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Companies do not know how to respond to negative comments on social networks

Almost half has not prepared an action plan

  • Key4Communications

Companies have not planned how to respond to negative comments on social networks, according to a survey conducted among U.S. marketers by Social Media Marketing University. Although 45% do have a strategy, 25% have no plan at all, and 23% are not even considering to develop one. Also, 8% have a defined strategy, but say it is not effective.

Regardless of whether there is a clear strategy, companies respond to complaints in social media: 52% do so in the first 24 hours and 18% in the first hour. 9% do it throughout the week and 21% never answer customer complaints.

The danger of not having thought about how to respond to negative feedback is obvious: you can commit errors that could amplify the first complaint and even end up with a viral mess up (here are some examples).

In addition, comments on networks, both positive and negative, influence purchasing decisions. According to ShareThis, positive reviews can increase purchase intention by 10%, and negative comments, by 11%.

Yes, negative posts may be more influential than positive ones, but luckily they are also less common: there are over three positive comments for every negative one, according to IBM.

Moreover and above all, we should keep in mind that well-managed complaints help improve the image of the brand. For example, 65% of consumers that have used social media as customer service show willingness to purchase items from these brands again.

What do consumers value when addressing companies via social media? To receive an answer as soon as possible (83%) and to be answered in the same platform, without redirecting them to other media such as the web or a phone number, for example. It is generally considered reasonable to give an answer within 24 hours, but the sooner the better.

Brands should also be polite, should try to take the conversation to a private envirnment (without leaving the social network), should not get defensive, and should act without hesitation when a mistake is found. In addition to not feeding trolls, of course.

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