It’s not always laziness. A lot of business professionals are caught up in being successful. It’s easy to be too busy making money to devote effort to social media. The thing is, when someone is thinking like that, they are only thinking about engaging prospects and turning them into new customers.
But that is only half of what social media is.
The other half is darker: People complain. The internet, specifically social media has given the consumer the megaphone. A decade of reputation building can be undone in 24 hours by an angry customer. So a key aspect of social media is risk mitigation, and that does demand attention, even in good times.
So how exactly do you mitigate risk in social media? Hint: don’t ignore people. Many people just want to be heard. They may calm down or be gratified even if you don’t fix the problem, just by knowing you care.
Think of a real-life situation. Someone stands up in the middle of a little league game and starts loudly voicing complaints about your company. What would you do? You would probably address them directly, get them to calm down, and take the conversation elsewhere. That’s exactly what you do in social media.
Pro tip: a lot of “what to do” in social media comes right from what you’d do in a similar physical situation. I self-servingly call it JD’s Law of Normalcy.
This is often a good time to practice some form of Positively Outstanding Service. Where in the past, POS usually only secured you loyalty from a customer and maybe their inner circle of friends and family, POS can now ripple through the internet, bringing inestimable returns.
So make it public that you care and that you will address the person privately. That shows everyone you care and may plant a seed of doubt as to the validity of the complaint. Then through private messages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) or whatever method of communication, handle the customer as you would any complaining customer. Bear in mind that whatever the outcome, good or bad, they may tell the world of that too.
Set up your pages and profiles as per my article How to Not Use Social Media, and set notifications. Also Google your own company name from time to time, and have other people with interest keep an eye out for trouble for you. Listening and timely response is the only way to manage risk in the world of social media.