Social media allows consumers to voice their opinions about a brand to a wide audience, more quickly than ever before. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow consumers to lead the conversation, leaving brands with little control over what is said. However, brands do have control over how they take action when either negative or positive comments about them are published on social media.
With feedback now immediately visible to the public, rather than just being a complaint over the phone, or praise to a customer’s neighbour, it is more important than ever for customer service and community management teams to acknowledge feedback and respond as quickly as possible. Below are some useful tips on how brands should react to both positive and negative feedback on social media platforms in order to ensure the most successful outcome.
Responding to Positive Social Media Feedback
Positive sentiment deserves as much attention as negative. Many community management teams tend to place a lot of emphasis on the negative and ignore the positive, but they should be equally considered:
- Thank any users that post positive feedback on social media, either by liking their comment on Facebook, favouriting their tweet on Twitter, or even sending a brief thank you in reply. It will make the user feel appreciated and other customers will also admire the praise.
- Support brand ambassadors by sharing their content. This is more likely to happen on Twitter, so if a customer provides your brand with positive feedback, acknowledge them by retweeting content that you think will interest your audience.
- Use previous positive feedback from customers when creating a social calendar. For example, using an image of ‘John’ or a screenshot of his comment with his permission, a post on Facebook or Twitter might read: “John told us he’s loving our 50% off sale, what do you think?” This will make the customer feel special and also encourage others to provide good feedback.
Responding to Negative Social Media Feedback
Although negative feedback on social media platforms can be a community management team’s worst nightmare, with fast reactions and a solid plan of action in place, there is no reason why negative comments should harm a brand:
- When negative comments are posted on social media, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible. If your customer service team is only on hand between certain hours of the day, then write this in the ‘About’ sections on your profiles. That way, you are setting expectations and avoiding any further negativity.
- Any disparaging conversations that can’t be solved with a single response should be taken offline as soon as possible. They shouldn’t be deleted, but to avoid further unnecessary responses, send a private message asking for further details, or a telephone number or email address, so that the complaint can be dealt with privately.
- Negative sentiment isn’t always a problem and it’s often an opportunity for brands to answer a question that numerous other customers may have. It can almost be treated as an FAQ platform, so respond in a helpful manner to prevent others from giving the same disgruntled feedback.
About the Author
Keredy Andrews is an account director at Punch Communications, an integrated PR, SEO, social media agency, serving a range of global clients. She has over eight years’ experience in communications and marketing, regularly contributes industry insight to websites, including the Punch Communications blog, and she can be followed on Google+ and Twitter
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