For digital marketers, social networks are a representative sample of prospects and consumers. Being exposed and open to feedback makes you in an insecure position with no pre-set strategy to respond to unpredictable opinions about your brand knowing that the negative is always louder than the positive.No biggies, first keep calm and don’t answer on the spot: an angry response is never well received by the community. Meanwhile, try to tailor the best response relying on the measures we recommend to put your strategy back on the track:
Avoid immediate reactions:
Ignoring negative comments, or worst deleting them will put the integrity of your brand at stake. Assuming a misstep is difficult but it would endow your brand with a sincere image.
Don’t rush to respond on a defensive note. This would feed your ego but harm your brand’s image. Deal with it professionally and put your work first. The trick is to create a sort of detachment between yourself and your post and view it from the perspective of the receiver.
Acknowledge your mistake; Mea Culpa
The hardest part is admitting your fault. Keep in mind that error is human and that recovery from a misstep is doable by being transparent and showing sense of commitment towards your community on social media.
After admitting your mistake, you need to react and earn your audience’s trust back. Whichever the problem is send a reassuring message and make sure that this won’t stick to your reputation. The whole recovery process needs to be done quickly, honesty and reactivity are the keys to win back your audience’s trust and loyalty!
Be transparent about the measures you’ve been taking
Offer reasons and not excuses!
Being transparent on how you’re proceeding with your work to your customer/potential customer is highly important. It would swallow the tension created by the first comment and show interest in his/her opinion. In the bigger picture, it creates a sense of collaboration by showing them that their opinion matters.
No more tension, Move to Action
Bad news is that negative comments get more attention, followers will be either expecting your answer or already siding with the publisher of the comment. Showing empathy and being sincere about what happened won’t be enough.
Good news is that you can take advantage of the situation. Think of the best ways to present your apologies: issue a sincere apology, or better; make it public and gain further sympathy.
Avoid Generic Responses
Nothing would arouse your clients’ tension more than a generic response. You need to make sure that you’re answering the real problem.
Absorb their anger by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and tell them what they need to hear.
Take it as another axis of creativity
The best way to pass the storm is to show your audience that you’re a good listener to their feedback and a good learner of what they need by now. Act accordingly and show them that you’re taking them seriously.
In 2013, Jcpenny made a few changes that were not much appreciated by its community; and lost a considerable part of their customers. They quickly moved to actions and launched a commercial saying “Come back to JCPenny. We heard you, now we want to see you.” which helped them get back on the track.
Highlight the positive comments
When you get a positive feedback, make sure that you make a personalized answer. This would reinforce terms of loyalty with your customers and it would be more visible to the audience.
It’s important to recognize the most interactive members of your community. These would be the ambassadors of your brand and would defend you if you get negative comments.
If played wisely, you can easily turn the situation into your favor, good luck!