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Social media has created a playing field that allows users to communicate with brands in a casual setting. This has led to both positives and negatives. It is great that brands can hear directly from their consumers about what is or isn’t working for them; it’s another avenue for readily available consumer insights. On the flip side, consumers can easily call brands out (for example – complaining about an incorrect order or poor customer service) and be ruthless with their comments.

In order to maintain a strong brand image, organizations need to be aware of comments on social media – positive and negative – and know how to deal with situations as they arise. In this post, we’ll dive into a few areas you need to address.

Ad Copy / Creative

It is always important to be cognizant of consumer perceptions when creating ads. Know what type of creative or ad copy stirs engagement, especially if that engagement is negative. Every social platform is built to optimize towards ads that generate the highest amount of engagement, which can sometimes mean bringing ads to the forefront that are controversial and covered in nasty comments.

When putting creative together, think of your target market and what would make them angry or upset. For example, if your organization is in the retail vertical, it is probably important to use a diverse group people with a variety of body types in your ads. If all your ads show just one type of person or body, it will likely not sit well with your target market and make your ads vulnerable to angry users who feel underrepresented or ignored.

Additionally, when drafting ad copy or text-overlay on images, do not bring up any pain points in your business. Although this sounds obvious, it is often overlooked. For example, if you promise in your ad copy to have quick response times when that’s not a reality with your business model, this will lead to negative engagement.

Procedure

In order to maintain a strong brand image on social media, it is important to have a procedure in place for responding to all types of comments. This procedure should include having a designated person who regularly checks Facebook/LinkedIn/Pinterest/Twitter/etc. ad comments, as well as a sales person or some point-of-contact who will follow-up with specific complaints or higher-level queries. The regularity of checking the ad comments will be dependent on your company’s vertical and your ad strategy.

The individuals responsible for responding should have a system in place for knowing if it is appropriate to hide a comment, like a comment, or respond. Additionally, please remember that it is important to respond to positive comments, too, and highlight the positive word-of-mouth you receive.

Voice / Message

When responding to negative comments, there are a few things to keep top-of-mind. First, make sure to be empathetic, conversational, and unique with each response. This means understanding that social media platforms are just what they state; they are places to be social, so the voice needs to be casual and organic. If the response is too robotic, that will lead to more negative comments.

Additionally, offer the user a place to privately message the brand or be able to follow-up in some way. That way the user feels heard, the negative conversation is taken off a public platform, and your employees have an easy avenue to continue dealing with the issue.