Giving Up On Social Media Is Giving Up On Your Business

Posted on March 4th 2013

Giving Up On Social Media Is Giving Up On Your Business

social media necessity

‘I want to shut down my Facebook page because I don’t want to deal with all of the negative comments that people have to say about my business.’

Have you ever heard something like this?

Have you ever thought this?

If you’ve thought it, please, take a moment to hang your head in shame.

I’ve recently had discussions with several friends and colleagues who have shared stories of their clients wanting to remove their business from social media because they don’t want to have to address negative comments, the headache that trolls can cause, criticism from their loyal consumers, or simply because they don’t have time to address these concerns.

The very thought of wanting to ‘remove your business from social media’ is completely missing the point.

You can’t remove your business from social media.

All you can do is remove yourself from the discussions that are going to happen about your business, regardless of whether you’re participating or not.

Just because you ignore issues, doesn’t mean they’ll go away

Consumers don’t limit their online expressions of discontent, enthusiasm, or other opinions on businesses to only those with a Facebook Page, Twitter timeline, Pinterest board, YouTube channel or blog.

They have their own blogs, their own Facebook profiles, Twitter feeds, message boards and almost numerous other options for sharing their experiences, opinions, and perspectives on your business.

By not engaging in social media, you’re willingly being ignorant to these discussions and removing your ability to participate, make things right, and in some cases, defend yourself.

You can learn from negativity and apply those lessons to improve your business

Consumers complain and spread negativity for a reason; they’re unhappy with your business. Sure, trolls exist, and some people are just inclined to complain, but most consumers have legitimate criticisms when they take their frustrations online.

Even when consumers are being negative, this is can be positive for your business. For every single person who expresses their criticism online, how many consumers are biting their tongue, vowing to themselves that they’ll take their business elsewhere in the future? It’s worthwhile to listen to what they have to say, and to view this as an opportunity to improve your business.

You can set the record straight

On occasion, there are consumers who express concerns on social media who are doing so unjustly. Maybe their negative experience was an anomaly, maybe they used your product improperly, maybe they didn’t set your service staff up for success. Whatever the issue, being able to receive these complaints also gives you opportunity to set the record straight and help those consumers out with their problems.

This will not only help the consumers you’re directly connecting with, but future consumers will be able to see these interactions and have greater faith that you are going to support your product or service, which can positively influence their purchase decisions. You might be able to avoid these issues or complaints in the future by creating record of your interactions, as a sort of FAQ or troubleshooting guide.

In my opinion, there is exactly one reason why engaging in social media could be viewed as a negative, and that one reason is that you no longer want to be in business, or no longer care about the future success of your business. This isn’t to say that the success of your business is entirely dependent on social media, but the perceived downsides are actually incredibly positive in most situations.

Have you ever been frustrated by complaints or negativity expressed on your social media properties? If so, how did you handle that situation?

RGBSocial

Matthew Peneycad

Matthew blogstweets, and posts as RGB Social with the aim of sharing his advertising agency experience in social media and digital marketing with businesses and brands of all sizes.

Blog: blog.rgbsocial.com | Twitter: @RGBSocial

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Comments

Kulls
Posted on March 4th 2013 at 12:54PM

Matthew, you have a point here. Either you do your business offline by working more hours and gaining actual customer satisfaction personally and physically or you address your customer's concerns and get them solved. 

By not attending to the discussions, you may also give the impression that you are least concerned. 

Good point again.

Please do keep on posting these kind of articles.

Kulls

www.letsnurture.com

RGBSocial
Posted on March 5th 2013 at 2:25AM

I'm with you Kulls. Businesses that are compelled to remove themselves from conversations on social media due to negativity that is shared by their consumers need to acknowledge that they may have bigger business issues that need to be resolved.

That's also a great point about giving the impression that your business is not concerned with what matters to your consumers.

Thanks for the comment.

Matthew.

Colomark Media
Posted on March 4th 2013 at 1:15PM

Clients I work with aren't necessarily as concerned with negative comments as they are "I don't know what to say."  This again goes back to the idea that folks are talking about your business whether you're there to respond or not.  I typically turn the question around and ask them to pretend we just met at a mutual friend's party.  I ask "What would you tell me about what what you do?"  Voila... that's what social media is.

RGBSocial
Posted on March 5th 2013 at 2:35AM

That’s a great tip David.

Just like any great conversation, the best ones online are those that provide value. In the scenario you’ve outlined in your comment, I suppose that value would be in the form of educating your new acquaintance on the ins and outs of what you do. Additionally, it creates common interest, and context for a deeper level of engagement.

Thanks for the comment David.

Matthew.

jonniedoe2013
Posted on March 4th 2013 at 3:04PM

While I am sure that staying active in the social media community can cause headaches for store owners that do not partcipate in these areanas, a business can always hire or promote someone to take care of this task.  They will most likely be better suited for the task and more passionate in completing it.  

RGBSocial
Posted on March 5th 2013 at 2:43AM

I agree Jonnie. Passion here is certainly a must, and hiring someone to manage a business’ social media properties is a great option for some people.

My one word of advice for anyone hiring a person or company to manage their social media properties is that they shouldn’t hire someone and forget about their social media presence. To most consumers, the way businesses conduct themselves on social media is a direct reflection of the business itself. Business owners should stay connected enough to ensure their social media activity – outsourced or not – is accurately reflecting how they want consumers to perceive their business and that activity is working to well defined objectives. 

Thanks so much for the comment.

Matthew.

jeffbeisenberg
Posted on March 4th 2013 at 3:37PM

Good points here. The same principles apply in the real world, too; people will be talking about you and your brand. Why not participate in that conversation, let your customers get to know you, and provide them value beyond the sale? Participation in social also goes a long way towards thought leadership in your niche. 

RGBSocial
Posted on March 5th 2013 at 3:36AM

Absolutely Jeff. Participation and the provision of value are of paramount importance (wow, lots of ‘p’s’) in conversations in the real world, and online on social media.

Thanks for the comment and the great advice. 

Matthew.