Whether you run a small, family-owned business or a large corporation, getting comments on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social profiles is a great way to connect with current and future clients and give your brand a personal feel. However, in order to reap the benefits that come from maintaining a strong social presence, you have to know how to respond to comments on your profiles and posts, both good and bad.
When you get a good or a neutral comment on Yelp, Google+, or another one of your social media profiles, you need to ask yourself two questions before you gear up to write a response:
- Is it a direct question about what your company has to offer?
- Is the comment even worth responding to?
If the comment contains a direct question, things are easy – all you have to do is give the commenter the information they’re looking for. However, things get a little bit trickier when you have to figure out whether you should respond to the comment at all. To figure out what you should do in this kind of situation, think about if responding can help further your brand, if the comment gives you an opportunity to connect with a customer, or if the comment is even worth the time to respond to. After considering these factors, you’ll be in a better place to respond to the comment or leave it as-is.
When someone puts a negative comment on your Facebook page, in a Tweet directed at your company, or on another one of your pages, you have a few options. You can ignore the comment altogether, delete it, apologize, or offer an apology and a solution. Let’s go over the first two options: ignoring the comment and deleting it. If the comment is offensive or inappropriate, don’t feel bad getting rid of it without an explanation. But in most cases, it’s a bad idea to ignore bad comments or simply delete them. After all, if someone called your customer service department, would you ignore them or hang up on them?
So what should you do instead? Let’s cover your other two options: offering an apology and apologizing and giving a solution. Offering an apology is always a good place to start; however, keep in mind that this might not really help the situation, but may only lead the person to go somewhere else for service. If possible, give an apology (even if you believe the commenter is wrong) and then offer a solution. For instance, if someone was displeased with one of the products you offer and they took the situation to Facebook, you might want to say that you’re sorry about what happened and that you care about them as a customer. Then, you might want to offer a coupon on a future product or appease them in another way to ultimately convince them to stick with your brand.
When it comes to responding to comments people put on your social pages, there are some broad guidelines you need to follow, regardless of whether the comments are positive are negative, such as:
- Respecting other people’s privacy online
- Always citing your sources when you draw information from another place
- Maintaining an appropriate tone – stay away from using all caps, using too many exclamation points, or becoming defensive
There’s no way to avoid the fact that people are going to say nice things and not-so-nice things on your Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and other social media pages. When it comes down to it, use every situation as an opportunity to prove to others just how awesome your brand is, and remember that the way you respond to criticism can have a huge impact on the opinions of your current and potential customers.
What do you think? How do you respond when someone leaves a comment on one of your social pages?
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