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Handling negative comments in Social media
July
2010

 

Are negative remarks a reason not to engage in social media marketing? Or or they a blessing in disguise that will improve your engagement with your customers?

When talking to marketers about creating a company or brand page on Facebook, I often get the reaction: “It would be stupid to allow people to talk negative about us, so let's not start such a project!”  This only means the person in question has no idea of the power of social media. This same negative remark could be made in any of the other millions of social media sites and would thus still happen, but without this marketer's knowledge. The question still is, apart from knowing about it, why would you allow people to talk negatively about you on your own website?

The game has changed
First of all, the nature of the game has changed. The consumer of 2010 has a lot more power because of social media and realizes this. This same consumer is used to talk to companies like Coca Cola and expects to be able to do the same with your company, and expects your company to answer within a reasonable but very small amount of time. The circumstances have changed and you as a marketer have to change with them. However, if you are ready to engage in a conversation with your customer, then any negative remarks might not be that negative at all. Some examples:

  • You will be prepared to answer negative remarks, if you are already engaging your customers online. You will have developed the platform to handle a negative remark and you will have a policy and procedures in place to answer correctly and rapidly. People will likely voice their negative remarks about you on your own platform, allowing you to handle it there.
     

  • Whenever a customer is complaining about you online, you will have the ability to show your other customers your level of service to them, by handling the complaint correctly and thus strengthen your relationship with all your customers.
     

  • If the person complaining does not let go and goes on complaining, it will show your customers your effort to do right to them. The longer someone complaints while you answer correctly, the less likely it is people will believe it, especially when they are able to follow the conversation.
     

  • If you already have a good relationship with your customers, then they might even step in and tell the person complaining not to be unreasonable.  

It all comes down to having a good customer service and showing your customers you are doing your best for them. As long as you deliver a good service, negative remarks do not matter.

Free feedback
Furthermore, you can use any negative remark you find to improve your product, your services and as stated above your relation with your customers. Social media remarks are the perfect feedback mechanism that runs for free.

So, next time you receive a negative remark, tell your marketers to thank the customer for doing you a favor.


 
  ARTICLES
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  BOOK REVIEWS
Some of my personal remarks and opinion on books related to social media marketing:

"Socialnomics" How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, by Erik Qualman

 

"New rules of PR & Marketing" How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly,
by David Meerman Scott

 
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