positive feedback

What if they say something bad about my business? (Part 1)

Lara and I have built a business on helping business owners keep social media simple so they can manage their web presence without feeling overwhelmed.

  • We love it when our clients have lots of questions (even when they stump us).
  • We are happy to take steps backward whenever it’s required to help clients understand a tool or concept.
  • We welcome enthusiasm even if it leads to choices/actions that may not be quite optimal.
  • We genuinely, sincerely want to help business owners succeed.

When talking to business owners about getting started with social media, one of the most common barriers to entry for a business is the fear of negative feedback.

Fear is typically irrational in that we fear unlikely events. Fear of negative feedback is justified for even the most loved businesses out there, because no business is perfect

If the fear of negative feedback is justifiable, how can a business justify the risk?

Business owners got negative feedback and attention for centuries before the Internet ever existed. People aren’t afraid to express their displeasure. Negative attention on social media can - and occasionally does - spread like wildfire. With the right strategy and monitoring, negative feedback can be a great opportunity to salvage customer relationships and show prospective customers that you care about providing great service. (We’ll talk about dealing with negative feedback more in a follow-up post.)

On the other hand, negative feedback isn’t the only feedback businesses get!

What if they say something really good about my business?

This story, which I first read over on Social Fresh is why I’m writing this post.

Full disclosure: Publix is my favourite grocery store ever and not because of this post. I grew up in a house that was and is loyal to Publix. See that? I don’t live anywhere near one and I’m talking about how much I have always liked it.

If Publix wasn’t on Facebook, it’s still possible that their customer would have posted this to her personal profile. That’s a fantastic endorsement of their customer service…to her friends. 

A business that uses the fear of negative feedback as the primary justification not to participate means they’re also throwing out opportunities for positive interactions too. And as long as businesses turn a deaf ear toward social media cannot address and resolve customer complaints, nor will they experience the thrill of hearing about a job well done.

What are some other compelling reasons for businesses to jump into the conversation?

A job well done

You don’t have to look very far to find all the latest PR disasters in social media circles. Sometimes it’s indivdiuals that land in the hot seat, but most often it’s a brand or business. There are so many massive and not-so-massive gaffes on social media every day. It’s easy to pick them apart and create a list of how-to-avoid this or how-to-respond-appropriately to that posts. 

I want to switch it around.

I personally have many, many more positive stories to tell about social media than negative, even when the end result wasn’t quite what I expected. 

So, here’s the challenge I present to you:

Tell me the things businesses do that you LIKE (or love or have admiration and respect for). I want to hear positive stories.

Why is it so important to shine a spotlight on the positive work that businesses are doing? Because it’s much easier to focus on how to optimize social media using tactics that are documented to work. It’s quite another thing to respond to or anticipate a fallout.

So, tell me what you love to see businesses do in social media.