PR and Handling Negative Social Media

Handling a brand’s image is highly important, from managing an account’s follower base, running special promotions, and creating organic content for positive attention. What shares equal weight to its image for a business is also brand perception, or how consumers are viewing the actual brand itself. Much of our interaction with brands today happen from scrolling through Instagram ads, Snapchat stories, and watching endless streams of those addictive videos on Facebook. The intangible elements of a brand are often the most important to increase engagement, appear more candid, and farther reaching. Take for example once highly niche retail brands like Alo Yoga or Missguided which have blown up all over social media in recent years thanks to their social media strategy that creates dialogue. Besides featuring influential models and engaging their customers for good PR, they are quick to reply to concerns about their products and have created a foundation for dominating their markets as a result.

Interacting On Social Media

Using social media to combat trolling and enforce good PR well can make or break a brand in today’s digital world. Because of social media, brand management has become an informal arena of immediate positive and negative feedback from customers. Anyone can think of a time they’ve witnessed trolling towards a brand, especially on platforms like Twitter where mean comments and jokes are everywhere. In fact, the media has caught on to this trend, with shows like Jimmy Kimmel creating funny segments called “Mean Tweets” that mock the criticism people have towards companies, celebrities, and even the most loved musicians.

Many businesses have learned how to convert negative comments to hilarious attention and clap back at the otherwise hurtful PR. For example, Tesco Mobile made sure to keep their replies to trolling in a lighthearted tone. They’ve repeatedly taken tweets combating their business and turned them into viral ones which gave them thousands of more followers. Or take Susan Boyle, who back in 2012 was able to recover her public image from an embarrassing hashtag that brought thousands of humiliating comments. She used hilariously toned messages to combat her “haters” and was able to pull through to make record breaking sales later in the year.

Handling Negative Comments

If you find yourself caught in a similar situation and face a negative comment from a customer on social media, be sure to keep these things in mind. People judge businesses based on how quickly they respond, their reaction and how the problem was resolved. Social media calls for swift action, so designate a single person within your firm to handle this kind of situation. Educate them on leveraging Google Alerts to be notified when the brand name is mentioned across a social media site or online review. They should respond as soon as the comment is seen and if not within an hour. As such reviewers can feed off of angry reactions, aim for leaving responses that thank them for their honest opinion and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Encourage them to also send your company a private message to further sort out the issue. Never discuss complicated problems in public as it draws negative attention. The golden rule to remember is to make sure every one of your customers feels heard, acknowledged, and valued so they come back in the future!

Social Media Savvy

You don’t need to be constantly on social media and an expert on trolling behavior to effectively work through bad PR on your business accounts. The key is to stay alert when such events come up, stay calm , and stay measured to form the best response possible. You can also do your research on proven methods from experts from marketing firms to be as prepared as you can. Without a solid game plan, you can fall short to your competitors and fall under the radar. Stand your ground and arm yourself with knowledge for true digital power!



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