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[Google] From Likes to Leads: Interact with Customers Online: Respond to social media users

When a customer reaches out to you on social media—whether it’s via direct message, a comment on a post, or any other type of interaction—a reply is usually needed. Sometimes, however, a reply isn’t the best course of action. In this reading, you will learn when to reply and what kind of reply is best.

Why should you respond?

Generally speaking, replying to social media comments, messages, mentions, and tags is a great way to get customers to engage. When you reply to users, you make them feel heard. You also appear accessible to people who read the replies. This indicates that your brand cares about the customer experience. Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or another platform, engaging with your customer base is usually a good idea.

How should you respond?

  • If you are responding to positive feedback, acknowledge the comment, thank them for the kind words, and consider reposting or Retweeting their feedback. It says a lot about your brand when people provide positive feedback about it on social media, so it’s a good strategy to ensure as many people as possible see that feedback.
  • If you are responding to questions or general feedback, reply briefly and with clear enthusiasm. Engaging with customers should be fun and informative for both parties, and your customers should be able to tell you’re having fun based on the type of responses you give. Don’t be afraid to use creative language and exclamation marks, if it aligns with your brand voice.
  • If you are responding to negative comments, such as when you have to resolve an issue for users, it’s best to remain calm and use helpful, polite, and approachable language. If there is a clear issue that has the potential to become something larger, you may have to offer refunds or promotional codes to make things right. In these situations, encourage them to send you a direct message so the issue can be resolved quickly and privately. However, if the response could be helpful to other people who may have the same concerns or thoughts as the original poster, you may choose to answer it publicly so everyone can benefit from the interaction.
  • If you are responding to internet trolls, the short answer is: don’t. An internet troll is a person who intentionally antagonizes others online by posting inflammatory, unnecessary, or offensive comments or other disruptive content that shouldn’t necessarily be replied to. This is typically the only time you’re encouraged not to reply to users on social media. Unfortunately, trolling is a reality of social media, and a common one at that. The more your brand grows, the more trolls you will get. If you know your brand didn’t do anything wrong, simply don’t reply. If the trolling gets worse, consider deleting the comments or hiding the replies.

Key takeaways

When it comes to interacting with users on social media, each reply requires careful thought and consideration. Whether the comments are positive, general feedback, or negative, you’ll want to be strategic about when, how, and where you reply. Feel free to keep these tips in mind as you move forward on your digital marketing journey, and leverage the help of any team members who may have experience replying to users.

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