No matter who you are, what you do, or what your brand is about, you’re going to experience negative comments from time to time. On social media sites, brands have quite a few options available to them to limit the damage. But you’re never going to avoid negative comments. They come with the territory.
Even the best campaigns in social media fail to please everyone. And when dealing with a site like Facebook, some people take being a little dissatisfied extremely personally. It’s just the type of “me-me-me” culture we inhabit, and that’s usually a good thing when you’re harnessing this to promote your brand. When it comes back to bite you, though, you better be ready to handle it.
Tips for Handling the Social Media Negativity
1. Build a Plan Preemptively
Now, understand here that there’s a difference between building a plan preemptively and a preemptive plan. Nothing is really going to preempt disaster outright. Just as a stronger home might stand up to an earthquake, a tornado is still going to rip the roof off. Disaster strikes, and you can’t safeguard against them all. However, you can take your cue from a prepper and be fully prepared to handle it when it does happen. So put a plan of action into place that you’re ready to use at the drop of a hat.
2. Act Quickly
This is where that planning really pays off. The goal here is to act as quickly as possible once you begin to receive negative comments, feedback, reviews, etc. you want to be able to get out in front of the issue(s) before things go viral and beat your brand name down into the dirt. By acting quickly, you can even help prevent some potential disasters; i.e. if a customer has a big complaint, responding quickly may help prevent future issues.
3. Scripts are for Actors
While some of the best support staffs out there do stick to a script when it comes to what the response will be for any listed issue, there is still a time where going off-script is important. You may encounter someone with a unique problem, or someone who doesn’t understand or appreciate the scripted responses. So try to keep things natural with your responses. Having scripted answers for the most common issues is okay, but be prepared to do some improvisation.
4. Be Patient with People
Regardless of what the issue is, you need to exercise some patience on your end. Negative criticism is often the result of people who tried to speak with you but couldn’t get their issue resolved. If you’re willing to put in the extra effort, you may be able to avoid some issues going forward.
5: Set Up Alerts
You need to know what people are saying about you, but you also need to know when they’re saying it. Facebook has a Hyper Alerts tool that will alert you every time someone makes a comment on your brand page. This will allow you view the negative situations immediately before deciding to take action.
6. Only Delete the Worst
Part of being a brand on a site like Facebook is actually taking things in stride. If you can’t handle some light criticism with a smile on your face, then you’re probably going to show off a totalitarian side, attempting to delete, block and ban everyone to say something you don’t agree with. Totalitarianism is a snowball-effect kind of thing. So unless it’s outright spam or obscene, leave the comments standing and respond politely.
7. Set Up a Specific Account
To handle negativity properly, you have to do your part to show that you’re really serious about taking care of the situation. This doesn’t apply to spammers and trolls and the otherwise disgruntled individuals out there who just wish to wreak havoc. But for everyone else, making up the majority of negative comments, you can show that you really care about their issue by having a separate, support-specific email for your brand. People will be more inclined to contact you with negative criticism rather than putting it out in public.
Negativity has a way of finding us all, and it’s really not something that you’re going to be able to avoid. The idea here is to put a plan in place, act quickly when it happens, and to attempt to limit the damage while satisfying the complainants. If you can do those things, then you can handle negativity in social media.
This article is written by Craig Robinson, an online writer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad campaign tool. He loves to write different topics about social media tips and strategies. Besides writing, he also enjoys engaging with different communities and social forums.