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Social Media Negative Reviews Can Be Good For Business

02/20/2012

Social media has transformed communication on multiple levels.

For businesses one notable change has come in the form of negative reviews or complaints. What was once limited to internal discussions and among a small number of individuals has become very public.

In a recent study of social media by Nielsen and NM Incite, most social media said they give online reviews to give companies recognition, but 58 percent said they give negative feedback to protect others from bad experiences. Among 18 – 24 year-olds, 42 percent expect customer support within 24 hours of a negative complaint.

This is a significant shift for business – who are now expected to act more like individuals, where businesses have not had to do this before.

Some negative reviews are made with the purpose of getting something for nothing and can take the form of a public shakedown. The lesson here is that companies need to understand that review websites and social media sites aren’t going to go away. Not participating doesn’t make people stop talking about you; it just means you aren’t part of the conversation. What businesses need to realize is they have to become part of the discussion and get smarter about how they do it.

Businesses should have a plan to respond to negativity online and in social media. The best bet is to take the high road publicly, move the detailed interaction privately and move on.

A simple approach is to monitor, listen, respond & react then amplify. Remember a negative comment or review can be turned into an opportunity to promote or connect. Don’t let the chance to take advantage of your ability to resolve complaints or problems slip away.

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