A social media platform offers a level of public anonymity that cannot be replicated anywhere else. What you share can be read, viewed, or heard by billions of people all over the world without the necessity to even make your name public.

Unfortunately for social marketers, this combination of public audience and anonymity means people rarely feel the need to be polite when being critical, especially of a product or service that has not satisfied them.

A negative comment, a derisive remark or a sarcastic review going viral—this may seem like every brand’s worst nightmare. However, you would be surprised to discover that an unhappy customer or patron may actually be the best way to advertise your brand’s awesomeness across the world.

Mea Culpa

Made a mistake? Own up to it. To respond to harsh criticism with a contrite apology accepting you could have done better is the best strategy. Sure, some may use your admission to make further fun of your brand online.

However, people who are interested in getting good value for money (who doesn’t?) will acknowledge your courage to admit your mistake.

Don’t Spoil an Apology with an Excuse

Know how some people try to make it sound as if they are apologising when they are actually coming up with excuses instead? Or how people try to word apologies to make it seem as if the other party was the one at fault?

Well, just don’t do that online. Nothing can be worse than converting one unhappy customer into a million lost leads just because you sounded too snarky and cocky when conveying your apology.

Not at Fault? Stand Up to Defend

Not apologizing when you are at fault is a bad move. Similarly, admitting to a mistake when you are not at fault too can make your brand come across as lacking in confidence. Be polite but make don’t behave like a social doormat. You would be surprised how being tough when you are not at fault can actually work to your advantage.

To give extreme reactions to social criticism is often viewed as a sign of lack of confidence. To err is human and a mistake, even a big one, is not the end of the world. So, just use the mishap as a learning experience so that you can, some time ahead in the future, poke fun at yourself and gain more likes and followers online.

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