How Savvy Social Media Reps Handle Positive And Negative Tweets


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harryhuxford | Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Filed under: Basic, Intermediate, Social Media Tips & Advice

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Social Media Requires Many Hats
Social media reps find themselves wearing multiple hats when responding to company feedback on Twitter. Happy haberdashers are what they’ll become as they smile at positive tweets about their companies but they’ll also resist the urge to become Mad Hatters when negative tweets are flung their way. Here are some great ways corporate social media reps respond to positive and negative tweets.

Fan Clubs And Evangelists – Positive Tweets
Good social media reps don’t let positive tweets go without a response. Not responding to positive tweets can be all the difference between a temporary customer and a loyal customer. Successful social media reps know that loyal customers serve as offline evangelists who will refer their company to friends, relatives and acquaintances.

  • They thank the user for the positive tweet.
  • The user did not have to tweet his or her positive experience but probably did so to share the experience with other users. The company also got free promotion and testimony from the tweet. The least social media reps can do is thank the user!

  • They ask for the tweeter’s opinions.
  • A user who tweeted positively about a company likely has more to say than can fit into 140 characters and won’t mind giving their opinions to social media reps who will listen.

  • They reward the user for their positive tweets.
  • They invite them to sneak-peeks about upcoming company products or to beta-test new features. Successful social media reps see the benefits people enjoy when they join the fan club of their favorite artists or products and try to recreate this experience on Twitter.

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    Customer Service And The Complaint Box – Negative Tweets
    In many ways, Twitter can be a giant complaint box where everyone can air their grievances. However, that’s not to say that all negative tweets are complaining by default. Some people could be tweeting their struggles or difficulties with a product and just need help. Successful social media reps are ready to respond to each scenario, being both the company’s complaint box and customer service department.

  • They respond to “I need help” tweets as soon as possible.
  • Everyone has customer service horror stories that includes tales of wasting time on the phone with robotic operators or technical support emails that go a week without an answer. When social media reps respond to “I need help” tweets as soon as possible it proves their company is run by humans who are listening and ready to help.

  • They respond to “This company sucks” tweets as soon as possible.
  • Negative tweets are like small wildfires and social media reps are like firefighters. Responding to these tweets quickly contains the anger and allows for offers of help to users while their grievances are still fresh in their thoughts. Not responding to these tweets or responding too late allows the wildfire to spread to other users and the damage will be more difficult to contain (and in the worst cases of negligence the damage may be irreversible).

  • They apologize for the user’s negative experience.
  • People bump into each other and step on one another’s toes all the time and apologize for their mistakes. If a user tweets a complaint or a grievance, it’s just common courtesy to apologize for their experience and make amends by offering help or asking them what can be done to improve their future experiences. Successful social media reps paint their companies with colors of courtesy and politeness.

    The Follow Up
    Great social media reps record the names of users who had a positive or negative experience and follow up on them on a later date through Twitter. This tells users that the company remembers its customers and is a great strategy for both the positive and negative tweeters. It reconfirms why positive tweeters think highly of the company and it improves the company’s image in the eyes of negative tweeters. It’s the ultimate goal of social media reps to bring as many people as they can into the company fan club – even the users who tweeted negatively in the past.

    Social Media In 3 Words: “Be A Person!”
    If all the strategies I’ve outlined above sound new or foreign, well, they shouldn’t. All of it applies to everyday social interaction with people. People talk and interact with people. Successful social media reps present their companies as a person with personality and do whatever they can to prevent their company from being seen as a cold, corporate entity.

    Have you ever tweeted a positive or negative experience and received feedback from a social media rep? If so, how was it? Please let me know in the comments! And please feel free to contact us if you would like a free consultation about your online marketing efforts!

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