Social media is a great way to promote your company, engage brand advocates and attract traffic to your company website. But some business owners and marketing managers are reluctant to jump onto the social networks because they’re concerned about receiving negative comments.
It’s true, social media gives detractors an easy opportunity to share bad news or misinformation that can put your business in a negative light. But the fact is, if someone has a complaint about your company, they will voice their concern whether your company is on social networks or not. Worse yet, if you’re not there with them you’ll have no way to of knowing about a customer’s concerns or defend yourself. So how to you protect your brand on social networks while still being a player in the social media world?
Make sure to visit your company’s social media pages or accounts daily. During a crisis or heightened alert, like a major product announcement, visit several times a day. Social monitoring software, like Argyle Social or Hubspot, allow you to keep an eye on, and quickly respond to posts on multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard.
No News is Not Always Good News
Just because your Facebook page is clear doesn’t mean people aren’t talking. Be proactive and take control of the conversation by scanning the Internet for tweets and blogs that mention your brand. Here’s how:
- Use http://search.twitter.com to search keywords on Twitter
- Use http://blogsearch.google.com to search blogs
- Use the “Posts by Everyone” feature on Facebook Search to see what people are posting about your brand.
Address the Situation ASAP
Oh no! Someone posted something negative on one or more of your social networking pages. Here’s what you should do:
- Assess the situation. If it’s spam, delete it. If it’s appropriate content, even if it’s negative, do not delete it! If one of your followers has a complaint it is important to demonstrate to the rest of your fans how you handle the situation.
- Determine your response to the situation. Even though the complaint may be incorrect and inflammatory, take a deep breath and be the better person. It’s probably best to respond politely by apologizing that they had a bad experience.
- Respond. Offer to make it right via a personal email or phone conversation, off line. You will find that your fans will support you and counter any negative posts.
- Don’t panic. Social media is social. For every negative comment or post your brand receives, you will find hundreds of supporters who will rally behind you. Be open, honest and genuine when addressing complaints, opinions and comments; respond as quickly as you would to a complaint in traditional media and take advantage of the opportunity to share the positive things your company does.
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