Should Your Brand Reply to All Social Media Posts?

Lien Brusselmans
Lien Brusselmans Marketing Manager, Engagor

Posted on November 25th 2013

Should Your Brand Reply to All Social Media Posts?

The answer is simple: no.

Social media customer service comes down to this: you have to carefully think about what you will reply to. This may sound simple but each company will have their own angle when coming up with an answering scheme. An answering scheme is a clear guide social media advisors follow when social messages roll in. It looks something like this:

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Comments versus questions

The core of social media customer service is replying to the questions people ask your brand. Then there are the more ambivalent posts that are actually comments or just people talking to their friends about your brand. If you pick this up and the message actually contains a question, you can reach out and offer your help. People will be positively surprised at your proactive approach!

Twitter @mention or not?

Some brands reply to all social messages about their brand, others don’t. What often happens is that brands don’t react to tweets that only mention their name but not @mention their Twitter handle. Use a social media management tool to easily pick up both types of messages and reply to them. Small effort for you, very much appreciated by customers!

Compliments

If people compliment your brand, it’s a nice gesture to thank them, like or favorite their message. Just a heads up that you appreciate them taking the time to share their positive experience with your brand! Of course, if the workload is too high, you should definitely prioritize the actual questions.

Insults

Remember your parents’ wise words: if someone insults or mocks you, don’t start an argument but just ignore them. The same goes for insults to your brand. There’s no use in responding to these types of messages. People can give their opinion or criticize you because of a bad experience with your brand, but insults are a very different thing.

Key takeaway? Sit down and build your answering scheme before you dive in social media customer service. It will save you lots of time, worries and discussions. Good luck!

Lien Brusselmans

Lien Brusselmans

Marketing Manager, Engagor

Lien Brusselmans is Marketing Manager at Engagor, an all-in-one social media management tool for companies that want to monitor and manage their online presence. It's is a time-saver for companies that want the all-in-one solution: useful analytics about their perception online, as well as the possibility to post on several platforms from within one tool.

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Comments

Good advice Lisa. When it comes to insults, I agree about not answering for the most part. But I think there is an important category missing here and that is complaints, which are not the same as insults. Brands should be keeping track of complaints to detect sentiment patterns and possibly change customer service policies that are just plain bad. Also, it might not be good to totally ignore a customer with a complaint if what they say is true and it exposes a flaw on your part. An apology might be in order,maybe offline or in an email, but it's a case-by-case basis call IMO. Ignoring a customer complaint that clearly exposes a mistake you made could be worse for your reputation that simply saying you are sorry and correcting the problem. Thanks for the advice!

Hi Chris! Thanks for your reaction and I completely agree with you. Plain insults based on no real grounds, should not be responded to. Complaints however definitely should! If people dislike something about your brand (bad service they got, products of a bad quality, etc.) and take the effort to reach out to you and tell you about it, they deserve a reply. It's even better if brands really document on these complaints and report about them to the appropriate company departments. Cheers!

Re: Some brands reply to all social messages about their brand, others don’t. What often happens is that brands don’t react to tweets that only mention their name but not @mention their Twitter handle. 


Yes, I think that a company doesn't have to respond to every tweet where someone simply writes their name - it's good to keep an eye on these but replies may make the individual feel like the company is "spying" on them :)

 

Re: Insults

I make all of my clients come up with a plan for how to handle these - I wouldn't tell them to just ignore it, but they should not respond, and there are some steps involved for documenting the post, deleting it, and then directing any inquiries about it to the brand's page guidelines (i.e. any posts using offensive language, etc)

Good point! People indeed typically have two reactions when brands respond to non @mentions. They really appreciate the effort or they feel like being spied on :) 

I believe there's a big difference between plain insults and complaints. The latter is based on particular grounds and deserve to be replied to and acted upon. Plain insults shouldn't be responded to but it might indeed be wise to still document on them.

Thanks for sharing your point of view! 

How about replying to comments in a positive way to enlighten those bias individuals and sent a message to the public that your business is proactive and customer friendly.