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How to Deal with Negative Social Media Feedback

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, May 5, 2014 |

Social media is used by virtually all types of businesses to market their products and services. It also provides a place for interaction between brands and customers.

For customers, social media is the best way to connect with brands. It is where they can get a quick response and direct access to information about a product or service. However useful it is to both businesses and customers, social media isn't always the ground for happy comments and grateful consumers. Sometimes, users go to a brandís social media page for the sole purpose of complaining about a product or service. And when that happens, account managers panic.

This article tackles the different ways companies can address unfavorable comments on social media - a few doís and doníts to turn negative social media into positive PR.

DO respond to complaints you receive via social media. By responding, youíre showing your customers that you are listening to them and are acting on their concerns.

DO consider taking complex issues out of the spotlight. Social platforms may not be the best place to resolve it. Offer to continue the conversation by means of a more appropriate medium (by phone, e-mail, or an existing online support forum).

DO respond quickly and with care. Replying promptly makes your customer feel that you think theyíre important; and youíre also giving the commenter less time to complain again. That is why itís necessary for companies to have dedicated staff to monitor their social media accounts every day.

DO think of the bigger picture and the effect public complaints will have on your business. A good way to make sure your customers are happy with how you have addressed and handled the situation is by following up with them.

DO inject a little humor into your responses. Surprisingly, itís the brands that are often bullied and trolled on social media. Why not rise to the occasion with a witty and inoffensive joke? A clever and funny video apology or meme also does the trick. Turning the issue into something fun and entertaining is another way to pacify irate customers and at the same time shows the audience what a good sport and good humored brand you are.

DONíT delete comments and get defensive. Deleting customer complaints and negative comments or becoming excessively defensive only infuriates customers and intensifies the issue. Gather your thoughts and review your response before hitting the send button. You are representing the company, so itís best to do it well and display professionalism.

These are the standard ways of responding to customer complaints on social media. The ideal world for a social media marketer would be one where everyone - from customers to prospective customers - engages positively. But, as in the real world, mistakes happen and customers get agitated and complain. Whether it is the straightforward approach or a response with humor, the one thing you canít do is ignore the issue and hope that it will just disappear.


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