If you are using social media as part of your overall marketing strategy, you have probably encountered several occasions in which you had to respond to reviews – both positive and negative – written about your business on the Internet.
Businesses that engage their social community are perceived more approachable and are more likely to earn trust of their followers over time. Keeping in mind that customer service is a crucial part of your marketing efforts, it is even more important to be aware of what is being said about your company on social media.
Pick your battles
While it could be very tempting to respond to everything that is said about your business, sometimes silence can be golden. According to Salesforce, “some things are better left unsaid. You don’t have to respond every time someone mentions your company. In fact, it’s sometimes better to let individual employees, influencers, or other members of the community interject instead.”
When somebody is raving about your company online, they are essentially marketing your product for you. Not only is this the most persuasive type of marketing (letting your customers be the ambassadors) it also comes at no cost to you. Having said that, it is still very important to acknowledge and appreciate these reviews:
- A thank you goes a long way. Make sure to “like” the positive reviews and leave a comment thanking the customer who wrote it.
- Return the favour. As a business, you likely have a lot more followers than the individual who is writing a review for your company. If you take a note of that person’s social media account and perhaps share one of their recent posts with your own network, it means a lot to them. Imagine what it means for you as an individual when a business who has hundreds or thousands of followers sharing your Instagram post.
- If you have customers who are passionate about your business and repeatedly talk about your products/services, remember these people and invite them as guest contributors to generate content for you.
Now comes the tricky part – responding to negative feedback on social media. No matter how great your company is and how phenomenal your products/services are, you are bound to receive some negative reviews. The most important thing to remember is that it is not possible to make everyone happy and that you should not take negative reviews personally.
- Reply as quickly as possible. Sadly, we live in an age of fast consumption and instant gratification. Make sure that you don’t wait for weeks to respond to a review. By that time, the user will have moved on and have lost interest in a conversation with you. If you respond quickly and resolve the customer’s issue, you might be able to convince them to take the bad review down or edit it in a positive way.
- Do not delete reviews. This is probably one of the most important rules to remember. For one thing, if you delete a review, rest assured that the same review will pop up again either on the same social media platform or a different one with a more passionate word. Deleting a review will make your brand look dishonest, as if you are trying to hide something and will reflect extremely poorly on you.
- Choose your interactions wisely. There will always be people whose sole purpose is to try to create conflict. Don’t fall into this trap and focus on constructive criticism. If someone is clearly out to get your brand and tarnish your name, it’s better not to play into their game by communicating with them via social media. Instead, send them your customer service email address or phone number and urge them to contact you directly.
One last thing to keep in mind is the tone of voice you use when posting on social media. If you are able to assign a designated responder for social media reviews, this will give your brand a consistent voice that will sound through the Internet. This is especially important when responding to negative feedback, as you want to make sure you are treating all reviews equally using the same tone and approach.
It is also important to reiterate the fact that it is virtually impossible to keep 100% of your customers happy all the time. If you keep this in mind when reading and responding to feedback, it will help you formulate your overall approach on social media.