Critics know best?

There was a time when social media was a great place to get constructive feedback from customers. You will still see marketing advice saying to respond to every comment, good or bad. Showing you care about your customers experience, taking on board feedback and trying to improve makes your company human and relatable.

But is that still true?

Interacting on social has become a bit of a nightmare of late. Twitter especially seems to be a place where it is hard to pick out the good from a tidal wave of negativity.

It is harder now to unpick where the boundary is from genuine disgruntled customer who you can sort out their problems and trolls who want to give out abuse.

So, what’s the answer?

Make clear how your genuine customers can complain to you without having to take to social media. This might be an old-fashioned comments box, a section of your website. Regular follow up surveys or emails post sale to see if people are as happy with your product of survey as you hoped. If you get feedback offline, acknowledge and respond. This reduces the need to customers to have go public with their gripes and you should be able to identify genuine customers from trolls.

Back online

Don’t feel you have to respond to every person and comment. There seems to be a solid minority who just want to argue and there is no benefit for you to get into the rights and wrongs in a public forum. They are probably being unfair and misrepresenting what you did and didn’t do. But does it matter? Think about the time you may try and spend potentially winning them round, and if it is ever possible.

Consider just putting a single comment and then just muting for your own sanity (rather than blocking which they will know you have done and could inflame the situation).

If the comments are personal and cross a line into abuse. Take a deep breath and ignore.

Reasonable customers can make their own minds up if this is a fair reflection of you and your brand and can spot a troll a mile off.