How To Handle Social Media Backlash

Social media has become a must have platform for marketplaces and it comes as no surprise why they are so popular. With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter the voice of your average person can be heard across the world. That is a good thing for users, but can be a very dangerous thing for your marketplaces. One bad review can be seen instantly by thousands of people. With that being said, social media backlash can be a difficult thing to handle or better yet do you know how to handle it? Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to help handle your social media channels.

Practice The Art Of Active Listening.

The world of social media has a huge reach and your average person only sees it on a small-scale. Their inner circle of friends, family, and whomever they choose to follow. With a marketplace, the scale is much larger. Users are all across the world and it’s difficult to hear everything that is being said. According to Statista, worldwide social media users reached 1.96 billion and are expected to go to 2.5 billion by 2018.

Fortunately, you don’t have to try to listen to every person out there. Track what people are saying about your marketplace by setting up Google alerts and using a social media tool such as Hootsuite. Google alerts will allow you to set up keywords when they are mentioned and are sent directly to your email. Hootsuite is quite simple to use as well. With capabilities to monitor keywords and phrases, you can customize your own streams. See what people are saying about you, whether it is positive or negative. This can help you change or improve on what you are currently doing.

Accept The Consequences Of Your Actions.

With all actions we take, there are consequences that come along with it. Some are good while others are bad. Regardless of what happens, accept what has happened. If your marketplace failed to deliver on a promise to a customer, accept the fault and do what you can to make it up. Handle the situation with professionalism instead of pointing the blame elsewhere. Even if the issue was during the delivery process, don’t make your customers figure it out. Let them know you will get to the bottom of it to ensure a stress-free process.

A few months ago I had ordered an item on Amazon in which was lost during the delivery process. I had filled a complaint and was sent a new item, no questions asked. I had expected a process that would take weeks along with emails being sent back and forth. I was shocked how pain-less the experience was. While it may not have necessarily been their fault, they still accepted that I did not receive my package and covered the expenses for a new one. (My item was not very expensive so the process for something more valuable may be a bit different). Regardless, I was impressed and that experience alone helped continue to win over my business.

Look To Take Handle It Offline.

This is the second biggest mistake when dealing with backlash. Don’t try to handle the whole situation online by sending offers or deals to make up for it. Simply respond to the comment or review asking them to send you an email to the one listed to handle the situation properly. If start offering them 20% off on a tweet for their mishap, others will see it and expect the same treatment. Avoid those mishaps by handling it in a private conversation rather than all over social media to see it.

There will be times you need to jump on a phone call to help clarify things. Reading responses online is one thing, while talking directly to someone on the phone can be more reassuring to the customer. With automated messaging and bots, who knows if you are talking to a real person. Allow your customers to talk to your team directly to clear the air and get straight to the bottom of things. If the conversations goes accordingly, they may even take down their original post or review.

Respond, Respond, Respond!

The number one mistake you can make is NOT responding. This is a clear sign of ignorance and not standing behind your marketplace. Just because you don’t respond to it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. If you receive an unhappy review by a customer or someone is bashing your product in an Instagram post, respond to it. Don’t start a keyboard match by going back and forth trying to explain yourself. Simply get to the bottom of the issue. Handle whatever the situation is and earn the trust back from that unhappy customer.

When a customer posts a bad review online, their goal is for others to see it and stop your marketplace from gaining business. As a marketplace, it’s vital for success to have the trust of customers. Without trust and confidence, your marketplace will not be around for much longer. Respond to any bad, negative, or harsh reviews to help prevent more from happening down the road. Stop and fix where the problem is now rather than 6 months from now with hundreds of more complaints.

As you look to handle your social media pages, just remember it is an extension of your marketplace. The culture, the customer service, and the rest of your team. Handle all issues with a genuine attitude to put your customers first. Word of mouth is a very powerful thing but social media can have an even greater impact with the potential reach.


Do you have any stories about social media backlash you have received? We’d love to hear  how you were able to handle the situation and what you learned from it. Give us a shout on social media!

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