A couple of things I hear a lot from people wanting to understand the social web is “but what if people say bad things about my brand?” and “is it okay just to delete it?”
Take yourself away from your brand and your job role and have a think about the things that you buy and the companies / brands you interact with. I’m sure you can think of a few regulars that you repeatedly give your business too. Now, think of those brands / companies – have you ever heard anything bad said about them? My guess is you probably have but you still shop there, don’t you?
Why do you still shop there? Do you trust them? Do you think they’re credible? reliable? Yes, probably all of those. The reason you interact with these brands / companies is because you find them credible. What makes them credible? Because they’re not perfect.
Having some negativity out there isn’t all doom and gloom for your business, it can help show your human side. Everyone makes mistakes and as long as you’ve openly accepted your mistakes and put the wheels in motion to make things right, people will still look at you as a credible business.
I think this is especially important from a new business / service point of view. If I went to your website / Facebook page and all the feedback was 100% positive, i’d think you were a little too good to be true. If you had a few negative comments posted on your wall, maybe the postage was late or your card machine wasn’t working, and you had apologised and let everyone know the issues had been resolved you’d be more likely to get my business.
Nobody likes to hear bad things said about them and criticism can be hard to take but people WILL talk about your brand. Read it, deal with it and learn from your mistakes. Don’t use it as an excuse to ignore the social web.