Some companies still avoid getting on social media because of concerns over negative sentiment. However, the benefits of engagement with the marketplace far outweigh such risks. One key to success, though, is directly communicating with people who call negative attention to your company and brand.
The Conversation Takes Place With or Without You
Whether you ignore the comments or confront them, the conversation is real regardless. Similar to the way some managers choose to immerse themselves with subordinates to prevent rumors and gossip from spreading, your brand can help control the message to some extent by getting involved. Don’t let people carry on, projecting a negative tone, without participating in the discussion.
This point about influencing the conversation is especially critical in healthcare, where people rely heavily on the influence of peers in decision-making. If you let people talk without your input, the negative impact could significantly damage your online reputation.
People Want a Response
Consumers now realize that companies pay close attention to social media mentions. Thus, these channels have become a common platform for users to voice concerns. The majority of people, 55 percent, specifically identify negative experiences on social media just to get your brand to resolve the problem.
Treat social media as another customer service tool. The difference relative to conventional service channels is that your resolution takes place, to some extent, in the public arena. Timing plays a role too; the longer you wait to respond, the more venom the customer builds, and the more negative the messages become.
Turn Critics into Champions
Just as top salespeople welcome buyer concerns in hopes of turning an obstacle into a sale, your brand should welcome the opportunity to convert a dissatisfied customer into a happy one. Often, when a company successfully resolves a person’s problem, that buyer becomes a brand advocate. Your brand demonstrates accountability by working with the customer, and that negative online mention may turn to positive support.
You’d Lose Customers
On the flipside, if you don’t respond to negative social media mentions, you risk losing customers. Thirty-five percent of consumers say they would never purchase again from a business that fails to respond to a social media message. If the potential customer attrition isn’t enough motivation, consider the negative attitude these disgruntled people will carry toward your brand in online and off-line conversations into the future.
These are some of the most compelling reasons to engage with people who discuss your brand negatively on social media. With an effective strategy, you can resolve customer problems, turn angry customers into brand champions, minimize customer attrition and preserve a positive brand image.
As an expert in healthcare marketing, Response Mine Health can help your practice effectively navigate through the treacherous waters of negative social media mentions; contact us!