September 17, 2013 | By:

No Wall Post Left Behind

“We just delete negative comments on our Facebook. We don’t want anyone to know we did something wrong.”

I hear this a lot as a social media strategist. Business owners are often afraid of or incensed by negative comments and complaints directed at their company on social media. We at Ilfusion, however, believe in the importance of responding to every interaction on the page. Whether good, bad, or ugly, addressing comments is a great PR tactic and critical to the success of a page.

Let’s go through a little scenario: Say you order a pizza from your local pizzeria. You’re starving and ready to devour it, but everything goes terribly wrong. The delivery guy shows up an hour late with the wrong pizza and simply shrugs as you explain the mistake. You’re livid at this severe discrepancy in their customer service. You try to call and talk to a manager, but they have already closed. You’re so upset, you decide to get on their Facebook page and write a vehement wall post about their lack of intelligence and ability to run a competent business. You spend 20 minutes writing your diatribe and at the end you demand a refund for emotional damage (because let’s face it, getting the wrong food when you’re starving is traumatic) and wasting your time. You hit post. You wait overnight, only to log-on the next morning to find they simply deleted your comment. Imagine how much more disrespected you would feel? Would you ever order from them again?

That was pretty rough, right? We’ve all been there. So, imagine if this pizzeria actually responded to your post with a heartfelt apology and a free pizza for next time. You’d probably say something like, “Well…Yeah, you better give it to me for free! Fine, I’ll keep coming, but only because I’m forgiving like that.” In reality, you’re more likely to continue ordering from them. They kept a customer. Instead of losing business, they instead gained a potentially more loyal follower.

While this was a simplistic example, I think it shows the importance of really engaging with customers through social media. People just want to be heard; they want someone to listen, empathize, and usually, they are satisfied. Wouldn’t you rather keep a customer than lose one?

While I can’t guarantee every customer will return, I can say that by responding to a negative comment as the company, you have a better chance of retaining that loyalty. Deleting or ignoring complaints not only makes the poster even more angry, but shows anyone else who reads that comment that you don’t care about your customers. Even a comment with no likes from others may have been seen by hundreds of consumers who are quietly and curiously awaiting your response.

As social media strategists, we take on marketing and PR roles as part of your social media campaigns. We are trained in customer service management and responding to social media crisis. Contact us and let us help you manage your online presence.

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