Social Media Negativity

August 1, 2022

5 Situations When Your Brand Should Respond

A negative comment or review on a brand’s social media profile can quickly spiral out of control. But if your social media team is prepared with the right tools, they can turn a potential crisis into a productive conversation.

Whether you’re looking to create a social media crisis plan from scratch or update your current response guidelines, here are five situations where your brand should consider responding.

  1. The comment contains incorrect information that can be corrected with facts. Politely “set the record straight” with a short, fact-based comment.
  2. The response has a good chance of positively correcting the situation. If you feel your response has an opportunity to change the narrative, respond publicly but attempt to move the conversation offline. Via private message, offer a phone number or email to have a longer conversation. It’s important to remember that any private correspondence can quickly become public, so always stick to your brand’s approved talking points & responses.
  3. Your brand’s voice will be missing if you fail to respond. Will you be noticeably absent from the conversation if you simply ignore the comment or post? For example, Twitter recently announced a new feature that allows users to “unmention” themselves in conversations. The feature enables users to deactivate their profile link from the conversation.But should you always hit “unmention” when the conversation turns negative? Brands will have to carefully consider when to use this feature so as not to appear as though they are ignoring complaints. However, it allows you to remove your brand from irrelevant or inappropriate conversations, thus enabling more time for meaningful discourse.
  4. The comment is gaining traction. Going “viral” is relative to each brand. What may seem like a large number of comments for one brand may be considered average for another company. It’s important to look at analytics often to understand what is viral for your brand and when a response is necessary to regain control of the narrative.
  5. The comment is one of several related to the same topic. If multiple people are commenting with the same complaint or concern, it’s time to take a holistic approach to understanding why so many people are having a similar reaction and work with your team to craft a relevant response.

Every brand will face social media negativity at some point, but preparation will allow your social media team to appropriately manage a crisis – and perhaps even turn the narrative around! Bottom line: The key to handling a negative comment successfully is to plan! As the adage goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”