Here's an excerpt from my Facebook book on dealing with the event complainers, haters, and howlers ... tis the season!
Because social media is a, well, social animal, it is nearly effortless for people to criticize.
Here are some recommendations on how to deal with negativity on Facebook and it basically boils down to having excellent customer service skills:
My strong recommendation is to not react to anything on Facebook immediately. Don't respond too quickly but also don't wait too long to respond. There isn't a specific time frame, and it largely depends on what a Facebook user posts or comments about.
Have a full-time social media person (or customer service-oriented volunteer) helping you during your event. It is very easy for someone to go through and post negative information to your Facebook page. If you and your team are hard at work putting on a great event, you might miss a negative comment.
In a few instances, a negative comment could turn into a PR nightmare. This is why it's so important to be vigilant about your social media the week leading up to your event and through your event.
If a Facebook user is agitated at you or your event, try to take the conversation off your Facebook page. Acknowledge the person's concern and ask them to send you a personal message. You can do this by directly replying to their post or comment. If you're able to resolve the issue to that person's satisfaction, ask the person to acknowledge that in their post or comment.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of deleting negative posts on Facebook. Unless a post or comment contains vulgar language or is entirely inappropriate, keep it on your Facebook page. Why would you want to keep a negative comment? Because it's social media.
Take the opportunity to acknowledge or explain whatever concerns a person might have brought to your attention. In some cases, people leave such over-the-top comments that you don't need to explain anything.
When you have a great event and loyal customers, you often find your own customers and supporters coming to your defense. This happens more often than not. Here's how it usually goes: A Facebook user leaves a very negative comment on your Facebook page. If the feedback isn't offensive or over the top, don't rush to respond.
What you'll find is that your supporters and customers will often come to your defense and respond for you. Honestly, I've seen this a majority of the time. You still want to monitor your posts and advertisements, but allow your supporters and customers to weigh in.
In short, think first – smartly (don't react), answer later!
If you want to take advantage of social media, you have to play the game differently. What follows are the most common social media marketing mistakes to avoid and simple corrections you can use. The suggestions apply to any social media platform. Click below and dive on in to the 5-Part Social Media Series:
- Putting Your Social Media Mindset Ahead of Theirs
- Focusing Too Much on Likes & Followers
- Trying to Engage on Too Many Social Media Platforms
- Avoiding Paid Social Media Advertising
- Not Measuring the Results of Your Hard Work