I would not be out of line to say that the biggest concern many small and midsize business owners have with using Social Media is getting negative comments on their Social Media profiles. After all, we all know that once a comment is made it’s nearly impossible to get it off the web. And by having a Facebook FanPage or Twitter account you are giving them a place to complain. I personally love addressing this concern, because it gives me the opportunity to explain how negative comments can actually HELP your networks and business. You didn’t misread that, negative comments on Social Media sites can actually help your business and build your brand. Allow me to explain.
Because Social Media is relationship based marketing you will be using your profiles to make real connections and build relationships. These relationships will grow stronger and stronger as the community grows and as you continue to provide your Fans/Followers value. This is the foundation to all Social Media marketing, if you’re not creating relationships you are not using Social Media correctly. However, this post is not about how to properly use Social Media or how to create relationships with Social Media, BUT it is important to know that you should have these relationships with your Fans and Followers to fully understand why negative comments can help build your brand.
When a customer is unhappy with your service (for whatever reason, right or wrong) they can go to your FanPage and right a nasty message. As a business you should ALWAYS respond to this comment showing that you’re available, you care and are willing to correct the situation. This alone provides value, other Fans and Followers will see that you are a company that cares about them and takes the time to correct the situation. But something else will also end up happening that makes negative comments actually a powerful tool. Your other Fans and Followers (because the complaint was public) will see the comment and start providing their two cents on behalf of your brand. So, what happens is the company responded and corrected the situation AND then other customers have backed the brand up and ensured the unhappy client that their experience or complaint is a rare occasion. How powerful is that? There are very few other ways that you can have your customers handling your customer service like you can with Social Media!
Another extremely important fact to remember is that just because your business is not on a network does not mean your unhappy customer is not talking about you on their personal accounts. In fact, I can almost guarantee you that even if you do not have a profile they are going make their complaint heard. And since the average Facebook user has 200 Friends your business could potentially lose 200 customers. Give your customers a platform to communicate with you (both good and bad) and watch the strength of your brand grow. Use the negative feedback as an opportunity to expand and better yourself and share the positive feedback with the rest of your team to encourage them that they are on the right track, providing a great product or service.
Embrace the power of Social Media and you will find that even something as scary as a negative comment from an unhappy customer can actually help you build your brand and rapport with the rest of your Fans and Followers.
In the comments field below tell us how you’ve personally seen either a negative or positive comment help a brand on any Social Media network.