But before your company or client pulls out all the stops to try to save its reputation, here are some common sense criteria to help navigate through the storm:
Where is the negative issue brewing?
Negative comments on your company’s social media pages should most likely be addressed as these comments are now on your “home turf.” Issues that fall into this category include negative comments or reviews by members or the general public. Since this commentary is considered to be on your home turf, it is worth a response. This does not mean comments found outside own social media properties will not be addressed; but it is a good first question to ask.
How “loud” is the comment?
The Internet is a BIG place, and without some filters a lot of time could be spent addressing everyone who shares negative issues on social media. Ask how much “noise” is being made about this particular topic? Pay attention to commenters with a small audience, but don’t fan the flames. More visible outlets might need a more proactive strategy.
Is the information blatantly inaccurate?
While many postings are about an individual’s specific situation and thus somewhat subjective, occasionally true misinformation will be posted online. In these cases, it is important to correct the facts.
What is the tone or topic?
If the tone of an internal conversation or post on a message board is not overtly negative, a response may not be needed. That said, if the comment raises slight concern, it should be addressed appropriately.
And remember to have a thick skin.