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socialScared of what customers might say about you or your company on social media? Anyone that says no must not have much of an online presence. If you put yourself out there, there is a pretty good chance people are going to comment. Some good, some not so good.

While we don’t have a plan in writing (we should), Michael Hannigan handles all of our social media correspondence for us. If someone chimes in, Michael makes sure that the dialogue is appropriate. Very rarely do we receive communication that we feel is inappropriate, but I believe Michael will agree that you have to keep your eye on the ball at all times.

How does your firm address online complaints? Our theory is to respond quickly and truthfully. If we screwed up, admit it. We’re human. We make mistakes. I’m a big boy who believes that you don’t have to save up apologies – if you owe one, give it. Sometimes, no quantity of apologizing will satisfy someone. That’s when you have to be prepared to pick up the phone or move the conversation from the social media thread and bring it to your email. I can’t fix everything but it is amazing how many things I learn from these types of communications. Whenever you can learn a better way to communicate with your clients, everyone benefits.

We ask for feedback. Don’t be surprised when you ask for feedback if you hear the truth – the truth you knew about but didn’t want to hear. Sometimes people will say things on social media about you or your business that just isn’t true or doesn’t add up. Don’t be so quick to remove these posts. If you have a following that likes you or your business, they will come to your rescue and say nice things that completely minimize the harmful content.

I’ve said this many times and I wish I knew where I got it from: “If they’re not talking about you, you are probably dead.” Good, bad or indifferent, if you have a social media presence, be ready to respond to customer complaints or issues.