Are Bad Social Posts Good or Bad?
It’s a fear we all have as social marketers. Bad Facebook comments. Negative tweets. A disgruntled blog post. No matter how hard we try, we can’t prevent negative comments from popping up. Our automatic reaction is that these negative posts are horrible – and this feeling often prevents marketers from fully embracing social as a consumer engagement medium. As we’ve seen in the marketplace, there are effective ways to deal with negative posts - unfortunately, marketers are still making mistakes here. The recent Chapstick example highlights some of the ways social innovation can go wrong.
However, mistakes = lessons. Here are 5 tips to help you mitigate the impact of negative comments – and help you turn detractors into advocates.
- Do not delete. It is tempting to make the problem go away by deleting negative comments. The “out of sight, out of mind” strategy doesn’t work in social. Chapstick and many others have learned this lesson the hard way. So don’t delete – respond. Plus - negative comments can actually build credibility in the social experience. If all comments are positive, consumers begin to question the credibility of the information which can disrupt the consumer experience.
- Respond. Always. As marketers, we all know it is difficult to get a consumer engage. Like it or not, a negative post is engagement. If the consumer took the time to comment, it’s important to recognize this, respond, and begin the dialog to resolve the issue.
- Public or private. Depending on the nature of the comment, it might be best to take the resolution discussion private. For example, if a customer received the wrong size product, it’s probably best to deal with that privately. However, if it’s a widespread comment that is shared across your audience, resolving the problem in a public forum can help demonstrate your commitment to a fair resolution.
- Give your community a chance to share their opinion on the post. You have brand advocates and ambassadors. Give your community a chance to respond – they often help resolve issues, come to the defense of a brand, and weed out the perennially negative posters. This helps build the credibility and authenticity of the experience.
- Listen and learn. Reading negative comments or opinions about our brands or products can be a humbling experience. It should also be a learning experience. Listen to what your audience has to say – and incorporate that knowledge into your strategy.
One thing is certain – negative opinions or comments are not going to go away. And according to this study, responding to negativity can help turn around a customer relationship. So don’t let the thought of potentially negative comments get in the way of your social strategy – think of it as a new opportunity to engage and develop deeper customer relationships.