People expect brands to match their level of engagement on social media.
Though managing feedback on social media is a challenge, businesses should approach this as a brand-building opportunity.
Every interaction on social media helps you differentiate your company from competitors. Each success, in turn, can be leveraged to further bolster your company’s social presence.
When engaging with customers on social media, companies must:
- Acknowledge comments promptly
- Respond to negative feedback
- Provide excellent customer service
- Humanize their brand
This article discusses how social media management, when approached as PR, helps businesses grow their brand and audience at once.
Acknowledge Feedback Promptly
When people speak out about your company online, they expect brands to respond.
For businesses, this means if someone leaves you a review on Google or a comment on Facebook, acknowledge and respond to their concerns.
Responding directly to customer feedback demonstrates empathy: It validates their experience shows customers that you care. This helps to reinforce brand loyalty and reduces any feelings of anger or frustration.
Thus, listening to your audience can help develop customer relationships by defusing any ill-will before it gets out of hand.
Respond Substantively to Constructive Feedback
People want brands to be honest and genuine, and this includes how they react to negative comments.
Customers would view a brand more positively if it responded to negative comments on social media.
When responding to negative comments, the goal is to acknowledge the person’s concerns. A proactive response to a negative comment signals your company’s willingness to fix the problem.
People often just want to be heard, and a personalized response can be enough to defuse the negativity and prevent any further action.
By contrast, criticism that goes unanswered can be perceived as valid and gain traction in the community as a result.
Research shows that people perceive your interactions with other customers to reflect how you’d treat them.
For best results, your brand must be honest, quick, and thorough in handling criticism on social media.
Use Social Media to Strengthen Customer Service
People expect to resolve many of their customer service needs on social media.
As web-based communications become the norm for consumers, social media has eased the process of receiving customer service from a company.
Businesses may find it easier to provide customer service on social media, but they’re also being held to a higher standard.
It’s no secret that unhappy customers are very vocal about receiving poor customer service, especially on social media.
What’s more, when they do use social media to express feedback, they generally expect businesses to both comment and resolve their issue usually within a day.
With every inconsistency or shortcoming on record, service teams must be unfailingly pleasant and diligent when they address the needs of customers.
The potential benefit of customer service on social media, though, is that positive feedback can be just as visible as negative feedback.
If your business receives a positive service experience, make sure to encourage customers to leave a positive review.
Generating and then leveraging good feedback helps you sustain the image of a trustworthy company that values its customers.
Humanize Your Brand
Despite the challenges of upkeep, every interaction on social media is an opportunity to improve your brand.
Businesses must use social media as a PR tool that can make their company more relatable. Doing so can increase brand visibility, brand equity, and sparks community engagement.
This means using a fun, friendly tone in your communications and perhaps emojis. It also means generating meaningful customer interactions that create goodwill for your company.
For example, you could share a glowing testimonial left by a customer in need. Or, as S.D. Strong Distilling did, you can share a run-in you had with a customer wearing your brand’s t-shirt at the airport.
When a company gets excited about meeting a fan, it reminds onlookers that a company is actually a group of people who like to connect with one another.
Managing Customer Feedback on Social Media
Social media is integral to peoples’ lives, meaning companies must take a PR-driven approach to community engagement.
Respect your audience by responding to their every comment, and promptly. Remember that companies that respond well to criticism are viewed as more trustworthy.
People want to like their favorite brands, so humanize your company with genuine communications and authentic displays of caring.