Are you responding to comments on your social media pages?
A few months ago, we were contacted by a client who woke up one morning to find herself immersed in a PR storm. One of her customers left a negative comment on the town’s Facebook group and suddenly everyone had an opinion. As a small, local business, this had the potential to become a devastating issue.
We immediately jumped in and started helping her. We set to work drafting responses to the comments. As we got started, the client had a lot of questions about this strategy. Many business owners struggle with knowing how and when to respond to comments and reviews. So today, we want to answer the questions and dispel the myths.
The Do’s and Don’t of Responding to Comments on Social Media
1. DO respond to every comment.
Whether a comment is positive or negative, responding to each one is a must. This is essential if you want to promote a positive brand image. Unless you are a huge influencer and you’re getting 100 plus comments on every post and you are posting multiple times a day. But if you’re doing that well, you should be making enough of an income to hire someone to respond to comments for you. If you’re not, contact us, we can help.
2. DO encourage people to contact you, even if they are spreading negativity.
This can be scary. What if you become overwhelmed with messages? It’s definitely a possibility. However, there is a funny sort of mob mentality that occurs when people get on social media. When one person attacks, everyone else feels comfortable attacking as well. Most of those people will not be passionate enough about their cause to reach out to you personally. But people reading the comments will see how you respectfully responded to complaints. This will do wonders for your brand image.
3. DO encourage people to contact you via direct or private messages.
Dealing with an upset customer on social media in front of an audience can turn real ugly, real fast. The sooner you can move the conversation into a private space, the better.
4. DON’T delete negative comments.
And be cautious about blocking people who are negative. If someone is posting offensive content that upsets your customers, it is a different story. But deleting complaints and blocking complainers doesn’t help your image, even if it seems like it would. Customers will notice that the comment was deleted. In fact, nearly half of people (45%) say they would view a brand more positively if it responded to negative comments on social media. Additionally, the person you are deleting and blocking could get even more upset and start causing trouble for your business elsewhere. The best course of action is to respond positively, apologize, and offer to make it better.
5. DON’T take it personally.
It is really difficult to not feel as if the commenter is attacking you personally. After all, if you are like most business owners, you pour your heart and soul into your company. If you feel yourself starting to get defensive, take a deep breath. Walk away if you have to. Just make sure that your responses are professional and calm. The internet is watching you and people will judge your response.
6. DON’T respond in a generic or hollow-sounding manner.
If you were dealing with this customer while they were standing in front of you, how would you respond? Would you make eye contact, smile, and listen to what they said? While you can’t do that exact thing on social media, the same customer service rules apply. Make sure your response shows that you listened to their comment and that each one is tailored specifically to the customer or the situation. This doesn’t mean you have to create a long, drawn-out response to each comment. But adding a little personalization to your posts goes a long way.
Your social media pages are a representation of your storefront online. Responding to comments and interacting with people in a professional and positive manner is essential if you want people to view your business positively. It also helps you grow your reach and engagement levels.
At The Social Expansion Project, we include assistance responding to comments as a part of all of our affordable marketing packages. Check them out and schedule a free, no-pressure consultation today!