Mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process. Usually when we make an error, we simply learn from it and move on. But what should you do when you make a mistake on social media, in front of thousands of followers? And how should you respond to negative feedback when it’s brought up in front of this large audience?

With your business’s online reputation at stake, it’s important to handle negative feedback delicately. 

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Preventing Negative Feedback on Social Media

Keep these tips in mind before posting on your social media channels!

Watch your language

Be aware of sensitive topics and address them appropriately. Remember that your business’s social media accounts are a place for your clients and fans to learn more about your company and its services. Unless you’re a political figure, politics are best kept away from your brand’s social media.

Do your research

Research tags before you use them; they might mean something unexpected! Make sure your tags are appropriate for your posts, and if you’re going to use a trending hashtag, do your research first. Plenty of big brands have had their choice of hashtags backfire on them due to poor research or bad timing.

Update your page

Make sure your info is up-to-date so that your followers can get in touch. Are you still using the default egg profile image for your Twitter account? Are there any typos in your web address? Take a few minutes to comb over your social media accounts to check that all of your information is current.

Accept responsibility

Don’t publicly criticize your staff. Instead, accept responsibility. It’s human nature to want to blame others in the name of self-preservation, but social media is definitely not the place to do this! If one of your employees accidentally tweets something that isn’t aligned with your brand, don’t publicly humiliate that employee. Instead, send out an apology on behalf of your company explaining the error.

Tell the truth

Always make sure the information you share is accurate and true. Social media is time-consuming, so sharing articles without reading them can be very tempting. But blindly sharing posts can have severe repercussions: you could be sharing false, poorly written content to your followers without realizing it! Or, just as bad, you could be directing them to your competitor’s website.

Respond to your messages

Reply to questions and complaints as quickly and kindly as possible. If you have thousands of people messaging you each day, this can be a difficult task, but it’s important not to ignore them altogether. Consider hiring a social media manager to reply to messages, or set up an auto-reply system like CrowdFire to inform people that you’re working hard to get through a large volume of messages.

 

Responding to Negative Feedback on Social Media

Mistakes happen. Follow these tips to keep the situation under control.

First of all, determine if the feedback is true.

If it is true:

Accept responsibility

Offer a sincere apology to the parties involved.

Use appropriate language

Make your response clear and polite.

Have a plan of action

Explain how you will correct the problem, or what steps will be taken to prevent similar issues in the future.

If it is untrue:

Show proof or evidence

Politely offer evidence of no wrong-doing. Keep it professional.

Stand up for yourself

Protect your brand, but stay professional.

Request a correction

If a false and damaging post is published on a review service, contact the site and politely request it to be removed.

Above all, remember to maintain a calm and logical disposition when responding to negative feedback on social media. Keep your response friendly, and be empathetic to the person offering the criticism. They’ll appreciate being treated respectfully, and may be more receptive to your reply. Good luck out there!