situation. Never blame others and deal with the problem instead. If your ego is the only thing that gets bruised, let it go.
April 13th, 2018