Someone wrote a scathing review of your company’s product on their blog–now what?
Well, you can either ignore it or you can respond. In traditional PR, you’d be shirking your duties if you didn’t follow-up with the reporter. Same goes with social media, except the world can see your response. Whether the post is positive or negative, you have to comment.
Here are a few tips to ensure you comment with success:
- Take a deep breath!
- Sometimes the excitement (or hate) can cloud a clear head. Remember, it’s the Internet and everything will be a part of your permanent record. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your mother/future boss/customer/client to read
- Acknowledge and thank the blogger for their feedback/comments/insight/linklove
- Remember, we are listening now. Whether you agree with it or not, they put effort into their post and their feedback can provide a snapshot of what your customers or other reporters/bloggers are thinking
- You’re building a relationship, which means accountability and honest discussion.
- Try to address the concerns and tell them what you are doing or plan on doing to fix any problems. If it was a positive piece, write something that can help build the discussion or add deeper insight into the topic
- Cut the marketing speak and messaging. Read what the blogger is saying and respond as a human, not a PR-bot
- Transparency and full disclosure
- Let readers know you are with the company or represent the company. It’s about ethics.
- DO NOT try to pad the comments with anonymous or fictitious posts
- You may not see it when you read the post, but bloggers can see the IP address of every comment. Several comments from the same IP addy looks suspicious and a simple search can rat you out
Some stellar examples from comments in socialTNT’s past:
Kevin Cuneo’s reply to a potentially critical post in “You Are Doing Your Clients a Horrible Disservice”
Over here at Yoono we completely agree that Twitter is a great way to connect with our community. And we find Summize to be the best way to monitor Twitter. I love how it lets you know there’s more results since your last search. (I was also using it to track my replies when that feature went down on Twitter.)
We’re going a mile a minute over here so unfortunately there’s only so much time in the day to respond to negative comments and assist users via Twitter. However, we try to get to as many as we can and if they aren’t responded to, users can rest assured they were read and taken into account. Although we love good feedback, we think any feedback is worthwhile in helping us craft a superior product.
With that said I’m off to check in on Summize, looks like I have nine results up since my last search.
Great post, keep up the good work. And we’re all looking forward to Marie’s review!
Yoono Community Evangelist
kcuneo (at) yoono (dot) com
Kevin didn’t make excuses. He acknowledged the concerns and addressed the problem thoughtfully.
Reply to a positive post from “Dell Hell Freezes Over: A Great Example of Turning Lemons into Lemonade”
Chris – As a member of Dell’s digital media team, I think you’ve done as fine a job as anyone to summarize how the company has worked to move on to a new chapter. It’s been a wild ride, but the journey has only just begun. Today, we view the integration of social media technologies as a natural evolution of our business and an exciting new dimension in which to deal directly with our customers.
In this comment, John acknowledged the statements in the post. He also adds to the post by telling the readers what Dell will be doing in the future.
Conclusion: Both John and Kevin effectively stated their company’s point of view without sounding arrogant. It’s a delicate balance. Just imagine you were having a discussion with your mom/girlfriend/boyfriend/brother or anyone else you love but sometimes have disagreements with.
How do you respond to negative comments? What tips or tricks can you share? Any examples of stellar commenting in action? Let us know in the comments