How to Stop Your Facebook Dislikes Becoming a News Headline

How to Stop Journalists Using Your Firm’s Social Media Against You

To many businesses a customer complaint on their Facebook page is a minor blip on their customer service radar. What is commonly overlooked by company owners is that complaint is now a permanent record and quotation for their next newspaper article. To learn how to to stop this being your firm – read on…

In this article we will discuss how to grow positive Social Media for your company purposes. In particular, we identify one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of social media PR – negative reviews on your firms social media sites can give reporters the material they need to substantiate a negative story on your brand.

Your Social Media page is the Default Complaint Process for Many Consumers

With the meteoric rise of social media (for companies where consumers can be found venting frustration towards businesses), this can pose a problem for those which aren’t PR savvy. As a result, these businesses can undo hours of time and money investing in building a good reputation with the click of a mouse.

Dealing with complaints on social media (for companies rather than individuals) sites needs to be done with caution, as comments posted online can be there forever. Unlike print media, which is often described as turning yesterday’s news into tomorrow’s fish and chip paper, posts uploaded by businesses online can be ever accessible if they are re-posted or re-tweeted by social media users.

This can turn into a business’ public social media PR horror story – especially if an investigative journalist is looking for ammunition to legitimise a negative piece, which simply needs the support of a plethora of ready and willing discontented consumers.

How to Stop the Complaint from Going Further

So what’s the best way to tackle a dissatisfied social networker to save your social media PR?

Best to band aid the wound as quickly as possible, before it turns nasty. This shows you are listening to your customer’s concern and have taken it seriously.

Start by taking the comment out of the glare of the social media spotlight and deal with it offline. Better to spot clean these potential stains to your record before they escalate into a big, hideous blotch.

Get them Offline

Calling the unhappy customer directly normalises the situation, disarming both parties of their keyboards so that neither can hide behind their words. Nothing beats good old-fashioned human contact, as a lot can be lost by email, especially when an issue is involved.

The problem should be resolved through a refund, vouchers or perhaps a donation to a charity of their choice. This replaces the sour taste in the customer’s mouth with a sweet one that they’ll remember.

While word-of-mouth used to be the best marketing tool available, it’s now word-of-mouth-networkers that does the trick. That’s why your newly-invested customer should be encouraged to share their experience online. The disenchanted can become a chirpy cheerleader if their complaint has been dealt with properly.

As Business Social Media Use Grows So to Do Complaints – Are You Prepared?

In this article we have attempted to explain how to grow positive Social media for businesses with social media PR. Ultimately, those managers which approach their customer service with an open mind, relish the chance to improve the service and see a complaint as an opportunity rather than a personal attack will be those able to create a competitive advantage from social media.

As a public relations consultant we are seeing more and more of this issue arise in companies of all sizes. If you would like further information on how we can stop this happening to your company  please contact Mark Devlin at Impact PR.

Mark Devlin

Mark Devlin

Director at Impact PR
Mark Devlin is a dynamic Auckland entrepreneur who provides PR counsel for some of the world’s most recognisable brands. With more than 20 years in public relations and marketing, Mark has an impressive portfolio of clients who trust him with their brands.