We get it at Foremost Media – you want your business on social media, but you are concerned about negative postings. Maybe you are thinking a Facebook page isn’t worth the trouble.
You may need to re-evaluate that line of thinking. A lot of millennials do their shopping and their sharing on Facebook where their family and friends are paying close attention, and you need to be there.
Comments can get pretty lively on Facebook – even on business pages – but you shouldn’t shy away from that. Debate, conversation and even some disagreements are good because it shows your business audience is engaged. There are ways to control the conversation on Facebook, even if it’s an unhappy customer posting. On the plus side, you have some control over comments on your Facebook versus people expressing their dissatisfaction on some other site that you have no control over. Remember, a slam against your business on a site where you can’t post a response will stay that way forever.
If you are concerned about your online reputation and what might be out there, give Foremost a call and we’ll be happy to manage your social media channels for you.
A negative comment shows up
When a customer posts a negative comment on your Facebook, your timely response reinforces the impression to other customers that you care, and it goes a long way to maintaining a positive on-line reputation.
Remember, everyone makes mistakes, If you made one, the faster you own it and respond to it the better. Facebook sentiment can easily turn in your favor then. Give a sincere apology rather than spouting off excuses and find a way to make things right.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how the conversation turns to positive experiences that people have had with your business. Often other customers will provide positive, unbiased assessments of their experiences.
But first, they need to like you
Are your customers aware you have a Facebook page? If you have an e-mail database of your customers, you or Foremost can do an e-mail blast inviting them to like your page. Let them know you will be posting sales content and maybe even having a contest or two to pique their interest. Make them aware that there will be content other than what they may see on your website or in blogs and e-mails.
Fans, by definition, like your business and that’s why they follow you on Facebook, so you can usually let them interact, within reason, to help keep your page engaging.
If you do encounter someone who persists in being negative about your business, you have a few options.
1) Hide it
You can hide the negative comment. The person who made the comment and any of their Facebook friends will be able to see it – but no one else will. If you go to the right side of the comment and hover over the end of the comment, three dots will appear with a drop down option of hiding the comment. Hiding is better than deleting because that could aggravate Mr. or Ms. Negative even more, and they might resort to slamming you on a forum you can’t control.
2) Be on alert
You can set your page so certain words are flagged and the comment doesn’t post until you approve it. If you go to settings (the sort of cog looking wheel at the top right of your page), click on that and go to page moderation – you can put words in that will be blocked.
3) Moderate the posts
You can also prevent posts from publishing on your page until you approve them. This is called post moderation and it is also in settings. This requires monitoring and reviewing. If someone is persistent enough, they can just post negative things under your posts as a comment. Or, they can “tag” your business in a comment on their page or someone else’s page and make it negative.
4) Take the conversation elsewhere
A back-and-forth argument in your Facebook comment section can get messy fast. In most situations, frustrated customers are better handled in a private setting. This allows you to appear responsive and calm rather than a sharp quip back at the negative comment. With a private message, you can get down to the details of the complaint and work personally with the unhappy customer. Showing empathy and compassion is an easy way to turn an unhappy troll into a future brand advocate.
5) Turn off tagging or ban the user
In settings, turn off the “tagging” function so people can’t follow a negative post back to your Facebook page. Let’s say Mr. Negative posts that your customer service leaves something to be desired, and he uses the @(insert your business name). That tag means people can click on it and go back to your page unless you’ve turned off tagging.
In settings, you can ban a specific person if they are just too unreasonable. You can also report them to Facebook and their Facebook account could be suspended.
6) A last resort
Unpublishing your Facebook page would be a last resort and something that you would rarely, if ever need to do. That makes your page and your business invisible to the Facebook world.
Luckily, not a lot of people think they need to doggedly keep slamming a business on Facebook, and you need your Facebook as part of your business’s presence as well as a way to keep boosting your SEO. If you need help with reputation management and your Facebook, the professionals at Foremost are happy to help.
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