Here is a transcript of the Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast episode, Dealing With Negative Feedback ON Social Media. This is also available on all major podcast platforms including Amazon Audible, Apple Music, and Spotify
Hi, I’m Tracy Heatley and welcome to my Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast. This episode is all about dealing with negative feedback.
As a marketing professional, I’m constantly telling my marketing mentoring and consultancy clients to put themselves out there. If you’re a service provider this is crucial. However, even if you’re supply a product, it still counts. Especially with the need for personal branding these days. There’s even a need for employees to think about personal branding these days. Not just the business owners like you.
Why I’ve Covered This Topic
I sometimes must help my clients to overcome the fear of putting themselves in the public eye, especially when it comes to social media. This seems particularly problematic for introverts. For many, it’s a necessary evil. Plus, many business owners are fearful about saying the wrong thing for fear of backlash.
One of my marketing mentoring clients asked me recently about what he should do if he received negative feedback on social media, so I thought I’d discuss with you in this podcast.
My General Advice
My general advice is to be mindful of how what you say may be perceived. However, we are all different and that’s the way it should be. It wouldn’t do if we were all the same, so just be yourself! Be the wonderful person you are and let your personality shine.
It’s perfectly normal to want to be liked by other people. However, you can’t please everyone all the time and to try would be exhausting.
So, what happens if we get negative feedback? It’s probably inevitable that this will happen at some point. Often, by things being perceived in a different way than we intended. In other words, a breakdown in communications.
Here’s a few tips that you may find useful:
- Don’t ignore it – deal with it.
- Never delete the post because it makes you look guilty or that you’ve got something to hide.
- Always ask how the situation can be resolved and make it clear that you want to resolve any conflict.
- Offer to take the conversation offline to see if things can be settled amicably away from the public eye.
- If it’s an inaccurate review, ask them to comment further or remove it.
I always find it’s a bit of a coward’s trick for someone to leave a comment that they know can’t be responded to or dealt with.
It Amazes Me How Awful People Can Be
It amazes me how awful some people can be when they’re hiding behind their keyboard. Keyboard warriors!
It happened to me many years ago. Remember back when many people were doing the ‘ice bucket challenge’. I decided that I wasn’t doing it. Don’t get me wrong, I agreed with the sentiment, and I understand why the campaign was started. I’d go as far to say that in my opinion, it’s probably one of the greatest awareness campaigns ever. But I refused to do it. Here me out, before you think badly of me. Whilst I agreed with the campaign and how it started, I felt that as time progressed, it was more about people showing that they had done the challenge, rather than the focus of one, why, and two, raising money for the relevant charity.
I am a charitable person, though, so I decided to buy a nice meal for a homeless person, which is something I do regularly anyway, but this time, I asked my son to film it. I put it out on social media and suggested that anyone else, who didn’t want to the Ice Bucket Challenge, did the same.
It Went Mental…
Well, it went mental. What started off with me nominating a few friends, ended up with people from different parts of the world doing this. I was getting messages from India, China, Canada, and America. I’d never done anything that had gone viral before and I haven’t since to be honest.
You know what’s coming, don’t you? Yes, there was one keyboard warrior, who absolutely slated me on social media. Amongst other unpleasantries, she berated me for speaking out of turn about the Ice Bucket Challenge, which, incidentally, I didn’t do.
This is when I realised that I needed to learn how to deal with negative feedback on social media.
I responded to her barrage of insults and comments, but I never got dragged into any online arguments. I simply continued to acknowledge her comments, respectfully and professionally. Ending every time with an apology that my act of kindness had upset and offended her. She failed to cause a ripple of negativity and no one else joined in. Quite the opposite in fact.
In response to my carefully worded responses, members of the public, whom I’d never met, quickly came to my defense. The rest, as they say, was history.
I responded immediately to the negative feedback, trying to resolve the situation. The responses that I gave were courteous and respectful. I have never deleted any comments on the thread and never will. Ironically, the keyboard warrior deleted all her comments, so the thread probably looked rather odd afterwards.
My Point Is
My point is that I took my own advice in dealing with the situation. In fact, my only regret was that I was overweight on the video.
I came out of it pretty much unscathed and lots of homeless people around the world got a nice meal.
I guess the moral of the podcast is, deal with stuff, don’t bury you head in the sand, don’t ignore stuff, and keep an eye on what comments are being left.
My rule of thumb is to aim to personally reply to every single social media comment whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent!
My thoughts are subjective, but all of this goes a long way into dealing with negative feedback on social media.
I hope you’ve found this week’s tips useful. If you would like to leave me a lovely positive review, I’ll be happy to add you to this month’s prize draw to win a free one-hour marketing mentoring session worth £150.
The hour will be full of marketing mastery that you can apply to your business. All you have to do to enter is leave me a positive podcast review and email me a copy of the to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on my website, which is www.tracyheatley.com. You can check out all my marketing and networking services there too.
I’m Tracy Heatley. Thank you for listening to my Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast.
Better Business, Better You!