Social Media: Do you have a Plan for Dealing with Negative Feedback?
It’s an issue faced by more and more social media marketers: How to handle negative feedback. And based on recent research conducted by SMMU, it turns out many companies aren’t well-prepared for it.
The research found that fewer than 50% have effective strategies and procedures to deal with negative social media posts.
The rest either have plans that don’t work … they’re working on formulating a plan … or they have no plans to create one.
If your company doesn’t have a formal set of procedures to deal with negative social media feedback, now is the time to develop them. Be sure to focus on these aspects:
- Create a comment policy and make it visible on your blogs and social media profiles. Identify the kind of language or comments that are unacceptable and will cause comments (or users) to be blocked from your communities.
- Always moderate comments – but be selective about what is deleted, hidden or blocked. Meaningful and engaged social media interaction isn’t just for “happy talk.” Weigh what conversations need to be aired – even if they’re not pleasant – versus inflammatory attack language or gratuitous profanity which shouldn’t be shown.
- Ignore “trolls” – the folks who attempt to sow discord by starting arguments or posting provocative extraneous messages – to the best of your ability. But do respond to other commenters. If an issue continues to escalate in the public arena, take steps to resolve the issue with the poster privately, if possible.
In the realm of social media, it’s always important to create an open and respectful “public space” where feedback is valued and sincere interactions can take place – even when they’re unpleasant.
That’s easier to accomplish when you have a plan – and guidelines – in place for staff members who are involved in your company’s social sphere. Better that than having to do “cleanup” after the fact!