Although social media networks are powerful marketing and customer service tools for smart businesses, unexpected mistakes can happen. In some cases, a PR disaster that starts from social media can quickly escalate into huge crisis and tarnish a brand for years to come. So, what do you do when your brand is thrust into the negative social media spotlight for the wrong reasons?
Here are effective ways your small business can avoid negative social media.
Many internet marketers, especially small business owners, tend to draw self-worth from the number of followers they have attracted on social media. It’s normal to get dizzy when social media users like and react to your posts.
While this can actually turn into an active audience, it’s counter intuitive when you keep asking people to like, share, follow and subscribe to your social media account.
Remember, these are responses people should do naturally. In other words, you should confidently engage with your audience with valuable content that they want to share because they find it valuable and shareable.
Furthermore, it’s not easy to turn an engagement into revenue, if your audience isn’t that comfortable with the quality of your content.
Avoid Canned Responses
Canned messages and responses are designed for the purpose of maintaining a certain brand culture and saving time. But, while that basic messaging strategy helps, you can’t use it for responding to all negative comments without personalizing the responses.
Unfortunately, even established multinational brands with huge digital marketing budgets fall into this trap.
In fact, today’s smart online shoppers can quickly identify copy and paste responses. They tend to avoid businesses that rely on such responses. So, you should take the time to personalize your responses according to the sentiments of a particular negative post or comment.
Moreover, online shoppers prefer brands that personalize their social media customer service responses because they feel valued.
Generate Quality Followers
Although follower count matters in social media marketing (SMM), you should focus on attracting followers with a monetary value. Instead of growing your follower count fraudulently, stick to creating high-quality content. This can keep your existing followers engaged and grow the count through shares and mentions.
Thousands of followers won’t help your business’s social proof if they don’t bring actual conversions.
Additionally, paying for followers can cause a social media crisis. For instance, you pay a social media platform to run an ad campaign asking users to follow you. You might find that you begin unfollowing them a few days later because you attracted the wrong people.
Remember, some social media users follow accounts just because they look attractive and have been asked to follow.
It’s important to know your customers through analytics. Be accurate in every social media post you send out before you click on the “post” button. Remember, a small faux pas about your brand can go viral more quickly than the right version of the post.
In fact, a small miscalculation or misrepresentation can create a serious social media crisis.
One popular example of social media negativity is when British Airways accidentally shared a post promoting Virgin Atlantic (one of their major competitors) on Facebook.
While the post was an honest mistake, Virgin Atlantic’s social media management team took advantage of the mistake. They jokingly claimed that even British Airways is encouraging passengers to fly with Virgin Atlantic.
Although no serious harm was done to British Airways, that was an embarrassing moment that had a lot of social media ridicule.
Final Thoughts On Avoiding Negative Social Media
Once you have a brand presence on social media, the reality is that you can’t avoid negative comments and reviews. However, negative social media can have an impact on your business’s revenue.
With the right SMM strategies, businesses and marketers can avoid negativity on social media. In addition, the way you handle the negative publicity will also determine whether your small business will survive the tide and move forward untainted.