HOW TO: Perform Social Media Triage

by TeamRBOA

We are taught to hope for the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised. Social media monitoring is no exception.

If you’re rolling your eyes at this idea, let’s consider what social media really is— an ever-changing, free-flowing forum of conversations. This openness, as most of us know, is a double-edged sword. We love the interaction but fear the unexpected negative comments.  Luckily, social media triage (like our example below) can take the stress out of responding.

Triage helps you determine whether to respond to a comment, what the tone of the response should be and who should provide the response.   Let’s say your Facebook page has a notification. This is great news — engaging people is half the battle! Start with the obvious: is this comment positive or negative?

If your new comment is positive, you’re in luck. Not only did you engage your audience, they are happy with your work. Now you must decide whether you want to respond.

If you don’t want to respond, leave the comment so others can see it. Positive word-of-mouth feedback can have huge influence on potential customers. If you want to respond, decide what should be said. If the user needs a warm thank you for their input, post it and move on. If you can add to their comment or give them more information, do it! People like their opinions to be acknowledged.

Negative comments, on the other hand, can be a little tricky. Start out by determining the problem and notifying whoever needs to respond. Most negative comments fit into the following categories:

Always start by checking for accuracy. If the facts are wrong, make sure to politely correct the misinformation and let your response stay visible to others.

For complainers and unhappy customers, do your best to resolve the problem. An apology and demonstrated action to fix the problem leaves a positive impression of your company. If the post is only a joke, let it stand. It may seem silly, but your page will appear highly censored if the comments are all positive.  Not all negative feedback is bad, either: it can help identify product and service improvements and ultimately strengthen your bottom line.

Whether you refer to a flow chart, a checklist or a Magic Eight ball, every social media initiative needs a system for social media post responses. Monitoring can be stressful, but a simple plan of action will allow you to handle comments and feedback with ease.

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