For social media marketing agencies all over the country, managing digital communities is just another part of the job. Whether it’s strategically starting a conversation on an industry-specific forum or using Audience Insights on Facebook to better understand what your target demographic desires, dealing with the mass amounts of social users can, after a bit of time, become a commonplace, comfortable affair.
That being said, regardless of the amount of time that you’ve spent as a social media marketer, dealing with negativity on any platform can be a troublesome endeavor. Making the matter even more difficult, you don’t represent yourself, but a client whose loyalty you’re trying desperately to gain.
However you handle marketing-related crisis, remember to take a deep breath, relax and respond appropriately. For more priceless help, check out the following points of emphasis which promise to make dealing with social marketing negativity an easier task:
Learn From What’s Taken Place
Negativity and harshness can be hard to deal with, even for the most seasoned of ad agencies. In real life, everyone has gone through situations in which they’ve been faced with public disapproval or a cutting comment. Even though social media is distanced in its interactions, the bravery with which people—all while hiding behind a selfie-centric profile picture—attack others is tremendous.
Instead of getting defensive by way of a few hateful backlashes, choose to read the comment in question a few more times. Try to see things from his or her perspective and think of how genuine help can be provided. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to document negative comments for training or to follow up on later. Screenshots work perfectly for this and should be used accordingly.
Avoid the Temptation to Delete
There’s this crazy idea that once something’s been deleted, it permanently goes away. While the lunacy of such an ideology couldn’t be more apparent, when social media marketing and its respective agencies are involved, there’s an added level of naiveté. Countless are the stories of movie stars, musicians, athletes or common people who’ve been lambasted by something that they said weeks, months and even years prior through social media. Truthfully, that’s a heavy responsibility to have to deal with on a daily basis, but social marketing managers must find a way.
Needless to say, as opposed to immediately deleting a comment which unfairly casts a negative light on your client, choose to tackle the issue head-on, as top-tier agencies always do. Direct messaging options help to make this kind of resolution a private matter and can be extremely helpful.
With that in mind, from time to time, inappropriate comments will need to be deleted if profanity, racial slurs, explicit sexual content or anything else of the sort are put on display for all to see. At the end of the day, your best judgement will need to come into play to make the right decision.
Timeliness Can’t Be Understated
Any and all reputable marketing agencies understand the importance of deadlines. Without them, accountability ceases and clients opt for other industry competitors to handle their product- or service-pushing needs. In a similar fashion, social users—while unpleasant, from time to time—deserve to have their concerns addressed in a timely fashion.
In fact, studies have shown that, over the years, active social media enthusiasts have come to expect a response within only an hour of an initial engagement attempt. When comments are deleted or ignored by agencies, audiences may feel that something is being hidden from them. Simply put, the sooner a problem can be addressed, the better.
Respond In a Calm, Collected Manner
In an ideal world, all social interactions would be filled with glowing reviews and words of kindness. Seeing as how they aren’t, a change in perspective is often required to put a positive spin on things. Disparaging posts or tweets can’t be seen as an insurmountable obstacle; moreover, a way to transform an annoyed customer into a happy one.
Provide as much information as possible to help bring about a solution. Oftentimes, in certain scenarios, a special offer or outside email can make things right. In more extreme cases, if a complaint is genuine, help connect the miffed party with the best person to help them.
Regardless of who you are or how long you’ve been working at any one of America’s many marketing agencies, negativity is unavoidable; it’s never going away. Instead of turning the proverbial cold shoulder, ignoring the situation or making it worse through a series of harmful replies, take control and build your brand’s reputation with smart social practices.