When companies initiate social media monitoring, it can often be both exciting and overwhelming. Real-time alerts fill your inbox with mentions ranging from positive to negative to incoherent. There can be a big temptation to try to respond to each one thanking the positives and defending against the negatives. It’s natural response, especially for people who are passionate about their businesses.
The primary benefit of social media monitoring is that it allows for awareness, listening, and participation in conversations where appropriate. The problem is that doing nothing is often the hardest thing to do. Think of real life situations where you might hear people discussing how great your company’s new product is. Jumping into a conversation like this would naturally be tempting but your entrance into the chat could turn it into an awkward moment and take the air out of the balloon. The same thing can happen in a thread on a social media site. Besides, people being positive are already doing lots of good for you on their own without your help.
If you can’t add value don’t say anything, and if you’re not going to diffuse a negative situation stay away.
Generally speaking, a company should be very careful about participating in online conversations. There are, however, three situations where the conversation should be joined:
- When a customer service complaint is being expressed – Stepping in here makes sense as you can direct the person to where they can get support and get their issues handled.
- When comments being posted about your company, products, etc. are either incorrect or false – Here, you can guide the conversation back toward reality, answer questions, and provide information.
- When it appears that a negative conversation is building momentum.
Having a process in place to handle common complaints is a great start and can help to define proper actions or non-actions quickly. While it’s true that negative issues aren’t going to go away on their own there are circumstances where not fanning the flames is the best decision. For more information on interacting on social media sites and how it can benefit your reputation management, visit: http://www.reputationmanagementllc.com/ or call (866) 530 7703.