Posted by Jon Schubin on Wed, May 11 2016

All Posts by Jon Schubin

Spot and diffuse nasty Facebook messages

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Facebook is a strange beast.

Today nearly everyone has a Facebook account, but how people use the platform varies greatly. I know people who have profiles who haven’t been updated in three years. Others use the newsfeed to find stories from relatives and brands. And it seems like a substantial minority of my contacts just use it exclusively to post content about Bernie Sanders.

Facebook can also be difficult to place when planning a social strategy for a financial brand. Facebook isn’t a place for serious discussion. It’s not the where people go to learn how to make large software implementation or allocation decisions.

In working with business-to-business brands, I’ve received questions about Facebook. Should we use this platform? How much of our effort should be placed on reaching out? This effects nearly every company. A Facebook page will be automatically generated for your company once it reaches a certain size. This can be a place where prospective clients reach out, ask questions or register complaints.

Major brands like Coke or Frito Lay have a small army of people managing and responding on social channels. Most of my clients have someone who does as one of many parts of their job. For these people, I’ve found a five step process helps with ensuring you can spot and react to Facebook messages.

Step 1: Identify

Every company needs to designate someone or a small team as Facebook account administrators. People serving as admins on the account should quickly flag messages posted to the page.

When you log into Facebook, administrators will have the option to use Facebook “as a company.” Once this is done, there are a series of notification settings. Turn on emails, so a message is sent every time someone posts (you can also turn on text message notification as well.) Messages can be then be shared with a select “response team.”

Step 2: De-escalate

Sometimes people posting on the page will be angry. Other times, they may want information right away. We should aim to first and foremost have people realize that we are here and ready to help. Start posts by thanking people for their interest and offering to help.

Step 3: Provide context

Sending a message on Facebook isn’t always a well-thought-out decision. Any material you can provide about their issue, including drawing from webpages, is useful.

Step 4: Provide a next step

Ensure the person asking the question understands the next action. Frequently this will mean pushing the conversation to a customer service or direct channel. We typically don’t want a complicated discussion or something involving personal information happening in public. Acknowledge their problem and assure them it’s being addressed.

Step 5: Flag the response

We don’t want to send someone to a customer service queue, only for them to have to explain their issue or situation again. Wherever you send the customer, make sure that person knows that they might be contacted. Check to see if the person posts a follow-up comment on our newsfeed (positive or negative) and flag to the team.

These are general guidelines and I would recommend whoever is doing front-line channel management to flag posts and create draft outlines. Then a pre-selected group can provide quick approval or edits on responses.

Each company will have to decide how quickly to respond to messages and create a workflow based on their resources. The most important point not just to let these posts sit there. You may be ignoring Facebook, but its more than one billion users are not.

B2B, Communications, Facebook, Finance, Social Media,
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