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Marketing & Sales
May 16, 2016

How To Handle Negative Feedback On Social Media

Sponsored Content provided by Mike Duncan - CEO and Creative Director, Sage Island



At this point, we all know the value of using social media as part of your business's digital marketing strategy. It’s a way to increase brand awareness, boost website traffic, and most importantly connect and establish trust with current and potential clients. Actively engaging with your clients allows you to share the human side of your brand and receive your clients’ support in return.
 
So what happens when a fan leaves a negative comment? It’s upsetting, especially when you’ve spent so much time trying to entertain and inform your audience about your products and services. When those efforts go unappreciated, it may feel like the end of the world.
 
According to Retail Consumer Report from RightNow Technologies, only 68 percent of customers who post negative feedback on a social network received a reply from a brand. Don’t ignore those comments in hopes they’ll disappear. Look at feedback as a tool that can be used to transform unhappy commenters into loyal customers. Turn bad experiences into positive ones with these tips:

  • Always respond to users. As a professional company, it is your responsibility to reply to questions or comments. You wouldn’t ignore someone’s complaint if they were right in front of you, would you? That’s not acceptable in person or on social media. Show you care about your audience by responding in a positive manner. Offer an apology AND a solution. This is your opportunity to turn a bad situation around and transform an unsatisfied customer into a loyal one.

    There are a few exceptions to responding to negative feedback. If any comments include profanity, spam or are randomly attacking your brand without making sense, you have the option to remove the comment or not reply at all.
  • Go beyond “I’m sorry.” Responding to a negative comment with a general “we’re sorry about your experience” without providing any additional information isn’t helping anyone. This is especially true if your replies to all incoming complaints are the same general response. You’re doing nothing to solve your users’ problems. Always look for and offer solutions that will satisfy your unhappy customers.
  • Consider a private conversation. Sometimes a conversation between you and an unhappy user isn’t meant to remain in the public eye. You might need to exchange multiple messages, which can clog up your social platform feeds. Reply to a user’s message, publicly acknowledge the problem, and then suggest continuing the conversation privately through direct messaging. If a follower is not being cooperative about continuing to speak privately, show that you’re doing all you can to resolve their problem in a careful public conversation.
  • On occasion, ban or block them. You may run into situations where a follower’s negativity doesn’t stop and causes nothing but trouble. Don’t feel guilty about banning or blocking them in these circumstances, especially if they’re using profanity, racial slurs and aggression. Friends of banned commenters may still be able to see what they post, but new page followers usually won’t.
  • Get your online community involved. If you consistently engage with your followers by responding and showing support, they’ll become more active on your social pages and pay closer attention to what others have to say about your brand. You might see your fans helping each other by answering pending questions or comments before you have the chance. If they provide a solution to another follower, great! But remember to follow up with that person even if they’ve been helped. Ask if there’s any further assistance you can provide and thank your helpful follower for speaking up on your behalf.
  • Don’t stop sharing with your followers. Don’t let one bad review set the opinion of what users should expect from your brand. Keep your social pages fresh with new and informative posts about what you’re up to, plus any positive reviews, client stories and rewards your brand has received in the past. Those types of updates really paint a picture of what your business is about.
Social media is a place to grow and connect with your audience, through the good and the bad. Respect what your audience has to say and I guarantee you’ll build a strong group of followers. Remember: Acknowledge. Respond. Resolve. Repeat. If you’ve having trouble responding to followers, or aren’t sure how to reply, contact Sage Island. Our social media specialists know how to address negative comments to ensure your followers continue to be happy, supportive customers.
 
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997 and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
 

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