Interaction is central to social media. The ability to comment, ask questions and give feedback on posts is what social media is all about. Is it really social media without the social? Without the ability to post comments, social networks become places of one way communication, instead of interaction and connection.
So you’ve been running social media ads for a while, but you’re asking yourself: How should I be approaching comments from users on my ads? Are there any established best practices?
If you’re a service-based business, or one with direct touchpoints with social-savvy customers, you’ll know that you need a strategy! Airlines, and other travel businesses, are examples that spring to mind – with a constant stream of comments coming across social channels around subjects like flight delays, lost luggage, poor (or occasionally positive) experiences, and so on.
While you’ll find a number of different views on this topic, we wanted to throw our thoughts into the ring! For us here at Paragone, there are three broad strategies you can follow when it comes to comments on your social media ads. For the purposes of this blog post we will focus our examples on Facebook ads, but the ideas here can be translated to most social networks.
A quick note
But before we get into that, an important note: as an advertiser, you should WANT comments on your ads. These are not just an annoying by-product of running ads on social media – they are an opportunity to build conversations and push the reach of your advertisements even wider. The importance of interaction and engagement grew in January 2018, with Facebook’s update to the News Feed algorithm, when the social giant began further favoring posts that contribute to ‘meaningful interactions’ between users.
And we’re not talking about engagement-baiting posts here (the ones that sound something like tag 8 friends and share this post to win!), but content that is interesting and compelling enough to your target audience that it engages them to comment.
So, knowing that, and with the comments rolling in on your ads, here are three possible strategies you could take to managing them:
1. Ignore them
While it may sound a little silly, deciding not to take any action on certain comments could be good strategy. In the case where your business has a strong brand presence, and a group of loyal and engaged followers, this could be a good option. One slightly negative comment on your Facebook ad isn’t likely to do your brand much damage, and could actually incite some of those loyal brand ambassadors to respond on your behalf. While responding and fixing the situation yourself is one option, having a delighted customer do it for you is even better! People care more about what other consumers think of your brand than what you say yourself, so this is the ideal scenario.
On the other hand, if your just starting out as a business, don’t have a strong and well-loved brand, or start to see the negative or trolling comments piling up, then ignoring comments on your ads is not a good strategy.
2. Hide them
If you come across a comment on your Facebook ad that is unrelated, and doesn’t provide you with an opportunity to realistically put things right, you could hide it. As an advertiser you’ve probably been ‘trolled’ once or twice. The Hide feature on Facebook is one that you should get to know! On your Facebook business page, go into the ad post and hover over the three dots next to a comment. Then select Hide Comment.
Hiding the comment will make it disappear for the public when they’re viewing your pages and ads, while it will remain displayed for the user who wrote it, as well as their Facebook friends. This can be a great strategy for diffusing a situation, reducing the reach of the comment while leaving the user feeling like they’ve gotten away with it.
If that2s not enough, and the risk of even the user’s friends seeing their comment about your brand is too much, you can also delete the comment all together. Once hidden, you’ll see the option to do this.
As seen above you can also report or ban the user if they turn into a persistent troll who gives you no other option!
3. Respond to them
We haven’t decided to put this strategy third because it should be your last option! It should in fact be your default setting as a social media advertiser. Look for opportunities to engage people and build connections with them. Over and above the action you are trying to drive with your ads (e.g. purchase, install, download’85), think of your advertising activity as customer service. Answer questions, provide links to more information, apologize for poor experience, and do your best to set things right.
When responding here are a couple of tips:
Go with a light touch
As a general rule, it’s not a great ploy to approach responses heavy handedly. Trying to put a troll in their place is likely to backfire and cause your brand even more damage.
Keep it private
A good approach to responding to a complaint is to write a short message to tell the user that you will continue the conversation with them via direct private message. This shows that you are responsive, but takes the rest of the interaction out of the public forum.
A quick point to conclude: in all of this it’s important to have a clear plan. Set out how you will respond to different types of comments and question. It may even be a good idea to write short template answers that you can modify and quickly post based on the situation.
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