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Handling Negative Feedback on Facebook

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Someone once said, “Any Publicity is good publicity.” Whether such a bold statement is true or not is of course, debatable, but when it comes to the world of social networking—particularly for business—it just may be true after all.

Companies who run social networking accounts, particularly on Facebook, spend an endless amount of time sifting through the information shown and accepted on their Facebook pages. There’s a persistent belief among companies that comments left by Facebook ‘fans’ who ‘liked’ their pages should only be positive, as bad comments are apparently bad for business. Such a belief makes sense, as positive comments build on your reputation, reliability and quality of services and products. Leaving negative comments—, which suggest inconsistency and risk, —out on the open would be akin to shooting yourself in the foot, right?

However, social media has changed the way consumers interact with brands. The relationship has become more personal, partly because in the novel way companies now respond to their customers through sites like Facebook. The relationship is similar to what you would expect between two people—an odd friendship of sorts where trust, honesty and sincerity are of the utmost importance.

This is precisely the reason why online marketers advise companies and handlers of social networking accounts against tampering with their public communications with fans on Facebook. Companies must get rid of the notion of having a perfect brand—there’s simply no such thing as there will always be an unhappy customer out there. Interestingly enough, negative feedback allows companies to show their fans that they do care about their customers’ experience. The simple gesture of responding to a disgruntled customer is enough to create a good impression for your brand.

This was a point backed up by a recent study held in the University of Melbourne, wherein three groups of people were exposed to three different Facebook Pages. The first group was paired with a Page with all positive comments. Group two was exposed to a page with both negative and positive feedback. Group three on the other hand was exposed to a Page where the brand itself responded to negative comments. Not surprisingly, the third group saw the Page they were exposed to as more genuine and trustworthy.

So in the end, negative feedback on Facebook, or any social networking site or blog for that matter, can be turned into a beneficial opportunity. Enform can even push this further by creating “brand advocates” of your brand that will come to help you with such negative comments. Call us if you need help in any way to manage your brand on the internet.