Why So Mean, Social Media?
Posted December 1, 2012
Have you ever stopped to read the replies or comments posted on one of your favorite brand’s Facebook pages or twitter accounts?
|WARNING: Offensive Content|
Do it sometime.
And I thought I had no friends!?
Incoherent, whinny requests; negative and downright offensive language; even the most beloved brands fall victim.
There’s a certain anonymity about social media that encourages users to more freely speak their minds.
Unlike real-time verbal altercations in the physical world, where going face-to-face with brand reps can quickly turn personal, virtual brand stewards are able to digest onslaught opinion and respond with a delay.
And so, their responses are ALWAYS cool, calm, and collected (which, when you’re fired up, only provokes a deeper rage).
You don’t want to host your own brand roast.
These types of environments are no longer positive. They aren’t conducive to brand building – even with your strongest advocates. The bulk of dialogue has turned petty and reactionary.
So what should you do when you’re not feeling the Social Media Love?
1. Start by practicing self-regulation
I know – the last thing you want to do with an angstful group of followers is start deleting posts. You fear removing their comments will only lead to their posting 5 more – accusing you of being anti-American, anti-free speech, etc.
LEGO has the right idea. Consider validating regulation by establishing a vague set of “house rules:”
|Playing it cool...|
Sure, as a toy manufacture catering primarily to children; monitoring social media is a bit more justifiable. Still, offensive language and distracting content is something you as forum owner should NOT be afraid to remove.
But mind the fine line.
Don’t delete EVERYTHING that feels negative
People should be able to post legitimate gripes. They’ll respect you more for leaving it – and be more interested to hear your resolve. In that respect, social media can serve as a think tank for constant improvement.
2. When monitoring fails, scale back completely
Forget what you’ve heard – not everyone has a reason to be active on Facebook and Twitter.
If the bulk of your posts (business and non-business alike) are met with hostility, just BAIL.
Keep place holders on all the big players. Consider making social media’s sole purpose the dissemination of “emergency information” – (issues affecting coverage, outlet closures, etc).
Bottom line: Social media efforts should bolster brand affinity, not disparage it.
Don’t play host to a growing community of disgruntled customers.
If it feels like it’s not enhancing your relationship with customers – scale back.