Picture this: You’re running a social media campaign, either for your own company or for a client, and things are going swimmingly so far. The copy is sharp and concise, the CTA is engaging, the visual asset was thoughtfully-designed. You’re getting plenty of likes, reposts, and qualified comments, so you decide to put a little money behind the post to boost it to a larger audience. This brings increased engagement — something we all like to see! — but some of that engagement seems irrelevant, unqualified, spammy, negative, or even offensive. What to do next? Read on for three suggestions to help you determine the best course of action.
Get Your Priorities In Line
What are the most important KPIs to you and/or your client? If the goals of the campaign are tied to engagement — any engagement, even unqualified — then you may want to just delete the actively offensive comments and move on. If it’s important to have qualified engagement, parse through the comments and make that evaluation on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes a heart emoji means the audience is genuinely interacting with content they love, sometimes it’s a spam comment of little substance.
Remember: Even seemingly-unqualified engagement can raise the overall profile of a piece of content, organically growing its audience and putting it in front of the eyes of people who it can impact!
As a social media pro, you’ve probably become pretty proficient at determining the differences between real internet users and bots. Is a comment irrelevant on a topical level, promoting their own page or services, or advertising a giveaway? Is it written in a stilted and unnatural voice with strange punctuation or misuse of cApitaL leTTers? Even if it's following Asimov's Three Laws, you may have a robot on your hands — and it’s probably a good idea to hide or delete the comment. It is, however, important to remember that real, qualified audiences are also watching the way you interact with users on your feed. What you may initially determine is a spambot comment could actually be a real audience member writing outside their native tongue, so take a few seconds and click through to the commenter’s profile to see whether or not it seems like a genuine person.
Engage With Your Audience On Their Level
While we’re already talking about checking out commenter profiles, it’s so important to know your audience when monitoring account notifications — especially when responding can do so much to build brand awareness and connect with users. Somebody leaving a negative comment on a post from a tech company is probably just frustrated and looking for troubleshooting help.
Don’t just hide their comment because it may shine a harsh light on the brand: Acknowledge their concerns to de-escalate the frustration, move them to private messaging if possible, and connect them with helpful resources — you may gain a genuinely grateful long-term customer who appreciates customer service!
Of course, these are situations that have to be handled on a case-by-case basis.When a WideFoc.us nonprofit client I worked with was promoting a scholarship to high school students, I realized that the energy behind snarky comments from qualified applicants could actually be attributed to bored teenagers killing time on their phone more than any tangible concerns. When I engaged with them and showed that we were paying attention, the commenters realized the organization was made up of actual people sharing a valuable service rather than a random brand popping up in their feed!
Whatever your brand may be and whatever audience you may be targeting, navigating the complicated world of social media literacy can be tough with limited time and resources to devote to these complex platforms and dynamics. Lucky for you, the team at WideFoc.us knows exactly what we’re doing — reach out today and start strategically developing your brand’s online presence to reach new audiences, tame the trolls, and boost revenue.
Managing Editor Zach Yanowitz likes posting, editing, and saying “ball is life.”