How Successful Brands Deal with Negativity on Social Media
In the process of building an online reputation, there will always be hiccups and obstacles to overcome. Most up and coming brands think about technical challenges, inventory issues or matters pertaining to marketing, visibility and growth. These are of course valid issues, but in the online arena, reputations matter just as much as anything else.
It is inevitable that any brand will encounter negativity on social media: with the world capable of weighing in on every action, it’s only a matter of time before some feel the need to be negative toward your brand.
How you choose to handle this negativity can make all the difference in brand perception. Let’s examine what successful brands do when facing criticism and negative responses.
The first rule of handling negative PR is to avoid any negativity on your own part. Successful brands understand that the tone and context of any response can make or break the public’s perception: if a response is necessary, then be sure to stay positive about the situation. When people are pinging noise and other negative commentary at your brand, it can be difficult to maintain poise – but it’s absolutely crucial.
Anything from offering to rectify the mistake to apologizing for the inconvenience or mishap is acceptable, but be sure not to delve into negative responses (and even avoid negative conjunctions when possible).
Know When to Ignore It
Go to any major brand’s Facebook page and look for the section that shows posts by other users. You’ll undoubtedly see tons of criticism and negative comments posted by a wide range of people – yet rarely does the brand bother to engage with these criticisms.
While it can be difficult to ignore negativity aimed at your brand on social media, sometimes it is the best approach. When a criticism can be converted into a solution, engaging with the individual(s) makes sense. However, getting worked up over every negative thought by somebody else just isn’t something that successful brands worry about in the day-to-day.
Sometimes, people have nothing valid to say: they’re just trying to harm your brand. Whether these individuals are simple trolls or paid saboteurs hired by a competitor, there is no reason why they should be allowed to ruin your brand’s reputation on your pages.
While you can’t stop these types from spewing negativity on the internet at-large, you can prevent them from pinging noise on your own social media profiles. Most platforms allow for easy muting or blocking, depending on their involvement with your brand. Whether you decide to simply hide their comments or outright block them is entirely up to you, but successful brands do not allow random complainers to continuously be negative on their feeds.
Starting out as a small social media presence can make one more sensitive to any criticism or negativity expressed on the platform(s) in question. However, by taking a page out of the playbook of successful social media brands, you can clean up your feeds, save time and ultimately avoid spiking your blood pressure while still serving great content and offerings to your followers.