Social media sites and online forums are the perfect medium for maintaining dynamic interaction with customers. The daily back and forth taking place on these mediums drives traffic and builds revenue streams. But that interaction can easily blow up into something negative and when it does, you need to handle it properly.

Internet Trolls

For all its power to impact positive communication across the planet, the Internet has given rise to a curious breed of web users known as trolls. Trolls take advantage of Internet anonymity to incite chaos and provoke reactions. They’re the Internet’s version of spoiled two-year-old and they can be a major headache.

Trolls should be dealt with the same way a  parent handles a toddler tantrum; by ignoring them. Engaging in a spirited back and forth with an anonymous forum poster or Twitter follower is a fool’s game. You won’t win and you’ll probably wind up damaging your reputation.

As challenging as it may seem, these are fights you need to walk away from. A protracted online argument with a stranger is not a good use of business resources (namely your time). If you can, remove trolls from your Twitter followers, Facebook friends and forums and don’t engage them ever again.

Never Tweet Angry

Social media like Twitter allow for nearly instantaneous feedback between publishers, partners and players. Affiliates should keep in mind that just because you can reply instantly to an annoying Tweet or Facebook post doesn’t mean that you should.

Tweeting or posting on Facebook when you’re angry is not a good move. It makes you look like you’re not in control or your emotions. And who wants to do business with someone like that? Take a few minutes to calm yourself before replying to negative posts.

Remember, you’re representing your business every time you get on Twitter. You wouldn’t stand on the street screaming at customers if you owned a restaurant? So why would you do that while running an affiliate site?

Provide Good Customer Service

Of course not every negative comment is going to be inaccurate. You can pretty much guarantee that someone is going to take to social media with a legitimate gripe about your business.

Rather than seeing this as a negative, look at it as your chance to shine. Show your customers that you’re worth doing business with by addressing these types of complaints in a serious and straight forward manner. Turning a negative situation like a customer complaint into a positive by giving them great customer service and solving their problem is a big win for everyone involved.

Take the High Ground

A good rule of thumb for dealing with negative comments and challenging social media interactions is to take the high ground. If positive interactions aren’t working against a challenging customer on the social media;  just walk away and ignore them.

You don’t have to respond to every Tweet or posting, so why not let some of it slide. Engaging in flame wars only compounds the problem.

How do you handle negative interactions on social media? Let us know on our General Discussion Forum.

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