Don’t Be Afraid of Negative Attention with Social Media

Don’t Be Afraid of Negative Attention with Social Media

People often fear what they don’t understand, and this is the way most business owners feel about social media. They don’t understand it, they believe they can’t control it so they avoid it. But even negative attention on a social media site doesn’t have to mean the end of your business if you know the right way to approach the situation.  

The first aspect of social media that businesses need to understand is not everyone goes to these sites to trash local businesses. In fact, most people who follow a business won’t say anything at all. Statistics show that 85% of a company’s followers on social media sites won’t comment on content or post a comment about the business. And 17% of followers will interact in a positive way by sharing, commenting, or liking your content. 

Handling the Vocal Few 

It is the remaining 2% or 3% that complain and this is unavoidable. It isn’t the negative comments that you need to worry about, it’s how you handle those comments that can make or break your company. Ignoring these comments won’t make them go away and if you respond in kind you will only seem petty and arrogant to your followers. While we may not like criticism it can help us grow and improve. Look at these comments as an opportunity to improve your business and show your customers that you really do care what they think.

Making the Most of a Situation 

There can be many reasons why someone posts a negative comment about a business on a social site.

No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to please everyone. There are those customers who are never happy and always find something to complain about. When that happens, acknowledge the comment, let them know you still appreciate your business, and that you regret they didn’t have a better experience.

The next step is to ask them what they feel you could do to improve your business. When they make suggestions listen to them without feeling angry or combative. Remember, this isn’t personal, its business and they aren’t attacking you. Try to take their advice with an open mind and make an honest review of your company to see if their suggestions can help. 

When You Had a Bad Day

The negative review can also stem from the fact that you or someone within your organization had a bad day. It can happen and if you acknowledge this fact on the site you will improve your company’s reputation, not hurt it. People like dealing with people, not businesses. And this means they want companies to acknowledge they aren’t perfect. What is important to them is what you do to rectify the situation.

Let’s take a look at an offline example of how you can make a loyal customer out of a bad situation. If you run a restaurant and you serve a customer an over cooked meal this doesn’t mean you have to lose this person’s business. Instead you have an opportunity to impress the individual with your customer service acumen. Let them know that you will comp them for the meal and even offer a discount if they return to your establishment to give you a chance to impress them. Not only have you created a happy customer but they are likely to tell others of their experience.

Treat Online Problems Online

You can handle negative comments on social sites the same way. Look at them as an opportunity to show your customers that you will do what it takes to make things right when you make a mistake. You can do this is by discussing the situation and your solution online. Don’t ask the person to contact you offline, as this will deny you the ability to show your fans how terrific your company is and the great service you offer. 

Even if you think the customer is wrong, remember the two golden rules of business. The first rule is that the customer is always right. The second rule is that when the customer is wrong you need to refer to rule number one. Acknowledge the customer’s feelings as valid and offer them a discount or gift certificate for their next order. When they calm down they may realize they overreacted but they will appreciate the lengths you were willing to go to keep their business.

People Are Always Talking

One of the most important things to remember about social media is that people are always talking. If you aren’t monitoring these sites and what your consumers are saying about you then you will miss it when a complaint or problem arises. This is often how negative comments can escalate into real problems for businesses.

Don’t be afraid of negative comments and don’t ignore all of the benefits social media offers your company. Everyone may not love you but if you are honest about your mistakes and do what you can to make them right your followers will respect you. And the positive comments about your company will spread faster and further on social media than any other marketing medium.