In recent years social media sites have become a huge bulletin board, where users can make all things public if they wish to. Due to this freedom people are then able to see all of what people post, whether this is their experiences, opinions and thoughts, or positive and negative comments towards different brands. However the negative comments have harmful consequences for brands, as their reputation can be affected if they don’t react in time.
With the arrival of social network sites, everybody is able to know a lot of information. Users have the possibility to let the brand know what they don’t like about them. The mouth-to-mouth effect of these negative comments spread very quickly throughout the networks, dragging with them the good image of the brand. Companies should be aware of the negative situations and should know how to respond to the negative comments.
Here are some tips on how to confront the negative comments on social media:
1. React quickly: Firstly, a company should be aware of their social networking accounts in order to filter out any crisis or negative comments. If they are aware of their social networks, they will be able to solve the problem quickly. The universe of social networking is moving very fast and the longer we wait to address the criticisms, the greater risk for a spark to become a fire.
2. Never fight back: It is a must that people respond using the same means of communication that said commenter used in public, as well as offering them the opportunity to solve the problem privately. If they decide to continue the confrontation in public, it will not be the responsibility of the company. It is best to adopt a conciliatory posture, listen carefully to the client and treat them with respect and courtesy in a courteous tone. This is so that the commenter does not see that their attack has caused a desired effect.
3. Identify the negative comments: The best thing to do is to identify the different types of negative comments in which you are dealing with. Some comments are just posted to damage the image of the Brand. This are called trolls. They will make it clear that their only purpose is to disrupt the communication strategy of the company. The way to handle these types of comments is to make them nonexistent, because what keeps them active is the response from the companies.
This action could involve a much more virulent reaction from users of social networks and could damage our reputation. The worst thing you can do with this kind of feedback is to delete them because chances are that the person has already made a screenshot, which could be used in the future and could bring further problems. Whatever happens always retains all comments; only if it contains insults, profanity or threats to other members you might consider censoring, editing or deleting the words.
5. Countering the negative comments with positive information:
Fill the network with high quality information for the company, and information that would be interesting for your users. Thus the negative comments will lose importance and will start to disappear.
However, if there is an actual problem in your company and you received a negative comment about it, the best thing to do is to start with ‘we are sorry’. They will then know that you are actually going to try and fix the problem.
So, remember that the answer to all these situations is to remain humble, empathetic and honest. What we must never do is be proud, attack, or remove information already posted.
Some examples of what business should not do:
A pastor who had eaten at a restaurant called Applebee’s crossed the 18% tip charged and wrote: ‘’I give God 10% why do you get 18’’. However, the waitress posted the picture on social media, and she got fired because of ‘’violating customer privacy’’.
This got into the social media and thousands of people responded negatively to their reactions. They kept posting the same response over and over again, and were accused of deleting negative comments and blocking users. However, the problem didn’t end up there, because Applebee’s kept defending their actions and they even hid the post they had sent the day before, and this only created more anger.
What they should have done was to treat customers in a better way, as their reputation is being affected, and to not try and hide the information already posted.
If you have any more doubts, here is a video explaining how to deal with this type of situations. http://youtu.be/RNh5ezc7Yps
In March 2010 Nestle suffered a crisis, due to a Greenpeace attack towards the company. It became very present in social networks, especially in the profiles of the brands used to promote their products. The problem was that Greenpeace denounced Nestle of developing its products with palm oil. This type of oil is provided by destroying the habitat of a protected species:orangutan
The problem was that Greenpeace denounced Nestlé to develop your product Kit-Kat with palm oil. This type of oil is provided by the company Sinar Mas, which gets the oil destroying orangutan habitat of a protected species. Greenpeace created a video and shared it on social media for the users to see it.
The rapid movement across social networks made kit-kat suffer more because consumers were increasingly against the brand. What really sank kit-kat was the mismanagement of all responses of the consumers, as the company was unable to manage his role well and instead of being calm and give coherent answers, they responded by censoring the video on Facebook, as well as prohibiting the use of an image that was created with the word ‘killer’. But that was not all, as the company decided to delete the negative comments that were said of that brand, which increased the discontent.