Responding to Criticism on Social Media

Posted on September 11th 2013

Responding to Criticism on Social Media

facebook dislike button 300x127 Responding to Criticism on Social MediaSocial media is a great platform for company’s to share, extend and enhance their brand awareness. It has the ability to bring brands and consumers together, but it also opens the door to transparency and open criticism.

Whether it’s an angry customer complaining about their experience, a former employee bashing you, or even a competitor snooping on your activities, these situations happen to every brand. By now you may have heard of the disgruntled British Airlines customer who spent $1,000 on promoted Tweets to share his negative experience. The result? His post was seen by more than 300,000 followers (negative brand awareness for BA!) and in the end, he was able to get his issue resolved.

So the question remains: What should you do in these types of situations? Here are some tips to help your brand respond to criticism on social media:

Listen

Before making any decisions, you should know what consumers are saying about you. The only thing worse than being criticized, is not knowing that you’re being criticized! Monitor keywords and social conversations to know exactly what’s being said about your brand.

Evaluate

Now that you’re monitoring what is being said, you need to evaluate whether criticisms are actually valid or not. Are your customers telling the truth? It’s better to acknowledge a weakness, than deny them. It’s important to remember that social conversations happen in public forums, so any response is a reflection of your brand. This means you need to take time to evaluate whether the criticism warrants a response.

Plan

Results from a recent study by Oracle illustrated that 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response from a company. What does this mean? When consumers criticize your brand or share a negative experience, you should acknowledge the issue or complaint as soon as possible. This helps consumers feel heard, and also encourages them to work with you because you’re showing that you care. Remember that social media helps you humanize your brand. You should treat consumers with respect as you respond.

Let it Go

The truth is, you can’t please every consumer or satisfy every critic. However, you should make an effort to show your community that you care. Making an effort to acknowledge and trying to resolve a situation will only benefit your brand!

AnitaLoomba

Anita Loomba

Other, Self

Anita is a Digital Marketing Consultant and helps brands develop social media campaigns to expand and extend their reach in online marketing. Most recently she spearheaded the social media strategy and execution for eHealth, Inc. and prior to that, as a Marketing Manager at Fred Meyer Jewelers, she built the social media and online marketing plan for the retail brand. A Seattle native, she now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's worked with large companies like Intel and Warner Brothers and has experience with agencies and startups as well. She loves traveling, photography and all things social media!

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Comments

Anita Loomba Nice Post

Thank you! 

Thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts. Every business has problem of criticism whether it is a small business or big brand, but the most important aspect is how to resolve the problem of criticism. I have seen many business who has negative reviews on yelp, yellowpages and other websites. I just suggested them to resolve that problem by responding them because it shows you care about your customer(you are not ignoring them), but if you leave that review as it is and never respond then customer who posted the review will never come back you and other people who are thinking to buy your products & services will check those reviews where you did not make any response so what will they assume? Guess? You don't care your customers and thats a huge lose for your business.

Hi Navneet - I completely agree. Responding to customers show that you care about their feedback and are willing to take action on their comments. 

Although negative criticism can be hard to accept, it’s in your best interest to take it seriously, and see it as an opportunity to reconnect with your audience. By taking the time to respond and apologize, you’re showing your customers just how much you value them, and that can go an extremely long way for your brand.Thanks Anita!

Hi Ava - I'm glad you liked this post! It's important for brands to take the time to respond to comments, when they're good and bad - it shows that you're listening to them.