When Hitting Delete Isn

Recently, we’ve had a plethora of clients ask us about Facebook and online reputation management best practices. We recognize that it’s easy for a company to get frustrated when someone comes onto their Facebook page and says negative things.

As a social media manager, sometimes your emotions get involved. You work hard everyday to get the word out about your company. Social media accounts can seem like a little brother or sister; it’s easy to get annoyed by the daily upkeep and attention that online reputation management requires. So when the online conversation turns negative, many social media managers get instantly defensive — a reaction that often serves to only exacerbate the problem.

The COCG Team wanted to take a few moments to answer some of our most frequently asked questions about Facebook reputation management and explain what you should and shouldn’t do in these situations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Protecting Your Company’s Reputation Online

“An angry client has posted a negative comment or recommendation to our wall — we should just delete it, right?”

Absolutely not. By deleting negative comments, you are inadvertently showing your current and potential clients that you solve problems by brushing them under the rug. Facebook is an opportunity to show how you handle customer service. Try to take the conversation offline by offering a direct number where the commenter can reach someone, or by asking them to send you their contact info via private message.

“Uh, I went ahead and deleted the post anyway…They keep coming back and posting even MORE stuff on our Facebook wall. What now?”

You just added fuel to the fire. This time, try to take the conversation offline. If this doesn’t work, IGNORE them. You can’t make every client happy. After three days the person who made the post has probably forgotten about it. At that point, it is probably safe to remove the negative comment without the same ramifications.

“I tried to take the conversation offline, but they are spamming my page and our fan’s comments. What NOW?!”

Now that it’s become excessive, it’s time to block them. They have gone above and beyond, after you’ve made an attempt to rectify the situation. Go to your Admin Panel>Fans (small people icon in the top left corner)>See All>Person’s Name>Click X. This will give you the option to permanently ban them from your company Facebook page.

“What other Facebook settings can we use in the future that will help with online reputation management?”

There are two settings that are overlooked by most admins. Facebook has “Profanity Filter” and “Posting Ability” settings that can be changed. If for some reason your company has issues with negative feedback on a regular basis, you can change the settings to filter out profanity and to keep people from replying to posts or posting on your Timeline altogether.

Important Reminders

Whether your own the company or you are simply in charge of social media management, it’s important to remember that you cannot get emotional in your reactions to negative fans. Gut emotions can cause you to be reactive rather than proactive. You are representing a brand, and the brand’s core values and voice have to shine through at all times.

Recently, we’ve seen a lot of companies crash and burn in their reputation management efforts; of course, there are just as many companies that have taken the right approach in dealing with angry customers or potential PR disasters. Don’t become an example of “what not to do” — follow the tips above to turn potential issues into major wins for your company’s online reputation.

If you are interested in reading about some of the good, the bad and the ugly of online reputation management, take a look at these case studies below.

The Red Cross Gets Slizzard

GoDaddy Overcomes NoDaddy Hack

Amy’s Melting Down More Than Butter

The Infamous Ocean Marketing Tidal Wave