This Year’s Social Media Engagement Strategy, Stop Feeding the Trolls
-Kayla, Serendipit Social Media Coordinator
Ideas for Your Social Media Engagement Strategy
Working in social media is more than just creating exciting, informative, and fun content that resonates and engages your audience. It also requires staying up to date on ever-evolving trends and algorithms. But one of the most significant parts of working in social media is responding to social media comments and handling engagements with your audience – both positive and negative.
In our current social climate, people turn to social media to express themselves and voice their opinions. Sometimes, this results in nasty comments and messages. It seems that once people are behind a screen, their filters disappear, and they can implode if one thing sets them off. That’s why marketers and social media experts need to have an excellent social media engagement strategy when responding to social media comments. You need to know when to engage and when to just let it be. Here’s the insider scoop on best practices when responding to social media comments.
When to Engage
When you receive a negative review or comment, most likely, you’ll need to respond. If someone posts a review or comment on social media that is slanderous or their statement merely is false, you need to respond quickly and defend your business. Refer to these examples for some ideas for social media engagement when correcting an invalid comment.
Example: Do not go to this company. They are a bunch of liars and told me they were open on Sunday, and I drove an hour out of my way to find that they were closed!
Response: Hi (NAME). We are sorry that we couldn’t help you on Sunday. Our regular business hours are posted on our website and online, and it clearly states we closed on Sundays. Please contact our manager at (NUMBER) so we can discuss this issue further with you and get you the care you need.
Other times, things happen, and you mess up. That’s okay, and we’re all human, but if you receive a negative comment online that you might have deserved, ALWAYS RESPOND. If you leave this unattended, it makes your business look like you don’t care about your customer’s experience. Responding and recognizing your mistake is the best thing you can do. Acknowledge the comment and try to take it offline immediately. Take a look at the example below for a good reference point.
Example: I went to (Your Business Name) last week and had a horrible experience. My food came out cold, and the order was wrong. I love eating out and usually enjoy this restaurant, but after this negative visit, I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.
Response: Hi (NAME), we are so sorry that mistakes were made on your last visit. We can assure you we are looking into this issue so we can be sure it doesn’t happen again. Please give our management team a call at (NUMBER), so we can make this right.
A general social media engagement strategy rule of thumb is to respond promptly. If a review or comment was posted more than two weeks ago, don’t bother responding. Your silence for two weeks or more already makes you look bad, so responding that late could do more harm than good. Just make sure that you are staying on top of your audience engagement and respond promptly whenever possible.
When Not To Engage
Sometimes, people are just mad at the world, and the best social media engagement strategy is to leave it be – DO NOT add fuel to the fire. The comment below is a perfect example of when NOT to respond.
Example: It makes me sick to see new restaurants and buildings like (YOUR BUSINESS NAME) popping up all over this sacred land. Do you realize it’s money-hungry developers like YOU who are ruining our planet and destroying our beautiful Arizona desert? Shame on you! You’re the problem with this world. I hope your business fails miserably.
I know this may sound harsh, but trust me, I’ve seen comments like this. DO NOT RESPOND. People like this are social media trolls who love to express their anger and unleash. Your response could spark more negative feedback, which then puts it in front of more eyes online. If a user is rambling and posting nonsense that has nothing to do with your business or service, leave it be.
Responding to Positive Comments/Reviews
On a lighter note, the best social media engagement strategy is to ALWAYS reply to a positive comment or review. If your followers or fans are taking the time to write something nice about your business, you should acknowledge it every time. Your response gives them yet another positive experience with you, increasing the chance that they will refer friends and family to you as well. Check out my example below to respond to positive comments like a boss.
Example: I just love (YOUR BUSINESS NAME)! They always deliver exceptional service, and I’ve been going here for years. I’ll never go anywhere else for (PRODUCT/SERVICE) because they are truly the best!
Response: Hi _____, thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us – it really made our day! Our team strives to provide our customers with the best possible service, and we’re glad you had a great experience with us. Have a great day! 😊
To sum it all up, people want to be heard. Good, bad, or neutral, nine times out of ten, you should respond and engage with your audience. It could make or break your business.