In an earlier blog post we talked about how negative comments can actually help build your business and brand, today we are going to share a story from a Client that experienced this first hand.
The situation was brought to our Client’s attention on a Monday. There was a negative comment being shared on several industry established group pages and Fan Pages on Facebook, as well as on a Personal Profile. Our Client is a Dog Trainer, more specifically a dog trainer that practices and teaches positive reinforcement techniques. So when this comment mentioned that the advice from the trainer would have resulted in a dog being euthanized , it created a bit of a stir in the industry.
In many cases, the story would end here with most small and midsize businesses, this is because if you don’t have a presence on networks like Facebook, chances are you’ll never become aware of these types of comments. Luckily, for our client this wasn’t the case, in fact over the past several months she has spent many hours, energy and money in creating a strong presence on Facebook, which is exactly why she learned about this comment from many different friends and Fans.
However, just being aware of negative comments and responding to them appropriately are two different things. What our Client did next was the difference between the situation spiraling out of control and turning into a positive for her brand. First off, she did not respond to the comments or share anything on her network right away. This was important because when you first come across these types of comments you are full of anger and want to seek revenge. Instead, she took some time to recall the truth behind the comment and did her homework on the individual sharing the story.
Within a mater of minutes she was able to determine that the profile that was sharing these comments was a fake account, the images used as the profile image were easily found with a Google search as well as the photo being shared with the negative comment. She also studied the comment that was being shared, pulling out several key points that were easy to prove didn’t happen. She then joined the groups and become Fans of pages that this fake profile had shared this negative comment on. At this point she still had not responded to the comment or even made her presence known.
Instead, she opened a Word document and wrote a blog post. She titled this post; “Two Sides to Every Story” and used it to tell the truth about the situation that was similar to this negative comment. She used this blog post not to attack her upset client, but instead to educate the general public about the truth about what really happened. Once the blog post was written and published, we advised our Client to contact the Group Admin’s and send Private Messages to the Fan Pages that received the negative comment from the fake account. This was done prior to posting anything about the new blog post publicly.
In this message our Client introduced herself and explained what was taking place, she also shared her blog post and explained how the comment came from a fake account. This approach made sure that all of the admins of the Groups and Fan Pages were aware of what was going on and our Client didn’t create a pushing match inside their Group or Fan Page, this was simply away to respect the Groups and Fan Pages.
What happened next surprised us all. One day after publishing the blog post on her website explaining the truth behind the negative comment, everything vanished. The fake account was deleted, all of the shared comments were removed and there was no trace of the story. Our Client didn’t share this blog post publicly anywhere, in fact the only people that even received the direct link to blog posts were the Group and Fan Page admins. We will never know why the account was deleted, but it is our guess that the user behind the account stumbled upon the blog post shortly after it was published and got frighted that the truth was out and quickly deleted the evidence of her fake story.
So how did this help our Client? First off, the Client saw a huge increase of traffic during the three days these comments were live, in fact her website traffic increased by over 200%, mainly from Facebook. Because of the obvious holes in the negative comment, people quickly realized that the story wasn’t true, especially after spending time on her site and reading her mission and philosophy. This negative comment, which caused a bit of stress resulted in increased exposure and even two new clients.
Negative comments on social media will happen to any business that is putting themselves out there, however if you have a strong presence on these networks you’ll be able to respond to them and turn them into a brand building opportunity.
Have you seen another brand turn a negative situation socially into a positive branding experience, share your stories in the comments field!