For me, the first thing to consider with any form of online and public feedback is that (whether you like it or not) you are getting brand awareness that needs to be acknowledged and dealt with. When I think back over the biggest social media mistakes over the past 8+ years, nearly all of them fall into the trap of ignoring negative press in the hope that it will go away when in fact often this just helps to fuel the crisis further still.
So ignoring the issue doesn’t help
I think we can agree on this and move on swiftly to what can help.
Let’s think social and look at the feedback in relation to the medium used and the issue raised. Believe it or not, most online critics will have a genuine incentive to help you improve what products and services you are offering and even more so to improve those services for that person as timely as possible.
If you can offer quick, positive solutions to problems raised, not only is the person(s) raising the issue likely to publically thank you for this – turning negative PR into a positive – but they will also attain the end result they wanted when they first sought out your services. If you cannot offer quick, positive solutions to problems raised then you really need to take a step back at deeper issues within your business model preventing you from doing this.
Stay relevant and on topic
Businesses who are not frequent social media users often fall into 2 stalls with regards to responses to problems; either they go strict compliance and company line, or they go for the best friend approach – and in extremes neither work.
Be aware of the social media platform that you are using, the respective advantages and limitations of it, and reply accordingly. Quirky has a time and a place socially but when replying to criticism keep it simple and keep it professional; there’s little room for going random with this:
… says the man adding a picture of himself in a wind tunnel and a green alien on his head.
Be engaging, be yourself and be honest
Trying to cover up product flaws that lots of people are shouting about online will only serve to inflate any criticisms raised. Thanking people for alerting you to their feedback and asking them to test a newer version of your product due for release shortly will give you low cost user testing, public awareness and advertising of ‘what’s new’: an appropriate response to an appropriate user concern and so much more.
Let me know how you like to handle any online feedback you receive – positive and negative examples very welcome!
About Lee Wilson
I’m an SEO campaign delivery manager for Red Rocket Media and have been since Q2 2010 and am pleased to say I still love it. I have been active in the online arena since completing my degree in business from Winchester Uni in. Needless to say I am also an online gamer on the Xbox and a hardcore StreetFighter player with many wins under my belt.[divider_1px]
Featured Image Author's Google+