Social media screw ups are inevitable, so what do you when one hits your brand? No matter your company’s level of participation on social media, you should have best practices in place to maintain your company profile and sustain sales strategies in the face of a social blast.

A uniform strategy to deal with criticism on social media is vital to maintaining your relevancy on social media sites.

If you choose to ignore negative feedback entirely, you’ll miss an opportunity to make vital connections with your prospects and customers. You’ll also miss an opportunity to right a possible wrong.

Pick Your Moments

When wading through the unpredictable comments on your social media profiles, make sure your sales team knows the difference between comments of unhappy clients and comments of people bored and looking for something nasty to say. A customer with true concerns is not the same as someone looking for an opportunity to be anonymously antagonistic, and it would be a mistake to lump them together.

You should view an unhappy customer as an opportunity to turn a bad experience into a good one. Always take the time to reply to them. Give the same weight to someone’s concerns voiced via a social media site as you would someone who brought concerns to your business’s doorstep.

Develop Standards For Your Replies

Take the time to develop best practices for your sales team when they reply to clients online. Afterall, their replies should mirror your company’s voice and sales strategies. Consider having your sales team start with a message that reflects their concern for the client, such as, “I’m sorry to hear you’re unsatisfied. What can I do to help? Please contact me here: ___”

By asking the customer to reply with more details of their concerns outside of a social media comment thread, you can have the conversation on your own terms and in a way that is focused and practical, as opposed to public and indirect. Once you have the ear of your customer, and you have proven there is a human behind your company’s Twitter handle, they will be more inclined to communicate with you in reasonable terms.

Follow Up

After you’ve resolved an issue, always make sure to thank the client for their business. Log their information, possibly through a social media customer relationship app, and see if their concerns are a part of a larger issue within your company. Helping the customer via social media not only helps the client, but helps build your reputation as a responsive and technologically-relevant company.