Address criticism online!

In a recent article on Business Week by Joseph Hughes and Chris Boudreaux, the authors explain that “many companies are being victimized by social media rather than capitalizing on it because they’re too slow and ill-equipped to react to negative comments that can damage their brands.”

To avoid this potentially negative backlash associated with having a social media presence, the authors recommend six steps. To see all six recommendations, you’ll have to read the article. In the meantime, here is one step that any business–no matter how big or small– can put into practice:

“Reduce the time it takes to respond to Web postings from weeks to hours, or even minutes,” the authors said. Taking a simple step like this one shows customers that you are interested in what they have to say, that you hold your company accountable to its customers and that you are aware of your brand.

“Would you ignore a customer who called you and complained by telephone? Probably not. Then why ignore customers complaining about your firm through social media that’s instantly accessible to others? Companies shouldn’t depend on customers to write positive things about them,” the authors said, illustrating how important it is to properly address criticism on social media sites.

Have you ever had to deal with negative comments about your company or organization on social networking sites? What are your recommendations?

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