Facebook Community Management
With the advent of Social Media interacting with your customers has become a must. Gone are the days of popping a couple of brochures in the post and then just hoping like crazy that the response is a favourable one.
Note: If you’re at all grumpy, cranky or anti-social then it’s probably best that you don’t dip a toe into these waters as it will require you to possible engage with someone that could get your blood boiling. But there are many ways to deal with online “trolls” as they say.
So – You’ve set up a Facebook Page for your company and you already have more than 300 hundred fans. Nice! You’re posting often and the content has your avid followers chomping at the bit. They’re engaging. Even nicer! Here’s where it gets really fun, or tricky, depending on the type of fan you’ve convinced to click your “like” button.
Responding to comments on your page is every bit as important as consistently sharing valuable content. After all you’re trying to build relationships here. The first thing you need to decide is who is in charge of responding to your fans. It’s vital that your company speaks through one voice. There’s no faster way to end up with egg on your face than to have Joe say yes and Jill say no in answer to the same question. There is a “delete post” option but someone will have seen it before you manage to hit the button.
Dummies.com put together a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts when responding to your fans. I’ve summarised some of them below for your convienience:
- We’re living in a world of instant gratification so the sooner you respond the better. 24 hours is the maximum time you should take to get back to your fans.
- Don’t let the conversation go back and forth too much. Try where possible to aim for a single response. If a fan is particularly irate, gung-ho etc. email or inbox them and resolve the matter there.
- Don’t fob your fans off by sending them to your website when you could just as easily answer the question yourself. The object is to interact in a personal manner. People not only appreciate that kind of thing but they’ll also be more inclined to speak of you in a favourable light because they see you as a friend.
- Honesty is of the utmost importance. Never try to hide or distort the truth. If something untoward arises, deal with it accordingly.
- Be consistent. As much as they say change is as good as a holiday (and it is) consistency is key when it comes to keeping your fans happy. Try and post on the same day and in the same format. That way your fans know they can look forward to your weekly updates on a Monday and your photo highlights on a Thursday. At the end of the day we’re all just toddlers in need of routine.
- If you make a mistake admit as much apologise and take immediate steps to right the situation. People can be surprisingly accommodating when they know what’s going on.
- From time to time you will get negative feedback. This is a good thing because it offers room for growth and improvement. Always say thank you and try to implement the suggestions (if appropriate) as soon as possible. If the criticism is unjustified then politely correct the person and leave it at that. If they persist you can try moving the conversation offline but if that doesn’t work you may have to resort to banning them. Although it’s always preferably to try the “”play nicely”” route first.
- Never engage in an online food fight. Turn the other cheek, take the high road, but whatever you do don’t take it personally. People have a right to their opinions. Sometimes they’ll be rude abusive or say things that are uncalled for, that’s why they are called trolls. Some people will intentionally try to get you to retaliate in a negative way. Don’t give them the satisfaction. You are the one who ends up looking bad. The great thing is that you’ll always have way more happy fans offering positive feedback than you will trolls who are rude for no other reason than because they can.
What to do if you find yourself with a stalker?
Someone who is so absolutely obsessed with your product that they’re prone to leaving long-winded comments on a daily basis that often have nothing to do with the content you’re posting. You can begin by looking for the positive in the situation (remember you need to be nice first). In a recent encounter the person in question also happened to be an “”eagle-eye”” and often spotted little mistakes and glitches that we’d somehow missed. This alone made responding to his persistent comments worthwhile. You could also try directing your cyber pest to another company that is in a similar field to you. Distracting them in this way might help dilute the problem. There’s also the option of deleting their comments that way you avoid dealing with them without having to ban them outright.