If you're reading this blog, you most likely stumbled upon the topic because you've found yourself in an awkward conversation on one social media channel or another wondering how to properly respond to social media comments. I mean, who hasn't? But, before we jump into how you should respond to social media comments, let’s start with why. Building a social media presence for your company feels like one of those things that everyone should do, but why social media and what's the point?
Why does responding to social media comments matter?
According to a Hubspot study, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase products and services based on social media referrals. One of the primary goals of social media is to build an audience for your brand. The hope would be that your social meda community is so engaged in conversations about your brand that they trust you as a thought leader, have an emotional connection to your brand purpose, and are influenced to purchase your product or service.
Properly responding to social media comments an essential part in helping build your brand’s community and reputation. Responding to positive comments gives you an opportunity to highlight what others are saying about your company, as well as provides you with the opportunity to build relationships with those who already love your brand. Social media comments can also be a great resource for user-generated content. Responding to negative comments, on the other hand, gives you an opportunity to flex your outstanding customer service skills and show others how your brand cares for its consumers. It also makes the individual feel heard and respected - two huge characteristics of a great brand or company.
How to properly respond to social media comments
So, what else should you consider when wondering how to properly respond to social media comments? And, what type of comments should you be aware of on social media? Let's take a look at the types of comments you'll experience on social media and then how to handle them.
While it may seem excessive to respond to customers who are already happy about your brand and product, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Responding to these comments can further show prospective customers that you care about those who take the time to let you know how they’re enjoying your product. And, depending on which platform you are using, responding will also bring the positive comments higher up on the post. Use this as an opportunity to highlight the amazing things people are saying about your company. It could even be a great resource for user-generated content.
No matter how hard you try, you will receive negative comments on social media. This isn’t necessarily a bad reflection on your brand, however. The way you respond can still show the commenter as well as the rest of your social media audience that you care about righting wrongs. Respond to these comments politely and helpfully. Prospective customers will pay attention to how you respond and it may sway how they interact with you in the future.
Most of the time the social media comments you receive won’t be positive or negative. Someone may just want to ask a simple question or make a comment about the post itself. Just because these comments don’t elicit a strong, emotional response doesn’t mean that they should be ignored. Respond to questions with helpful answers. Respond to comments about the post with other content they may enjoy. Look at neutral comments as an opportunity to connect with the commenter in a more personal way.
Key Considerations for engaging with individuals on social media
So, what should you do with positive, negative and neutral comments on social media? Best practice is to respond to as many as you can, utilizing a social media manager to help with the workload. But, there are a few key considerations to think through before you let your social media manger loose on your company social channels.
Stick to your brand voice
One important factor to consider before you start responding to social media comments is your brand voice. What personality do you want your brand to exude online? Are you the storyteller that wows everyone with their carefully curated words and intoxicating ability to engage others in the stories behind the products and services? Are you the relaxed friend there to extend a helping hand to your audience? Knowing your brand voice from the beginning will shape which words and punctuation you use in your responses so it’s a critical first step.
Keep it personal
As a business owner, it’s likely incredibly tempting to come up with a template for commonly asked questions. It can save you time and ensure consistency if these duties are divided among multiple people. While a document with answers to these questions could be helpful, you shouldn’t copy and paste your responses to comments from it. Otherwise, you run the risk of sounding like a bot. As explained above, the tone of your response is as important as the response itself.
There are many things to consider when responding to social media comments, but most importantly, make sure to have a plan when you're creating content for social media. People need to see fluidity and brand messaging on your social channels, along with the most important facet - consistency.
Not sure what to do with your social media accounts? Feel like you've passed the point of no return with how to manage them or revive channels that have run awry? Connect with us and learn more about how you can quickly and successfully manage your social media accounts - we'll even throw in a free social media content planner.