22 Nov Online Feedback: Going From Negative to Positive
Social media provides consumers with a public stage to share their thoughts, opinions, grievances, etc. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or a social site that hasn’t even been built yet, you can bet that there’s just as much negatively flowing through the ether as positivity.
How to Turn Negative Comments into Positive PR For Your Brand
With feedback given so frequently and so freely, managing feedback becomes an incredibly important part of your overall social media efforts. If you can’t handle the negativity on the Internet, you’re in the wrong business. And if you’re not attempting to transform that negativity into positivity through the way you manage the feedback system, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Take Immediate Action
First things first – fly into action immediately. The best way to do this is to consistently monitor your social pages so that you’ll immediately see any negative feedback, especially when people comment directly on your page and posts. The quicker you’re able to act, the quicker things will get handled. Immediately step in, identify the feedback, the source and the validity, and come up with an action plan. The situation may be small enough to handle quickly on the page or post, or you may need to take the conversation offline.
Killing With Kindness
You work on dealing with the negative feedback by instantly injecting positivity into the situation. If they’re commenting on your post, reach out to them personally and offer an apology. “I’m sorry you’re going through X. How may we help you with this issue?” Even if they’re belligerent, you need to be kind and helpful if it’s a legitimate issue. Negative feedback can snowball, and handling it in a positive fashion will put your brand in a better light. You don’t have to be sally sunshine all the time, but you should be genuine.
Don’t Feed The Trolls
The question of when a brand should enter the conversation on social can be a tricky one. If someone is making false accusations against you, being overly obstinate and offensive, or just misrepresenting your products and/or services, you may be tempted to fight back with the truth. Don’t feed the trolls. Sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing. People who are just being too difficult to deal with need to be deleted. You can follow up the next day with a post that addresses the concerns and puts things right.
Build A Bypass
People are bound to have different issues with different aspects of your business. Some people might be complaining about a payment failure, while others might be fussing about a damaged product. Have a system in place that directs people to different areas for different issues. This is something you should do preemptively in a support section or an FAQ section, and if it ever pops up on your pages, make sure you step in quickly to point them in the right direction.
Service With A Smile
Killing with kindness is one thing, but you have to wrap things up on a high note too. Never forget that you might actually be able to transform a disgruntled customer into a lifelong, happy fan if you’re willing to address their issues, thank them for their loyalty, and offer them something as an incentive. Just like a restaurant manager might offer a free dessert for an overcooked steak before sending the person off with a smile – even if that person ordered their steak well done. The principle is the same here. PR is the hospitality business.
You might be churning and burning on the inside, steaming over the negative feedback, but you have to put your happy face on, your best foot forward, and work hard to deal with the negativity. Turning it around in your favor is something that can be done, you just have to be willing to do it.
About The Author
Simon Campbell is a writer from Qwaya, a Facebook ad campaign tool. He loves to write different topics about social media and participates in some communities and forums.