Want Some Free Press? Ignore Your Customers

Social media can be profoundly impactful for business, and many companies combine detailed strategies with a multitude of available platforms to their advantage on a daily basis. Others manage to fail miserably by falling into the trap of bad social media practice. Given the viral nature of the social landscape, it doesn’t take long for a situation to escalate from one negative remark to a complete and total meltdown.

Take the case of Air Berlin and their failure to take responsibility for more than 200 bags that were left on the tarmac instead of being loaded onto one of their planes. Rather than helping its frustrated customers, the airline studiously ignored a continuing saga of social media comments that even included a Facebook group dedicated to the debacle. Attempts to contact the company were met with automated responses and contact numbers that yielded no help for days on end.

Ignoring Social Media Posts Will Make the Situation Worse

Ignoring customers online in the hopes that a problem will go away or fix itself is akin to staring at an oncoming train and believing you’ll survive getting run over if you just hope hard enough. The longer you wait to respond, the more negative remarks will add up until you have a torrent of bad press that you can’t erase.

The way you react to angry customers on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms can make or break a situation as well. Shooting back angry comments in “retaliation” for negativity only makes you — and your business as a whole — look unprofessional. Insulting disgruntled customers, using swear words or trying to shift blame are all bad social media practices that will haunt your business for years to come.

To avoid digging yourself in deeper, keep in mind that everything you post on social media represents your business. You can’t control the customer who decides they hate your product because it’s not the right color or it doesn’t have every bell and whistle under the sun, but you can control how you respond to their remarks. Be polite, be positive and make customer satisfaction your first priority to avoid the burn of social media fail.