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Negative Comments on Your Blog: Catastrophe or Opportunity?

Posted by Natasha Aidinyantz, under , on January 29, 2015, No Comments
Negative Comments on Your Blog Catastrophe or Opportunity

If you’ve ever had to deal with a negative comment on your blog you already know how hard it can be. Your body is filling with emotion, you feel insulted and you don’t know what to do. It’s like you’re back in the school playground and someone is picking on you all over again. Except ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ just isn’t fitting in these circumstances. So what are you going to do? Are you going to give up like a chump? Or are you going to fight back?

It’s not uncommon to receive a negative comment in your blog. People that want to say negative things tend to be more abundant than people who have positive things to say.

Negative comments can be grouped into four different categories.

Disagreement

When you’re writing thought leadership content for your blog, you will often find people who don’t agree with your views or the views of your company. To avoid these kinds of dark clouds over your brand you should promote the authorship of your blog by your staff members. When your staff are part of the process of writing blogs then they are voicing their own opinion. These of course are always checked to make sure they are in line with the opinion and views of your company. But when it comes to people disagreeing with the post, they are really disagreeing with one person instead of your whole company. This can lighten the weight of the posts and alters the view for the person who is writing that negative comment.

The person who has written the post can then go back and comment on the disagreement from their own viewpoint. Something like; ‘Thanks for your response I love to see that this topic has sparked a bit of lively debate…’ then you can show your side of the story!

Complaint

When the wily get wilier it can bring about disaster for your blog. Someone using this platform to make complaints about your products or services may seem more like an attempt to ruin your reputation then sort out the problem. Do not fear this wily coyote! You may need to spend some time away from the blog comment before you reply as you don’t want to reply when you’re still angry, this can make things worse.

However you normally deal with complaints, it’s fair to say the same thing will apply here. Reassure the customer that you are doing everything you can and ask them to get in contact with someone who handles complaints. Alternatively you could show a lot of heart by just nipping the problem in the bud straight away. Give them a discount or send them a new product straight away and other people reading will be impressed with your reaction. Act fast though you don’t want people to see a complaint gone days without being answered!

Accusation

This normally happens with bigger and more controversial companies but there is always the chance that your business will be the brunt of a serious accusation. Perhaps you have been accused of financing war, polluting, not being environmentally friendly or mistreating people.

Whatever the accusation you need to handle it with speed and transparency. If the accusation is true then you must apologise, release more information on the matter and explain how you will be taking measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If it isn’t true then you must expell their beliefs, offer them clarity and proof then ask them where they heard this information. In either case you should always be asking yourself how you can avoid a scenario like this.

Troll

The worst of all the bad comments comes from the trolls. Trolls live on the edge, they get their kicks from causing pain so you shouldn’t take anything they say seriously. A troll might start with a comment like one of the above but continue their abuse in a whirlwind. The only way to stop a troll is to block them.

As a courtesy to your other readers you should always first reply to the troll, tell them how they are breaking the rules (refer to your social media policy if you have one) and explain that all of their comments in this nature will be deleted. If they continue you can mark them as SPAM.

How to Deal with Negative Comments

Each type of comment has it’s own way of treating it, and for each business there may be a different process involved. That’s why it’s important that you document your process for dealing with negative comments. We call this the ‘Social Media Escalation Process’ which includes details on what kinds of comment you should be looking for, how you should react and who you should call in the event that someone needs to be informed or emailed about the comment.

What do you think about these tips on handling negative comments on your blog? Have you had any experience with the kinds of comments above or maybe a unique case of your own? Please share your story in the comment box below (be nice though!)

Live And Social can help your company create an escalation process from scratch. To find out more, contact us today.

Are Your Followers Really Following You?

Posted by Ollie Whitfield, under , on January 27, 2015, No Comments
Are Your Followers Really Following You

How many followers do you have on Twitter? As I write this, Live And Social have 1193. There has always been a fad about having a large following, but to successfully market your business on social media it really isn’t all about followers. It isn’t about retweets or favorites, nor is it about comments and likes. Has that come as a bit of a shock?

Real Fans

As our Social Media Executive, I share every  update you see on our social channels. Although we have  a good following on social media, I don’t see 1193 replies to the tweets I schedule! Not that I have ever expected that volume of engagement, but I notice how your real fans are there in your notifications more often than others. Without naming names, I’ve had support from a few people in volume more than others. By this I mean eight retweets all in one go from the posts I shared on Twitter the day this post was written. So if you are reading this and you know it’s you I’m talking about, thanks very much again! Having thanked them for their support, it is nice to see that these people really enjoy what I do with our social channels. It is good to focus on these people, keep this relationship healthy.

You may not be a fan of sport, but I liken this to how the players of the away team go to applaud their travelling fans for their support. It’s always nice to see the players go over and thank the fans for their time and continued support and it’s pretty obvious that the fans appreciate this too. So back into the world of social media, I like to keep that relationship going. These people are more important than a bot account that is not a real person and just adds one to your follower count. Fans are the metric I am after!

Who Are Your Followers?

I am forever getting notifications from Twitter and other social channels about a new follower. Great news! When you check, it’s an account for selling followers, it has thousands of followers and doesn’t follow very many people. Straight away, the Twitter senses in me say that I will be swiftly unfollowed if I click follow.

So are you really followed by everyone who follows you? If you have a lot of these types of accounts following you, the chances are maybe not. If you have a highly engaged and interactive audience that continually make conversation around your posts, then yes, they do!

Define Social Media Success

Is it followers that you really want? Well, sort of. Ideally I want some more followers, but there isn’t much point having a million followers if 499,999 of them are robots and do not interact with you!

I define social media success as having a quite large following of engaging users who love your content, engage with you regularly and share your content. The most important part though, is to have plenty of fans that look forward to your content and interacting with you. They may even suggest what kinds of content and titles they may want to see in your blog soon! They may want to be interviewed by you if they have the relevant skills and experience. This is what I want from my efforts in social media!

Would you rather have one million followers on Twitter or 1000 fans on Twitter who love your content? Tweet @LiveandSocial and let me know…