Damage Control

Take Control

by Bill Nolan

Social media, handled with care, is without a doubt a powerful assist for your business’s marketing. Still, things don’t always go as expected. Do you have a plan in place? In a perfect world your social media business pages would generate great interaction, feedback and ROIs, but considering this is reality, your business page is sure to encounter some bumps along the way. While handling with care you still must be prepared to deal with those blindsiding events. Here’s a few scenarios to put your business in, and ask yourself if you’re prepared and how would you handle…

Social Media Damage Control

Social Media Damage Control.

The Negative Reviews & Comments

This is inevitable. Sustaining a 5 star rating and a perfectly manicured business page is almost like spotting a unicorn. It’s not going to happen. Sooner or later you’ll run into someone that wasn’t satisfied. Resist your urge to question how that someone has the audacity to complain. Don’t delete and block the user either. They most likely have friends that will back them up if you do. This just aggravates the situation. What is the best approach you ask? After you breath in deep 10 times, calm down and then kindly ask them what you can do to make the situation better. That is really what customers want. They want to know that you heard and actually value their opinion. It’s hard to refuse someone who is willing to work with you and make things better. Take the time to listen and communicate and many unsatisfied customers will gladly revise their rating. Some are even known to become the best clients and turn around and sing your praise!

The Ill-Advised Happy Hour Post

So, you and a few colleagues hit the local pub and unwind with a few drinks after a long day. Sounds pretty harmless until the following morning when you realize Joe Colleague posted pics of himself pounding drinks like he’s back in college and writing mostly unintelligible status updates – except for the cuss words and your tagged image or linked business name. There are so many variations to this story, including the business after hours and employee parties, and sometimes it’s not as bad as this sounds. It still needs to be covered. There is nothing wrong with adults enjoying themselves and occasionally blowing off some steam. It’s understandable. You could flat out delete the posts, but sometimes it’s better to just let them ride, own up and put a humorous, clean, spin on them. Don’t be surprised if you try to delete, but so many trolls have already seen them. Deleting could make it worse. People respect those who acknowledge when mistakes are made. Maybe you could make it an “add a quote” post or something along those lines. Have fun with it! If the employee’s/colleague’s post is even vaguely offensive it should be removed immediately, and an apology should be made. Common sense will dictate what step needs to be taken in these circumstances. It might be wise to put certain guidelines in place regarding tagging and linking your business in times like these, or at any time.

The Troll

Not to be confused with the Negative Review

These people basically have one goal and that is to irritate you. Unfortunately it makes them feel better about themselves or their own business. They most likely don’t even know much about your company. They are just on social pages to cause chaos and sometimes make no sense. You and your business are probably not the only targets. Their posts are typically meant to draw you into an argument, or they want to use your page to promote themselves. Trolls just don’t have anything better to do unless they are advertising ‘get 100,000 followers for $10’ on your business page. No worries. This one’s a relatively easy fix. Delete their posts if there is nothing remotely constructive to converse about, block and report them. You will know when they hit.

The Creepers

It’s sad to say, but if you’re attractive, your staff is or you’re selling a “sexy” product in any way creepers will find you. It doesn’t take a scantily clad photo to draw them out. Don’t be surprised when they like every post you make. It’s their way of getting your attention. You may even start getting private messages through your business page. These creepers will not hesitate being upfront about the way they feel. They will post right on your business page or comment. You ask what this has to do with your business? Exactly my point. The problem is that everyone viewing your page can see the creepers as well. In most cases people are very understanding and look poorly on the creeper…. as long as you are caring for your page and don’t leave it hanging out there. What do you do? Fight the urge to humiliate these people. No need to escalate things. In these cases it’s most likely best to delete or hide the comments, block the user and report them to the respective social media network. In some extreme cases a police report may need to be made. This is something you never want to experience, but it is best to be prepared.

Disgruntled Ex-Employees

On a slightly different and damaging note, are you giving employees admin powers over your different social accounts? Are you asking for disgruntled, former employees to continue posting in your business’s name? Monitor and update who has admin rights and access to all of your pages including social media management tools. Update those passwords frequently. Do you use Hootesuite? So does your ex-staff members if you don’t update those logins. This one is the easiest to avoid, but is so frequently forgotten. The business should always own the social page. Do not create them under an employee’s account. Monitor who is posting and managing at all times. PLEASE!

Keep in mind that your social media business pages will not always bring bliss. I understand that everything mentioned here could make you wonder if it’s even worth your time. This can’t be further from the truth. Having a damage control plan and keeping a cool head will help you in the long run. When you see your business pages begin to pay off, you’ll realize it really is worth the time, investment and effort. These concerns can happen to anyone and any business. It’s better to be out there prepared for damage control, instead of avoiding, and allowing the naysayers to go on. Either way, it is wise to put certain guidelines in place for any one of these circumstances and any other possibilities that might apply to your business online.

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