With more than three billion social media users in the world, it goes without saying that this is one of the best ways to connect with both customers and prospects.

While there’s a lot of good that can come from social media, there’s something else you need to remember: negative feedback is always a possibility.

For example, if a customer has a bad experience with your business, they may immediately turn their attention to Twitter and Facebook. In today’s world, people know this is the best way to spread the word about their experience.

Even if your business does a great job garnering positive online reviews, there is sure to come a time when someone says something poorly about your brand on social media.

When this time comes, here are three tips for responding:

1. Act Fast

The biggest mistake you can make is ignoring negative social media feedback. You should take the opposite approach by responding to the person as quickly as possible (strive for 24 hours or less).

By doing this, you show the person that you care. You also put yourself in position to solve the problem before it multiplies.

2. Don’t Make Things Worse

There are things you can do – such as providing a fast response – to improve the situation.

Conversely, it’s just as simple to do something that makes things worse. Here are a few examples:

  • Ignoring the feedback
  • Denying that the problem exists
  • Blaming the problem on your customer

You’re already in a tough spot, so you don’t want to do anything that will make your situation worse.

3. Move the Conversation Off Social Media

Rather than bounce messages back and forth on social media, offer to move the conversation to email or telephone.

Not only does this show you care, but it puts you in position to directly solve the problem.

For example, once you’re on the phone, you can offer the consumer a discount or invite them to try your product or service again for free.

Final Thoughts

There is a right and wrong way to respond to negative social media feedback. If you find yourself needing to make a decision on what to do next, these tips will go a long way in putting you on the right track.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!