February 23 2011 8 Simple Rules…To Being Social Being "human" to consumers is part of why companies are turning to social media marketing. But, how far do you let the freedom to interact directly with the customer go? In my opinion, it’s essential to your social media campaign that you allow commenting from your customer base. But what if you run into Ihateyourcompany123? Here are my 8 simple rules to responding to all types of Facebook, Twitter and blog feedback: Be concise. Being too long-winded tells your customer base that after every single comment you are going to reply with a long, drawn-out response. Don’t give them that false hope. Be thankful. If someone gives you a compliment make sure to respond. It’s just as important to respond to positive comments as it is to respond to negative comments. Be approved. Have a copywriter develop some responses and push them through your legal and/or marketing department. Better safe than sorry! Be silent. A response is not always needed. Did someone provide a comment that doesn’t skew positive or negative or really warrant a response? That’s fine. Don’t give one! Be proactive. Was there a company-wide glitch? A problem you know you’re going to hear about? Be one step ahead of your customers. Post an apology or a solution to the problem before they can start complaining. Be understanding. Not every customer is out to get you. Most of them just really want a problem resolved. Ask them to message you their contact information and have someone help them. Be a marketer. Did someone give you a glowing review? Thank them and slide in some details about other customer benefits or another service you provide. Be human. Is a comment completely inappropriate or vulgar? You should reserve the right to delete those and, of course, not respond. Don’t man the computer at 3a.m. ready to respond to any feedback coming your way. After all, the reason your company is being social is to show that you’re human. posted by Douglas Malan Senior Writer Share this article ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.