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Eight ways to manage negativity on Facebook Pages
Social networks facilitate a two-way conversation between brands and consumers, but what if that conversation turns negative or nasty? What steps should you take in the face of such negative feedback?
Not everything posted on your social media sites will be helpful or, indeed, welcome. However, when you invite others to engage in dialog, negativity is hard to avoid.
Some members of your Facebook page may have a genuine beef with your product or service, but some may just want to rant or cause trouble (trolling and spam). How you handle the situation will be very public, and reflect on your business and brand.
It's therefore essential that you know what to do when faced with complaints, criticism, or even blind rage, on your Facebook Page. Here are eight tips to help you handle the situation.
1. First and foremost, create a policy clearly outlining the 'rules' around commenting on your Page, and ensure users know about it. Be clear how use of bad language or posts containing inappropriate content will be dealt with.
2. Keep your cool. Don't lash out at negative posts. Step back from the situation before posting a cool and collected response.
3. Reply publicly. Show you are in control of the situation by publicly responding. As well as being open, your reply may address questions that others have, but are not comfortable asking.
4. Keep replies concise. Get your point across without creating paragraphs of unwieldy text, which many won't bother to read. Stick to the facts and keep emotions and personal views off limits.
5. Reply promptly. Often silence is taken as avoidance. Even if you can not provide a complete answer to their comment at the time it was made, reassure them you are listening and finding them an answer.
6. Reply privately. Some commenters are there to make trouble, and some don't know when to stop. These participants are sometimes best dealt with in private, particularly if an existing public attempt to quell their anger has not been successful and is distracting other users.
7. Monitor the developing thread and keep in touch with the customer until they are satisfied with the outcome.
8. Ditch the trolls.. or not. It's not hard to spot a spammer or a troll, but do you delete them or humor them? ClickZ has a great article on how to deal with various types of troll.
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