Social Media Manners

By: Victoria Guskiewicz

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have progressed into developing platforms for marketing and advertising. Social media provides a stage for consumers to voice their comments and feedback with ease through the click of a button without ever having to physically go to a store. Thus the rise of social media now makes the customer complaining process, easy, and more efficient than ever. Never before have consumers been able to reach out so effortlessly and directly to a brand as they now can through social media channels. The reality is, customer service expectations are constantly rising, and consumers are looking for their favorite brands to stand up to these expectations. This article describes, the good, the bad, and the ugly of crises management through social media, and offers advice to businesses and management of how to handle these situations and prevent a major public crisis from occurring.

These public relations “catastrophes” can offer both opportunities as well as various threats for companies. The way that a situation on social media plays out relies heavily on the company’s ability to respond quickly and in an effective manner to resolve consumer’s problems and needs. The article gives excellent insight and examples for companies to be able to respond and handle various situations before they spiral out of control. The biggest take away is to remain aware of your customers, and always be present on social media. There are a lot of various services and tools available to companies to support them. For example, Google Alerts is now easily available to business. It is also important to take into account whether or not a company responds publicly or privately to consumer complaints. This relies heavily on the company to make this important decision depending on the complaint. If they choose to respond publicly, it is recommended only if the situation offers a simple solution, and if that solution will benefit other customers with a similar question about a product or a concern. It is recommended that businesses respond privately to customer complaints that are more serious and require more attention. Furthermore, there are many opportunities that can arise from these consumer complaints that businesses can capitalize on. Social media can offer free publicity for firms that can directly benefit them. Or they can cause serious public crises that give the company a bad reputation among consumers. In other words, companies must always keep an eye out for such complaints, and be equipped to respond appropriately. It is important for businesses to use each and every complaint as a way to brand the business in a positive way to attract new customers, and keep loyal customers happy. For many companies, negative comments, and complaints are a small price to pay for the many opportunities that come with connecting with customers online. If managed accordingly, it can turn into a positive to enhance a customer relationship and may even create a loyal returning customer for life. However, as social media continues to evolve, and matures, the looming question becomes, how will the complaining process also change?

Source: Managing Social Media Crises With Your Customers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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21 thoughts on “Social Media Manners

  1. Colleen Flynn April 24, 2016 / 3:05 am

    I completely agree with the idea that the complaining process has become even more easier for customers through social media. Not only do they not have to go to the physical store, but they also do not have to have a face to face interaction with an employee. Hiding behind social media platforms can make customers feel even more powerful than before, especially because they can complain now instantly. I truly believe that a company that uses social media appropriately and responds appropriately to complaints, will be extremely beneficial in the long run. In today’s society, social media is becoming the go to place for customer interaction with brands, along with the go to place to find out how your customers really feel. Being on top of these situations is key. I agree that many of the responses to complaints should be held privately to keep any negative vibes from going viral. Companies want to quickly address a situation and make it better as soon as possible and get their unhappy customer happy again. If not, lets face it, they can express their feelings very very quickly on social media more faster and easier than ever.

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  2. Aishwarya Gunti April 25, 2016 / 2:08 am

    I have read in different blogs where owners and managers of companies metaphorically plead customers not go and give a bad review without trying to resolve the situation at store. But it is hard because usually people working there try to become defensive when a customer raises a issue. If it were me, I would not start arguing and make my bad mood worse rather post it on online to warn others.

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  3. Jennifer Buonarosa April 25, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    I can definitely see the pros and cons to Social Media and businesses regarding customer complaints. Although I think it could be more of a benefit than a dis-service if handled correctly. The immediate feedback gives the company realtime results of how the business is doing. If there is a complaint and it is handled in a timely manor it shows other customers that, yes they have had some issues but look how well they handled the situation. Hopefully there will be positive feedback left showing that the company has rectified the problem. Also social media also provides an outlet for customers to leave positive feedback as well.

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  4. Olivia Sullivan April 25, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    Complaints only help the company to become a more successful business, wouldn’t they want to know what they are doing wrong? It does give them a “bad” reputation but it is probably something they can fix. What I have seen on twitter when someone complains, the company just sends out a standard message saying “sorry” or to send an email somewhere, but they should also direct message that person to show that they actually care. But there are also people saying good things about the business that will appear publicly. Responding in a good manner will show that the business can handle the complaining process.

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  5. Meghan Gulbrandsen April 25, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    I agree that these platforms make it so much easier for customers to say what they want and exactly how they feel, and that this can in fact be a good and a bad thing for the companies. Not having to see that person face to face and have that kind of personal interaction makes it so much easier for the customer to let them know exactly how they feel through a good or bad experience without holding back. The negative feedback though can lead to many problems if not addressed and handled appropriately. No business is perfect, as mistakes and flaws are everywhere in the world, but I think that it is how these companies react and handle these situations is going to determine if this is a good or bad thing for their business.

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  6. Hechuan Lou April 26, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    When social media become a convenience place for consumers to complain, I think it trend to got more emotional complains compare with traditional way. In the traditional way, people tend to be more rational when they complain about a products or a service by calls or emails. In the social media way, people usually complain without thinking too much as it is easy to do. Also the transparent of other consumers complains in social media will also effect people who are on the process to decide to buy the products or not.

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  7. Ronald Zampanti April 27, 2016 / 1:51 am

    I agree with the information presented in this post. Deciding what to respond to publicly or privately is very important for the reputation of a brand. An active social media presence is needed in companies. They need to be aware of what consumers are saying and be prepared to respond to any questions or complaints. Timing is of the essence on social media. If customers are constantly complaining or asking questions on social media and a company does not respond for days or weeks, it looks bad on behalf of the company. Peoples perceptions of a company or brand can easily be altered through social media.

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  8. Ashley W. April 28, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    I think that when customers post about a company on social media it either will be due to a really good or really bad experience. Not often will you see complaints about things that are small or insignificant. What you will see are complaints about customer service, terrible experiences and how bad the company itself is. Complaints should be directed to the company so that they can make improvements. While I understand being frustrated and venting on social media, if you don’t tell the company what you think, all that you are doing is whining.

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  9. Marisa Harrington May 1, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    I agree that it is easier for people to complain on social media because they don’t have to have a face to face conversation with someone. Social media is a platform for all the people to come and complain. It can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the comment. It can be a good comment if it is telling more people to buy a product or a bad comment if it is shaming the company, or specific employee at the company. Many people will go to platforms like Yelp, in order to post their comments.

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  10. Nichole Urbanski May 2, 2016 / 11:41 pm

    I definitely agree with the fact that different types of social media have allowed customers to make complaints/compliments on different products without physically doing so in person. I think that I have seen the most comments on both Facebook and Twitter rather than Instagram but, it is crazy the world we live in today how you don’t actually need to go into the store and speak with employees in order to give your opinions. However, from previous experience I do feel as though making comments in person through face-to-face interaction, may have a greater impact on the company rather than doing so over social media. Something to remember about social media complaints is that EVERYONE can see it! Not just the employer but everyone rather than in person interaction where only the customer and employer understand the issue being brought up. It is important that what you post on social media is friendly for everyone reading it. If you’re going to post a complain on social media, do so in a proper way. Again, my take on this would be that I would rather bring a complaint to the employer themself rather than doing so on social media.

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  11. Alicia May 3, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    I think having the ability to submit customer reviews online is both risky and more beneficial. It can be risky because anybody will be able to see it that visits their company page. People tend to be much more audacious online because they are hidden behind a computer screen, not face-to-face. This could result in harsh comments and negative publicity. However, there is software that can be used to filter out negative and inappropriate words. It can be beneficial because some people are more comfortable leaving compliments online, rather than in person, which could lead to more consumer feedback. I will, however, always agree that in-person interaction is the most affective, no matter the circumstances.

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  12. cimminoc May 4, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    Customer complaints on social media is now a large part of the customer – consumer relationship. A company can make or break its image on social media by the way they handle customer complaints. A negative response could turn off a large audience. I think we are headed towards these interactive communities on social media that will solve each other’s problems. One person may receive a private message to help them problem solve, but that person can relay a similar message throughout social media outlets. The complaints have no sign of stopping and often offer leverage to the customer if not handled correctly, so companies must find an appropriate way to deal with them.

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  13. Andie-Jane Phinney May 4, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    Social media can be a positive as well as negative for some. Social media has been used much more now for bad reviews and places for customers to complain. It has not become an easy way for customers to write their reviews rather than physically going into the stores and talk it out with the employees. Though social media has so many great attributes, as we have learned about in class. The complaints and easy convenience for customers can hurt businesses if reviews are not great. I think more complaints should be directed to the company, so it can be solved, rather than involving other customers in by seeing these bad reviews and changing their views.

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  14. Megan Lac May 6, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    I think complaining is going to be more frequent now that people can complain on social media. Few people actually call a store and speak to the manager to complain about something and if they do, they are very serious in finding a resolution. Whereas, its easier for people to take a minute out of their day and send a tweet or a Facebook comment to a company mentioning how they might not have liked something. While social media is helping businesses reach consumers it may also be making customer complaints more frequent.

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  15. CJ Enos May 6, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    Social media allows a consumer to make complaints in a way that they may not if the same conversation were taking place face to face or on the phone. This media also allows the complaint to reach so many people, even those who may not have experienced the same issue. In this way social media may be hurting companies in a way that may not have been thought of. In addition this also gives an outlet to possible stretch out the issue or complaint for longer than would normally happen over the phone or in person. People can see these complaints on social media and then if commented on a few months down the line, may look like a current complaint when in fact it was from months ago. Businesses will have to figure out how to respond to these complaints which shows they are attempting to assist the consumer and not just respond to respond.

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  16. cbernard7778 May 6, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    Social media manners are not only important for interacting with people, but they play a keep part in effectively contributing to a company’s success and reviews. In the example of Yelp, there are many business that thrive and modify off of the reviews of customers. The honesty is really what drives a business to change or fix certain aspects of their functions, so when you have miserable people just “trolling” on reviews it really doesn’t add an accurate depiction or representation of that company. Similar for Facebook, people commenting on their page with good or bad reviews need to remember that appropriate manners are still necessary in order to be taken seriously with a comment. A lot of people think that hiding behind a computer screen gives them the ability to say whatever they want.

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  17. Derek Lawton May 7, 2016 / 12:23 am

    I think with the rising use of social media is makes it so much easier for consumers to write bad reviews. They do not need to go to the stores anymore but can hide behind their computers. I think it is a good thing though when a company responds to these reviews whether positive or negative it helps their their business. People like to be heard and respected so respecting these consumers can go a long way.

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    • Jane Walsh May 12, 2016 / 9:09 pm

      I completely agree. With more social media usage, people don’t even need to go to a specific site such as yelp or google plus to give a review. They can simply post it to their twitter, instagram, or facebook from the comfort of their own home. Regardless of whether or not the store was given the opportunity to rectify the situation, the poor press was spread.

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  18. Ashley Alves May 12, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    Social Media has made everyone feel as if they are connected with everyone. This goes for businesses, celebrities, and just people that don’t know each other. In order for social media to positively benefit a business the business must be ready to handle a crisis at all times. This means having someone ready to respond and handle the situation 24/7. The more time that goes on the more detrimental the crisis could possibly be. I also believe that the business should always respond in some way publicly. Even if the solution may be a bit more complicated than other they should publicly state that they will be reaching out privately so that the rest of the public is aware that the business got back to the complainant and is trying to rectify the situation at hand.

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  19. Jing Wang May 13, 2016 / 12:53 am

    I agree that social media become an important tool for the company to Crisis Managemen. However, a social media also can lead the crisis has information asymmetry. When the company does not know any more than the public about what’s going on. When your plane lands in the Hudson River, and you start seeing Twit Pics of it, that’s information asymmetry.

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  20. Xinran Zuo May 13, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    I have never thought about the manner of social media but it is absolutely importand, It can be easily get wrong. Crisis management is more diffcult. Social media can receive the good side and also can easily get into risk. If there is a real “Manner”, I guess it would be better for the marketer, but unfortunitely, there is not a specific manner yet in my opinion. I think it is the process that how to manage, because it is too hard to study people.

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