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Three Reasons Not to Respond to Users via Social Media

Summary Through social networks, consumers have become more involved in brand building as such platforms make it easier for them to discuss and communicate their opinions regarding products and services. Discussed brands are often eager to respond through the same channels, especially when negative feedback is raised. However, there are a number of reasons why brands should avoid responding to such feedback via social media.

This article discusses three of the most significant ones.

Three Reasons Not to Respond to Users Via Social Media

Social media has become a truly huge customer service arena, with thousands of companies and tens-of-thousands of representatives opting to answer questions in the open. It is as much a brand-building exercise as it is a real effort to guide and assist users – with brands now almost entirely seen in the open, having a dedicated social media presence is more important than ever.

But that does not mean that all criticism, commentary, and speculation should be responded to. Just as companies have ignored some coverage in the traditional press, a growing number of businesses are opting not to respond to social media queries. These three reasons may shed some light on why so many businesses are selectively responding to social media discussions and blog posts.

1) Responding cements your involvement in a situation.

By responding to a comment, you are passively confirming (and occasionally endorsing) it. In the world of speculative blog posts, biased social media discussions, and inaccurate forum threads, a quick response designed to reduce controversy can often end up exponentially increasing it. Take care when answering social media questions – some are better left alone.

2) Responding does not always change minds and viewpoints.

Has your business been on the receiving end of an angry testimonial? How about a nasty complaint blog post? While it is tempting to respond and clear the air, doing so does not always produce the right results. Some internet communities are uninterested in the truth about your company, especially if it has the potential to undermine their integrity. Tread carefully when clearing the air with bloggers.

3) Some commentary, regardless of its merit, is best left ignored.

Look at any business disaster, political scandal, or failed relationship and you will see an endless list of actions driven by good intentions. Some are misguided responses, while others are the result of comments that just were not thought through completely. Before you craft a response to a blog post that could potentially damage your business, think about the promotional effects it could have.

It is not uncommon to see negative blog posts rank prominently in search results pages, particularly when the complaints have been passively ‘endorsed’ by a response – complete with an outbound link – on a company website. Be selective in who you respond to, and remember that some situations will grow worse with your involvement, not better.

Three Reasons Not to Respond to Users via Social Media
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