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Great Ideas Start Here

blog: a regularly updated web page, typically run by an individual or organization, containing relevant thoughts and ideas.
 
by: Lauren Randel, Director of Marketing & Communication

You’ve been assigned to handle your company’s social media campaign. Things are going well. You’ve created a branded header for Facebook, added your logo to Twitter and you’ve begun sharing relevant content with your audience. As time goes on you begin to develop relationships with your followers and even some of your customers. Lines of communication are open and feedback is positive.

Then one day it happens. You fire up your laptop at the coffee shop, ready to compose a tweet, and right there on your screen is a negative comment about your brand. This is the point where how you respond can make all the difference. Do you know what to do? Do you have a plan in place for a moment such as this? If not, here are five ideas for dealing with the situation.

1.  Respond. The worst thing you can do is to ignore the problem and hope no one else notices. They will notice, and if you ignore it they will notice that too. Don’t give your customers the impression that you don’t care.

2.  Don’t just panic and hit “delete”. Many times if you delete a negative comment, new ones will pop up in its place. There are times when a post is inappropriate due to offensive content, racial tone or inappropriate language. In those cases a policy should exist to clearly define when it’s necessary to delete an item. If possible, state your policy somewhere on your social media page so your followers will have a clear understanding of why content has been removed.


3.  Apologize. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s ok to acknowledge a problem and say you’re sorry. Don’t make excuses or try to blame someone else, just let the person know that the problem will be addressed. It’s usually a good idea to have some type of “I’m Sorry” statement ready and approved prior to having to use it.


4.  Take it offline. After you have posted a public response, it is sometimes necessary to follow up with the commenter. Send an email or set up a time to talk on the phone. Explain to them that you would like to discuss the matter in a way that offers them a more personal solution. Giving the customer an opportunity to feel like they have been heard can go a long way to solving a problem.


5.  If there is a problem, fix it. Don’t promise to find a solution to a customer’s problem then ignore it and hope it will just go away. Chances are, it won’t. Ask the person how you can help. If you don’t feel like there is anything you can do to satisfy them, tell them you’re sorry they feel the way they do, and leave it at that. Sometimes there is just no way to help. In a case like this, at least try to make the person feel like you took the time to listen and understand their feelings. If you are able to fix the problem, follow up with the customer and let them know how and why this will not happen again.