In fact I recently read an article that suggested that more than 40 percent of consumers use social media sites to contact a company’s customer service department. Not only that, but more than half of these expect a Facebook response within the same day or a Twitter response within two hours.
Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your social media brand:
Be sure you are Listening in –
You need to be connected on at least the big 4 – Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest, but also be sure to monitor review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. And don’t forget to monitor the comments on your own blog posts.
These sites really just need to be monitored regularly. Sharing a comment, a product release or posts about benefits is a good place to start. But it’s also important to monitor what other people have to say about you and your brand. This will help you gain control of your brand, especially if anything turns toward the negative side.
Setting up a Google Alert can also keep you in the know. Whenever your brand or product is mentioned, you’ll receive an email from Google.
Responding to your followers –
When negative comments appear, be careful about how you respond. People who aren’t experienced with social media might fight back in an attempt to defend their brand, or even just delete the comment.
But these types of responses can actually hurt your reputation. You don’t want to drive consumers away, or make it look like you’re covering something up by just deleting the comment.
Negative comments actually give you the chance to deal with the issues at hand, and help you come out stronger in the end. Welcome these opportunities.
Do Your Research –
When consumers respond with angry comments, take some time to do your research. Contact the responsible parties and ask for their opinion on the comment. Find out if there’s some truth in the message, even if the words used to deliver that message are less than productive. Then strike a tone that’s pleasant and helpful, and post it publicly. Be sure to respond with expectations of a response within 2 hours on Twitter or 24 hours on Facebook. So you do have some time to get to the bottom of the comment.
You are not always going to be able to make your customer happy. But hopefully you’ve learned something that will help you in the future and you’ve shown that your company is both kind and reasonable. As long as you’ve done the right thing, other readers will see what’s happening and will appreciate the way you handled it.
Sometimes you will need to take action –
Most negative comments provide great opportunities to grow your brand, but sometimes there will be hateful words that just can’t be tolerated. Sometimes comments might contain things that are simply not true, or that attack you personally or berate your values.
Responding to these comments rarely help and can actually encourage the writer to become even more hateful. Sometimes, you just need to delete these.
Be sure to provide a clear policy regarding comment removal. This can allow you to stay above accusations of censoring. Consider getting a legal statement regarding the types of comments you’ll delete and post that statement prominently on your website. This can be a quick and easy way to defend yourself.
If these types of comments appear on public review sites they can be harder to contain and control, but there are still options. Many review sites also have rules regarding what users can say online. If posts violate these terms they can be deleted. Sometimes simply pointing out the discrepancies is enough to clear your name, but if not, many review sites can provide assistance to get those black marks removed for good.
Finding the Time –
Yes, monitoring and responding to comments can take time. You may even need to hire someone to do the work for you. But as social media continues to grow, and as public expectations of excellence in the companies they do business with, this is a step you can’t afford to skip.
If you can’t do it yourself, and are not quite ready to hire a full-time person to help you, there are many virtual assistants who can do this type of work for you.
<—— Did this article help you? If so, it would mean a lot to me if you would share it with others!!! And, share your comments below! I would LOVE to know more about you and your thoughts on this subject!
Let’s have some conversation!
By Lynn Huber
p.s. If someone has a complaint about your company, they will voice their concern whether your company is on social networks or not. If you’re not there with them you’ll have no way of knowing about a customer’s concerns or to defend yourself.
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