Social media tools such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn are used to promote business and build brand. Many also rely on online tools such as Yelp and Angies List for third party endorsements.

These leave us EXPOSED!

Whether bad-mouthing a product via Twitter or leaving a scathing review on Yelp, unhappy customers or mischievous competitors can and will sully your business, often through anonymous accounts.

While brand-bashing is nothing new, the tools of the web and social media make the comments from these meanies even more lasting and impressionable.

Here are some simple ways to fight back?

Determine whether the comment deserves your attention. Some people leave outrageous comments with the sole purpose of generating conflict. If they don’t seem to have a following, and anyone can see their comments are routinely malicious, their venomous feedback might not rate any reaction.

Make a quick response your first priority. The longer you let a negative comment go unanswered, the more credibility it gains with a user’s friends and followers.

An immediate response shows that you’re paying attention and concerned about the problem.

Apologize, even if the customer is incorrect. A petty argument about who’s right and who’s wrong will accomplish little.

Plus most observers see silly complaints for what they are.

Continue tricky conversations in private. Provide an initial response in public, but move ongoing discussions with difficult customers to private channels.

Thank customers for their feedback. Treat any complaint – however harsh – as though it were constructive criticism.

After you’ve apologized for their unsatisfactory experience, let them know their feedback is appreciated and that you’ll seriously consider their suggestion for improvement.”

Be sure you follow through on your promise.

Remember … When social media attacks, fight back with kindness and understanding.

This blog was adapted from MarketingProfs

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