Social media is one of the best and worst inventions ever! In this digital age, its use has become increasingly popular among both young and elderly people around the world, with nearly everyone having one or more accounts on various social media channels. Some of the most popular social media channels today include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Reddit. among many others.
Though many use them for entertainment and to stay in touch with their loved ones, these social networking sites are not all fun and games. Many business owners and individuals have turned to social media as a way to market their brands. Not only because using social media platforms is cheap, but these sites are also effective in growing a business.
However, your posts on social media evoke different reactions from people. Thus, you shouldn’t be surprised to get some negative feedback on your social media sites about you, your products, or your services. The negative feedback can be in the form of comments, reviews, or even thumb downs. Your reaction to these, the time it takes you to respond, and the solution you offer are very crucial.
Remember that your potential customers, investors, and even competitors are watching to see how good you are at dealing with negative feedback on your social media platforms. Don’t give your customers any reasons to distrust your brand or your competitors the satisfaction of seeing you fail. So, here are a few tips on how to handle negative feedback on social media, and keep your customers happy and satisfied.
How to Handle Negative Feedback on Social Media
- Anticipate problems
Not everyone will like your products or services. No matter how good you might think you, your products, or your services are, someone will always find a reason to complain or leave negative reviews on your social media sites.
You have to prepare in advance and come up with ways to handle any negative feedback and questions your prospective and existing customers might have. You can do this by creating a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website and making it easily accessible by including a link to it on your social media sites.
- Respond publicly
Another way to handle negative feedback on your social media platforms is by offering public responses to customer questions. Unfortunately, many people and brands often make the mistake of responding to negative comments on their posts through Direct Messaging the complainant and ignore or delete the comment on their social media posts.
Replying to complaints or questions that customers asked publicly on your page via DM gives a bad impression to other potential customers. They might think that you ignored the complaint/question or have something to hide. Thus they will not trust your business and instead will look for what they need elsewhere.
Nevertheless, you can opt for a private conversation in the DM if resolving a customer’s issue will require them to provide confidential details or if they need a solution urgently. In your response to their negative comment on the social media post, indicate that you are resolving the issue via a private conversation so that anyone else going through the comments doesn’t think that you ignored the customer. Update your response once the issue is resolved.
When managing negative feedback on social media, you can utilize both direct messages and responding to customers publicly on the page in order to resolve their issues faster.
- Invest in social listening tools
Unlike face-to-face interactions where people feel the need to be polite, they have the advantage of hiding behind a screen when using social media to leave negative reviews. Unfortunately, customers do not always complain about your brand on your social media platforms, and instead, they might use their own socials or other related pages and groups to do so.
Avoid missing important customer feedback by tracking all the mentions and conversations related to your brand in real-time. Using social listening tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and HubSpot is an excellent way to track your mentions and handle any negative feedback about your brand on social media as soon as possible.
- Response time matters
Dissatisfied customers can do a lot of damage to your brand, and nowadays, it is easy for them to take action against your business. If the worst comes to the worst and you fail to resolve their issue according to their expectations, they could sue you or take advantage of the cancel culture and get your business canceled for poor services.
The longer you take to respond to negative feedback on social media, the more it can escalate. According to research, 42% of the customers who complain on social media platforms usually expect a response within an hour. If you delay responding, your customers might think that you don’t care about their issues and are not doing anything to resolve them.
So, if you can, one of the best ways to handle negative feedback on social media is by responding quickly and offering a solution to a customer’s problems. If you have no immediate solution, inform them that you acknowledge their problem and are working on providing an answer.
When dealing with negative comments and reviews on social media you have to be positive, helpful, polite, and quick. Avoid becoming defensive or too sensitive and taking their negative feedback personally because, most times, the customers are just looking for help and have nothing against you.
- Post a social media policy
Not all the comments that people leave on your social media posts are relevant to your business, for instance, spam, political, racist, or vulgar remarks. Sometimes not responding or deleting them might be your best ways to handle these types of negative feedback on your social media pages.
To avoid having some people judging you for ignoring comments that do not suit your brand, post a social media policy on your sites and pin it where possible. Remember to include the consequences of one violating the policy, such as banning or deleting the comments.
Doing this will discourage most people from leaving irrelevant comments and clarify how you intend to handle such negative feedback on your social media platforms if they do.
For any business, the customers should always come first. They can make or break your business, and thus it is vital to learn how to deal with negative feedback on social media and keep your customers happy.
Getting negative reviews about your services or products is normal, and it should not shake your self-confidence and make you doubt your skills or lose motivation. It is how you get to know what your customers want and you can use their criticism to improve your products and services. Use the above tips to learn how to handle negative feedback on social media and turn even the most grumpy customer into a happy one in no time.
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