What should you do with positive and/or negative comments on your channels? How do you handle controversy or problems that come with being on social media?
The main thing about dealing with all comments, the good, the bad, the ugly, is that you handle it swiftly and adeptly. Do not let the bad things fester publicly or the great things go unacknowledged. I was going to give the examples of KitchenAid, Kenneth Cole, and the NRA as examples, but they are actually examples of companies who CAUSED their own crises….(um, LOL?) I found a great blog on this subject here: http://www.1to1media.com/weblog/2013/09/5_things_not_to_do_in_a_social.html.
So while I agree that the timing in responding to any comments, good or bad, is important, what you say and how you say it is very crucial as well.
The negative things are obviously more difficult to tackle . . . if someone is really wailing on your organization’s political views, bad customer service, or about something wrong with your product, it would be somewhat hard to know exactly the right thing to say. But the most professional thing to do would be to accept responsibility by apologizing that the person is having a problem (no matter what the issue is) and make yourself available OFFLINE to have the person get in touch with you personally to discuss the matter in private. Do not engage the person online with argument . . . that would be the wrong way to go! I think that handling things privately, and with effective communication and finesse, will usually settle matters in a way that makes everyone happy. Now if you have a crazed internet troll, that is an entirely different matter, and you can have their posts deleted and report them to whatever Social Media channel they are using. And there are A LOT of internet trolls. (I was thinking of being one for Halloween….)
But I digress. If someone is rabidly exclaiming that your organization is fabulous, your product is wonderful, or your band just totally rocks, ACKNOWLEDGE, ACKNOWLEDGE, ACKNOWLEDGE! Even if someone just sounds wacky and over-the-top in their post, responding to them immediately or as soon as you can really lets the person know that you care and are listening to them. They think you’re great – be very gracious and thank them profusely. It also gives you some insight that you are doing something right, and that’s really good feedback for your company or organization, no matter what you’re hawking.
-paw (week 2)