Managing Negative Sentiment Online (VOL I)

September 27, 2011Uncategorized

Have you ever had the dream that you’ve forgotten to get dressed and you arrive to work naked? No? Me neither! But that feeling of being on display and fully exposed can happen to anyone at anytime if they are involved in social media.

Even if you’re in the business of helping blind old ladies cross the road whilst taking care of homeless kittens, no brand is immune to receiving negative sentiment online. Some will think you’re the bee’s knees, others won’t. Life can be so cruel sometimes. And so can social media.

Take Rebecca Black for instance, the teen pop sensation who, by releasing the catchy little ‘Friday’ track, instantly became the world’s public enemy number 1. Once her video went viral, Black became the victim of the biggest hate campaign ever witnessed online and the video was removed from the internet.

We’re all familiar with the ‘comments have been disabled’ notice on YouTube. And we think to ourselves ‘oh dear, some poor sucker just got publicly flogged while we all stood around and watched.’ So what happens when it’s you who is being unwillingly tied to the whipping post? The backlash of but one single disgruntled customer could be detrimental to your business.

What is really going on?

Try to identify what the motive behind this tweet or blog post is. Is it someone who just happens to dislike your brand or is it something more serious and how quickly can it be resolved?

Think before you speak!

Be the better person and keep the conversation focused. Remember, what happens in social media – stays in social media, forever!

Public or Private?

Acknowledge the problem publicly but if things get out of hand, take the conversation private. Although you’re under attack, never ever make it personal, even when you know you’re in the right.

You may not be able to solve every problem, just be sure to make the effort. The world is watching and customers will take notice. If you’ve made a good impression by promptly responding to negative sentiment you have created some brand loyalty.

So next time you arrive to work with no clothes on, don’t panic, just cover yourself up and carry on!

(On September 16th Rebecca Black re-uploaded ‘Friday’ on YouTube – much to our delight!!!)

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