Skip to content

The Big Social Media Conference: turning negative reviews into positive

The first panel discussion of the inaugural conference focused on online reviews.

Three panelists took to the stage on the subject of how to turn any negative comments positive.

Katie King managing director of Zoodikers, Julia Bramble of the Social Marketing Scientist and ‘tweeting goddess’ Samantha Kelly teamed up to take on the challenging subject.

Chair Alexandra Kington kicked off by asking whether companies should avoid social media if they don’t want negative feedback.

A resounding no from the panel but Katie did warn to prepare for potential questions.

But it was important not to hide behind that content.

Samantha said: “As a brand you will get people coming out of the woodwork but you have to find out if that complainant is a genuine customer and if so then the first thing to do is take the conversation offline.”

Alexandra moved on by asking the panel how they defined ‘a troll’.

Katie defined it as “online harassment to get an emotional response drawing on their anonymity.”

Next it was how to distinguish between genuine complainants and trolls.

“One of the worst things you can do is bury your head in the sand when you get a complaint.

“It is an opportunity and if we are always looking to improve as a business we should welcome that”, said Julia.

Samantha added: “The important thing is to engage and respond, acknowledgment is all they want really.”

Moving to a more positive discussion the panel were asked who was doing a great job of responding to complainants on social media.

Winners included Virgin Trains, O2, Nationwide and Irish police force the Gardaí.

But dishing out advice for SME’s Katie advised: “set out expectations about when it is managed and be realistic about what you can achieve.”

The panel then took questions from the audience including ‘should we be setting up out-of-hours alerts to respond to complaints?’

The experts felt this was dependent on budget and staff as ‘people need to have a life out of work.’

Other advice was to ‘keep bloggers on side as they’re a powerful bunch.”

Here is a list of some of the top tips from the panel.

– Plan in advance

– Implement the plan swiftly

– Take the conversation offline

– Don’t ‘say sorry’ straight away but ‘sorry you felt that way’

– Encourage them to tweet about it in a positive way once resolved

– Take yourself away from the emotion and don’t take it personally

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *