Handling Negative Social Media Buzz

Negative social media buzz gives you a chance to connect with customers, but can leave you seeming like either a provider of great customer service or just a disgruntled business owner who can’t take a criticism.

Many business owners have taken advantage of the power of social media marketing. Those that have know there are challenges as well as advantages. It’s great to get customers talking about your products and services, but what do you do when something negative is said?

The way you handle the situation can leave you seeming like either a provider of great customer service or just a disgruntled business owner who can’t take criticism.

Handling Negative Feedback

When you see negative comments on sites like Facebook and Twitter your first instinct may be to remove the negative comments altogether. Depending on the negative feedback, that might not be the smartest idea.

“You have to spend a little time at first looking at whether or not the criticism you are getting is valid or not. That’s a determining factor in if you should remove it,” suggests Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst. “If you are removing negative feedback just because you don’t like what somebody is saying then people may notice that and its going to reflect poorly on you and your business.”

If the complaint is a legitimate one, removing it may seem like you are ignoring the criticism rather than addressing the problem. Spend time trying to understand if the comment or criticism is valid before taking action.

“It’s important to have guidelines for under what conditions you would consider removing something that’s negative,” says Grau. “It’s understandable if you remove racist, abusive or non-constructive comments. On the other hand, if the site visitors are saying a product or service was defective or unsatisfactory, it would be better to acknowledge it and tell them how you are planning on addressing it.”

How You Benefit

Social media marketing is a great way to get your name out in front of potential and existing customers, but you can also benefit from any negative feedback that comes your way on the sites.

“Business owners can learn from the negative buzz and improve their products or services,” says Grau. “In the process, they are admitting there is an area they need to work on.”

This negative buzz opens up an opportunity for dialogue with customers. It allows you to reconnect with old customers and start a connection with new ones, showing you want to take care of their needs and concerns.

“If it’s a good business with a solid foundation to begin with, then they can use the opportunity to reconnect with customer,” explains Grau. “Admitting you need to improve any aspect of your business is respected by many customers.”

While this dialogue with customers may start somewhere negative, it can turn into something positive. You just have to be willing to accept some constructive criticism along the way.

To learn more about eMarketer Digital Intelligence, visit eMarketer.com.