There is no doubt that social media is awesome because it enables customers to have one-to-one, personalized conversations with virtual strangers and to communicate with prospects, clients and peers on an intimate level. However the very premise of social media – giving everyone a microphone – can create awkward and frustrating situations.
For example, how should you respond to negative mentions on Blogs, community forums, Twitter, etc?
Most negative comments can be broadly classified into one of two buckets: the “Negative Nancy” and the “Mad but True.” The Negative Nancy is the person or brand that has cultivated a reputation and gained a following by being negative, or even downright mean. They are looking for attention and a public battle over any and everything so I recommend following the advice of my Dad (while attending an ultra-cheesy pop concert in the 90s), “Don’t clap, they might play more.”
Think about it. Rather than give these naysayers what they want – a fight – it makes more sense to ignore them and focus on what makes your business so strong – developing and retaining satisfied clients. It is important to remember that this “turn the other cheek” strategy makes sense only if the criticism is groundless.
The other category, Mad but True, occurs when someone is angry, but has a legitimate point. Maybe it was a customer service mix-up, a billing error or an honest mistake. Whatever the cause, the person has lashed out publicly. One smart way to tackle this situation is to contact the individual and offer an offline way to discuss the matter. That way, you can research the problem and calmly work toward a solution without creating online drama.
Following this strategy should serve you well as you build and maintain a social media presence – and ensure even Emily Post would be proud of your social media manners.