It’s almost a war zone on social media these days. Logging on to Facebook can cause my left eye to start twitching while scrolling through the rampant toxic vile some people feel the need to post on their timelines but mostly in the comments section. As a firm that manages many social media accounts, we are never surprised by the amount of online crazy that exists out there and the types of things people ask businesses about on their social media pages. We are often asked by clients whether they should hide hateful comments or respond back to messages with long-winded emotional responses. For some perplexing reason, people feel emboldened on social media to say things they would never say in person or even on the phone. For this reason, we advise businesses, in most cases, to try to move ugly conversations offline as often and as soon as possible. As much as you may want to engage in a social media battle, it never looks good for a brand to fight that war of words on a social media page. Here are 5 tips for responding back to comments or messages on social media:
- Don’t delete or hide comments unless they are extremely derogatory, inappropriate or use expletives – deleting someone’s crazy comment only inflames them. Most people who see a crazy comment on your page will roll their eyes and/or laugh.
- Respond back to comments within 24 hours. A best practice may be to set up an automatic return message for private messages, but you should also try to respond to specific requests within one day as well.
- Try and take the conversation offline. Give a short answer/response and then ask the commenter to send a private DM with their phone number for a more in-depth conversation. But if they do, you definitely have to call them! Most people are much braver hiding as a keyboard warrior than in an actual conversation over the phone.
- Don’t get into a social media war of the words! It does not end well for brands. Embrace your inner customer service star and be polite, courteous and compassionate. Most people just want to vent or be heard.
- Ask a few of your best brand ambassadors to chime in with support. Usually this will happen anyway if you have a solid fan base, but don’t be afraid to ask some of your biggest fans to support you online.