How you respond to negativity can really affect your #brandidentity. We all work so hard to build our brands and just as quickly as we build them, they can also be destroyed. But how you handle the negativity is what will have the largest impact.
#SocialMedia has provided a free for all when it comes to voicing opinions and sharing experiences people have with businesses and brands. Gone are the days where people ask to “speak to the manager” if they have an issue or send an email. Instead, they are quick to turn to social media which can be likened to a megaphone on steroids. It is believed by doing this that they will get a quick response from the business because they know it could hurt their brand. Often, they do get the quick response they desire. It is what is written in this quick response that matters.
The worst thing that you can do is ignore or delete a negative comment from your page. Obviously if the comment is offensive then that is a different story. However, when the comment relates to your product or service, you need to respond. Responding helps to maintain your brand identity and also shows the human side of your business. We do need to remember that when we come across a negative comment, there are some guidelines to consider.
Here are my 3 tips that will not only help you respond, but best of all, they'll help to protect your brand identity:
Don't respond straight away - responding straight away to a negative comment can be detrimental to your brand. This is because we are often responding from a place of frustration and anger particularly if there is no substance to the comment. Instead, we need to take a step back, dissect the comment and really try to find out what the issue is. Once we have done that, we can respond in a calm manner and address the underlying issue. Doing so in a positive, non-condescending tone, would more than likely work in your favour. Plus, you earn some brownie points for your brand.
Don’t delete the comment - when a negative comment has no truth behind it, or it is something that could very easily be rectified, it's very easy to just delete it. However, if you do experience a high level of engagement on your posts, chances are that others will have already seen it before you do. By deleting it you are almost giving weight to it which could perhaps lead others to believe there was some truth in it after all. Instead, use it as an opportunity to really sell your brand. Respond in a positive manner and offer to assist the person with their issue. Sometimes all this person needs are to know that they've been heard. Your audience will appreciate it too.
Be prepared - if you've done your homework and you understand your industry, preparing for instances where you may come across negativity is a worthwhile exercise. Based on the product that you sell or the service you provide, it's wise to think about all of the possible issues or situations that could arise and work out ways to address them that will help to build and maintain your brand identity. Being prepared can take away the potential to respond on the defensive rather than providing a calculated and well-thought-out response. I guess you could almost liken it to a "library" of potential responses. This is not to say you just copy and paste these responses but rather use them as a framework that is customised depending on the situation.
The more you invest in a solid marketing strategy, the easier it is to build your brand identity and therefore your business. Marketing strategies aren't just about promotion of your products and services, they are an all encompassing plan, including the way you respond to comments on Social Media. But hey, that's a blog post for another day.
Don't forget, if you need help with your branding or marketing strategies, you know who to call: TKR Consulting - The final piece in your puzzle!
Happy Brand Building!