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Old 31st July 2007, 12:40 PM   #1
thejenn
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Authored by: Jennifer Laycock

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One of the biggest concerns I've heard from businesses that are considering exploring social media and viral marketing is the fear of negative feedback. The bad news is, no matter how carefully you tread, no matter how genuine your involvement is, you may find yourself getting slammed by the very audience you are trying to reach. The good news is, if you go into a social media campaign with honest interest in engaging in a dialogue with your customers, you'll be able to weather the storm.

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Old 2nd August 2007, 10:26 PM   #2
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Your advice to not respond immediately to an attack is great advice.

When someone attacks on a bbs, especially a respected member, the worst thing you can do is respond. This only draws interest to the topic, draws traffic to the attack, and adds to the mob mentality. If there is no one for the mob to attack, the mob dissipates.

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Old 3rd August 2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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I'd disagree that you shouldn't respond at all.

I think it's essential to respond, lest you leave people thinking that the accusation was so on target that you can unable to defend yourself.

That said, you need to take your time and carefully consider what you are going to say and then think about it a little longer.

And of course never, ever, ever attack back. Looking defensive makes it seem as if you have something to be defensive about.

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Old 10th August 2007, 01:20 AM   #4
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@thejenn.... as u say we should go and respond.... and what if in that particular situation we were actually wrong or may be we said something which is not appropriate... then, I feel the best way could be not to respond or would u still suggest us to respond and if yes... what should be our response... hope thats not a dum question

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Old 11th August 2007, 09:06 AM   #5
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If you said or did something wrong, apologize. Sincerely and honestly. It helps if the apology is made by somebody high ranking in the organization (the higher ranking, the better). And make the apology personal, not corporate. "I didn't follow through as well as I should have," as opposed to "Mistakes were made."

Then do your best to fix the problem that already happened, put procedures in place to reduce the possibility it will happen again, and let the community know what steps you have taken to resolve the issue.

About the worst thing you could do would be to ignore the issue. That only gives people the impression you either don't understand or don't care that you did something wrong.

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Old 12th August 2007, 11:59 PM   #6
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@Torka.... I guess this is what i was exactly looking for...

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Old 13th August 2007, 11:09 AM   #7
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Yep, what Torka said.

You'll note from my article that my first response was to defend myself. While it was a justified defense, it overlooked the greater point that I HAD actually done something wrong. It doesn't matter if it was intention or not, I'd led people to feel betrayed and taken advantage of.

Thus, I HAD to address that and apologize. Quite honestly, when I realized what was driving the anger (the hurt at feeling betrayed/lied to) I wouldn't have dreamed of doing anything BUT apologize. We all hate feeling like we've had the wool pulled over our eyes. I could totally relate to how they felt.

As Torka points out, ignoring the issue simply makes it appear to them as if you just don't care, or as if you really ARE guilty and have now run away rather than face up to what you've done.

The good news is that sometimes a well handled mistake can serve you better than never having gotten in trouble in the first place. It gets you exposure and it can show you are a real company with real people and real feelings and that you're big enough to admit it when you're wrong.

People respect that.

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Old 16th August 2007, 01:53 PM   #8
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I think it would be in anyone's best interest to respond immediately to the claims and allegations, before the problem spreads and becomes more vicious.

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Old 27th September 2007, 12:33 PM   #9
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That's the thing with social media. It can be good and it can be bad and it can be somewhere inbetween. Especially when people begin the "he said, she said" game. In all honesty, that entire thread seemed to be blown way out of proporation and I left thinking, "Big babies".

I've learned over the years, the hard way I might add, that it's best not to get into heated debates online. I also agree that if true misunderstandings took place, clarification is essential. And if wrongs were done (on purpose or not), honest apologies are essential.

I think this whole debate could have been diffused if it were handled privately to begin with. Email the person privately, or ask to discuss the matter via phone or IM. Too much confusion and misunderstandings take place when all that's really needed is honest clarificaiton.

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Old 27th September 2007, 03:08 PM   #10
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You just got to have faith and believe in your ultimate goal. If you do that then all the critics will be left behind.

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