Dealing with negative feedback in social media

This item was filled under [ Customer Service, Public Relations, Social Media ]

I came across a good article today in the American Express OPEN Forum site from Josh Catone, features editor at Mashable, where he outlines how to deal with negative feedback online. He suggests that there are four types of feedback: straight problems, constructive criticism, merited attack and trolling/spam. He then offers some good advice on how to react to the different types feedback.

Catone suggests, “The number one rule when responding to all criticism, even the negative type, is to stay positive. Adding more negativity to the conversation by letting yourself be drawn into a fight with a customer or user will only reflect poorly on your business.”

The one item that I’d suggest adding one other consideration, especially for the small and medium sized businesses who comprise the core of OPEN Forum, is evaluating risk. While customer engagement and service is important, small business owners often need to focus on their core offering. Few companies have the resources to respond to all feedback. When a company evaluates risk, they assess the potential influence of those generating feedback and the anticipated negative impact or fallout. The greater the influence or impact, the higher the risk and the greater the need to engage.

The final important point is something I learned early on. If you have a problem with someone, try to deal with it in private. Most companies want to migrate feedback to more intimate and controllable channels where a frank dialogue and resolution can emerge. If the resolution is satisfactory, often those sharing feedback will update their friends or followers on the experience.

People today want to support responsive companies that respect their opinion and want to improve the way they do business.

An Olympic Experience in Your Hands

This item was filled under [ Mobile, Social Media ]

The following post was published to the Fleishman-Hillard Winter Games Connect blog earlier today.

NBC Olympics TeamUSA SocialStream on iPhone

NBC Olympics TeamUSA SocialStream on iPhone

Much of the buzz surrounding the Winter Olympics in Vancouver this month has been on how different the media landscape is, especially with citizen journalism and social media driving much of the coverage. There is a groundswell though on the mobile front that excites me.

News and event applications for the Olympics
I have been exploring some of the applications available to iPhone users via the iTunes app store. Some of the apps I have dowloaded include news and information apps from CTV (Canada’s national broadcast sponsor), Bell (Canada’s telco sponsor) and for a U.S. perspective, NBC in partnership with AT&T (a Fleishman-Hillard client).

There are some obvious similarities:

  • News and updates
  • Athlete profiles
  • Medal standings
  • Venue information
  • Event schedules (sports and cultural)

NBC offers the most engaging content
In my opinion, NBC stands out as the best. Why? It includes a one-stop shop for some pretty fascinating updates from U.S. athletes via Twitter, based on the Olympic Pulse Tweet Sheet.

Bell Winter Olympics Digital Visitor Guide on iPhone

Bell Olympic Visitor Guide on iPhone

The Bell application also references Twitter, but does stream the content. Instead it provides users with links to some recommended Twitter profiles related to the Games. The application also is really just a mobile interface to pull content from the mobile version of the Bell’s Vancouver 2010 website. Bell also provides consumers with a fun, free cowbell app and a virtual torch based on Bombardier’s (a Fleishman-Hillard client) torch design.

The CTV application is good for ongoing news updates, but is a little light in its overall functionality. I like the experience of the ctvolympics.ca site much better.

Follow David on Twitter @dbradfield.