So, the social networks are here for people to interact with each other, right? We get to see what our friends are up to by going through their latest photo album of another friends’s mehndi or find out our class fellow has got a new laptop by reading his status on Facebook and Twitter.
Now, while all this is so good and rosy and all so pretty – the whole idea of staying in touch with your social circle all the time online, there are many times these social networks end up in huge social reputation disasters.
Imagine what harm it can do to big people and big companies – with thousands of fans following? One wrong step and your over 2 and half lacs fans (once you were proud of) are going to grill you to the core.
Being customers, we tend to get extremely aggressive if we are not given proper service and if companies lie to us or hide the real deal from us. We feel complied to let them know of our anger in the form of our feedback and most of the times, it gets way too harsh.
Just recently, Ufone faced the wrath of its Facebook and Twitter fans when Ufone services went down and there was no announcement as such on their Facebook or Twitter page.
Fans got crazy angry and left annoyed comments as to why nobody is telling them when the services will be restored. Obviously, the issue in the social media was not handled properly and that led to many fans of Ufone unsatisfied and angry. All this ended up real bad when Ufone started restricting its fans to comment on their page.
However, what’s done is done but let’s think over what Ufone and for that matter any company could have done in this situation.
This is the first thing a company and in this case Ufone should have done:
They should have updated their Facebook and Twitter page status right away announcing;
“Dear Ufone fans, Ufone is experiencing service outage due to some technical problems which are being resolved and the service will be restored in 3 hours (let’s suppose). Sorry for the in convenience but we’ll let you know as soon as we’re back on!”
With this act, they would have bought their fans trust and even sympathy and everyone would have known by default that there is a problem going on which will soon be resolved.
The second thing to do is keep monitoring what people are saying. If someone is really agitated, try to calm them down by replying to comments in an apologetic and empathetic tone. Such acts make them feel you have not left them in the middle of a desert with no help. It makes them feel company cares and is doing whatever it can to bring the services back to order for them.
Last, when the services are restored, be the first ones to let the fans know that you are back with a bang! Be cheerful, be happy and be caring. Let them know how much it means for the company that they (fans) have been patient and cooperative. That is how you actually and successfully make use of social networks in difficult times.
Remember the first rule of Social Networks: “Nothing can remain hidden in the world of internet for too long! Truth comes out one day or the other so instead of hiding your flaws, be big enough to step forward, admit the problem, give the solution and win the trust of your customers because if you won’t say it, you’ll definitely hear “IT” from your customers”