You Gotta Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

12 Feb

In today’s Internet-based  world, social media has taken over everyone’s lives. Companies have grown the habit of posting updates and ideas purely to receive the positive publicity of “likes.”  But not every idea or post put up on the social network sphere can be a hit, and negative comments sprout up just as fast as the positive. In the social networking world all publicity is not good publicity, so it’s a shame that PR departments and firms let negative comments go untouched.  These negative comments present an opportunity to resolve a problem and turn the customer around to your side, all it takes is a little time and effort.

Don’t Let Time Tick Away

When a customer service or public relations firm lets a negative comment sit and fester, its posts and ideas are poorly viewed by users. However, the social media mentality is to let those posts stay and wither away over time, in order to save time and effort. By simply Googling a company, previously written bad comments become permanent fixtures. Through social media archives, negative comments build up over time, and more customers become upset. One negative post can lead to many more as consumers see it is okay to rant about the wrong doings of the company. Eventually, all that is left is negative publicity.  Additionally, customer’s negative comments influence future customers’ view; this build-up of negative comments only exacerbates a company’s PR problems.

Weed Out the Problem

Negative attacks through social media can easily be twisted to a positive, with minimal effort by people who manage a company’s social media accounts — all it takes is an attempt to right the wrong.

In a study conducted by Harris Interactive by request of RightNow Technologies, Inc., fixing negative social media was put to the test by attempting to reconstruct customer relationships. Sixty-eight percent of people who complained used social media. Of those people:

  • 34% deleted their comment
  • 33% posted a positive comment
  • 18% became loyal customers of the company they originally attacked

The attempt at winning over complaining customers costs a company nothing more than its time and can lead to loyal customers’ sales dollars for the rest of their lives.

Be Careful

Pursuing each negative post may not be the best idea, as they are not all potential customers . Many angry people negatively post for the sake of causing an argument. Time spent trying to win them over may just be wasted on further provoking them.  But overall, negative posts are better addressed before they blow out of proportion.

by Michael Parker



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