Every company aims for their online brand presence to grow infinitely larger. Unfortunately as the online brand presence increases in size the likelihood of being the recipient of a negative social media post or comment increases as well. Since it is likely only a matter of time till a company with a thriving online brand presence gets hit with a negative comment it’s best to be prepared in how to handle it. Protecting one’s online brand presence is not about preventing negative comments but rather handling them with style.
The first thing that needs to be done when confronted with a negative comment or post on a blog or social media site is for the business to react calmly. In the majority of cases negative comments are driven by anger. If the business responds angrily or defensively not only does it add fuel to the fire but it makes them appear to be guilty of whatever allegations are being brought against them.
Next, a business should respond to the comment, online, in a respectful manner, acknowledging any wrongdoing and making an apology if need be. If the comment is not true then a business should express a sincere appreciation for the commenter’s feelings but not admit wrong doing. The only exception to this rule would be if the commenter is threatening violence or if they mention sensitive topics or confidential details that do not belong on a social media page. If that is the case the problem must be dealt with offline and immediately.
If the negative comment and reply goes further than a few posts the business should politely ask the commenter if they would discuss the issue privately. This will most likely solve the problem, appease hurt feelings, and let the rest of one’s followers see that problems are handled with respect and discretion.
No one can keep all bad comments away from their social media sites. Part of growing an online brand presence is taking the good with the bad. More important than avoiding negative comments is showing one’s online community that the business is respectful of its customers and employees and handles problems in a professional manner. That is how online brand presence results in more sales and customer loyalty.