pixelcreatures / Pixabay

Social media has had the biggest impact on how people and companies conduct their business probably since the invention of the telephone. Social media has drastically changed the way businesses interact with shareholders, current and prospective consumers, and even the dreaded trolls.

Followers of your brand’s social media channels are interacting with social media managers in real-time, especially with Twitter. So, it’s important to engage with them and have a conversation. It’s true you won’t like everything they have to say, but with honest back-and-forth you can usually steer an unhappy consumer to the appropriate contact in your company who can help them sufficiently – once their issues are resolved these people generally return to social media and applaud your efforts.

But, things can snowball when companies and their social media managers go silent. There is nothing worse in the business world than to turn off the social media lights, lock the doors, and hide. It gives the impression you don’t care about those who purchase and support your products or that maybe you’re guilty of whatever the complaint is. Never let an issue stay unresolved because the consequences could be catastrophic to your company and brands reputation.

Furthermore, when brands aren’t participating in the conversation they have no control over how good or bad things will turn out. Your reputation based on public perception can fall like a rock. Participate and listen to your consumers.

In addition, reward those who post flattering comments to your updates and listen and respond to those who are not happy with your company. Each of them get equal treatment. Generally, social media followers want to be heard.

Everyone wants to feel they’re communicating in a human way. It’s easy to want to slug it out with an online troll, be sure to defend your companies position, but don’t engage in pettiness. Most of your followers will see them as trolls who just want to stir up trouble if you remain professional.

If you’re company is open-minded about the feedback received you might learn an improved way of doing things. Remember, to keep the lights on your social media and engage, engage, engage!