Here are some tips to help you handle your social media, even when it takes a turn for the worse.
Keep your cool
If someone is bashing you or your company online, it is easy to get riled up pretty quickly. However, more likely than not, addressing the person sharply will only serve to fan the flames. It is much easier to debunk the claim if you do so openly, evenly and in plain sight. Show your other customers that you take complaints seriously by addressing the point, but don’t do so in a defensive or angry fashion.
There are two common responses to social media criticism, and neither is ideal. The first is to aggressively and harshly counter the assertion. The second is to ignore it altogether. Instead you should aim for the middle road. Don’t be afraid to mention the specific claim, but you should also aim to treat it as just one more opinion in the sea of them that is social media.
Whenever possible, focus on addressing comments that are framed respectfully and earnestly, even if they are negative in nature. Shining an unnecessary spotlight on outright criticism can make those customers of yours who genuinely want to engage with feel unduly punished.
Have a plan
Rather than responding to a social media crisis off the cuff, it is a good idea to have a plan – or several plans – that you can turn to in times of trouble. Not only should this policy address how and when you respond, it should also break down duties for different employees and provide tools for rectifying the issue.
The plan doesn’t need to be particularly in-depth – let alone exhaustive – but it should provide a clear framework for handling the problem effectively. When crafting this document, consult other people in your company or people you know who might have dealt with a similar situation.
How do you handle social media catastrophes? Share your best strategies.
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