How To Deal With Haters & Negative Comments On Social Media
Free Download: Handling The Haters: How To Manage Negative PR On Social Media
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Social media is a great and powerful tool to connect with your audiences and get your message across. Engaging with customers is a great way to humanize your brand, and create credibility. Well what do you do when negative comments start popping up on your social media? Today I’m giving you some tips on how to handle the haters on social media.
You may have heard of the fast food chain Wendy’s who recently took some heat on Twitter after boasting about it’s always fresh, never frozen beef patties. One user decided to suggest that it was a hoax saying, “Your beef is frozen and we all know it.” He further on stated that it’s impossible to transport raw, never frozen meat on a truck without it spoiling. Wendy’s responded in a quick fashion, “Where do you store cold things that aren’t frozen?” But Thuggy-D didn’t want to go down without a fight. He quickly responded by saying the company should just give up, that McDonald’s was already beating them in the breakfast category. You know in very Wendy’s fashion they responded, “You don’t have to bring them into this just because “you forgot refrigerators existed there for a second.” This led to Thuggy-D deactivating his Twitter account. Brands one, bashers zero. So how did Wendy’s play up this event to prevent any further backlash or backfire? Simple, they responded with humor.
By responding in a humorous way the brand was able to generate higher brand engagement and it resulted in free publicity in the long run. The right way to respond is not by fueling the fire but by addressing it head on. When brands receive heat there are a few other options in responding.
Number one, you could delete it. I prefer not to do this, unless the basher violates your community guidelines. When comments are deleted it doesn’t address the issue and it may appear to your customers that you’re giving them the cold shoulder.
Number two, you can ignore it. Brands should use this with caution. If you have interactions with your fans on a daily basis and when comments from bashers go unanswered this could turn into a PR nightmare.
Number three, address it. This is the best way to respond to negative feedback. It provides a genuine and transparent image to your customers. It’s treating your fans as you would treat them in person and it builds a standard of great customer service.
In your responses know that creating a one size fits all response will not solve your problem. Think of each response as a conversation aimed at the individual you’re talking to.
And here are some important things to consider in crafting the most appropriate response:
Listen and strategically respond. Some situations are beyond mediation in action and in some situations it may just require blocking individuals if all they’re doing is looking for an argument. Don’t give excuses. Don’t send a message that you don’t want to own up for any shortcomings. Create a sincere apology and offer up a solution. Apply courtesy, and a genuine regard in turning the setback into a positive experience for your customer. Don’t take responses personally. It’s not you. It’s really not you. Use social media as a way to hear concerns, get feedback, address problems, and accept the fact that you can only do so much.
Be there for your customers and hear what they have to say. Make the improvements and grow. Most importantly, highlight your strengths. Frame negative comments to a positive way of flexing your grand superiority. Create a friendly response that highlights that this miss is uncharacteristic of your background.
A little bonus tip, I also want to show you that you can hide comments, instead of deleting them so that the users don’t see them. This way only you and that person and people on their friends list can see that comment. But other followers on your page don’t see it.
Your bashers can become your fans if you just address their concern head on. To learn more about responding to negative criticism and backlash on social media check out my free PDF called Handling the Haters Managing Negative PR on Social Media. And to get a handle on developing the proper social voice for your brand you can check out my free guide called the Formula to Craft a Powerful Social Media Voice.