Imagine being called a complete fool.

Now, imagine being called a complete fool in front of a million people.

Now, imagine if the million people had the ability to take screenshots and capture your shame and embarrassment forever.

Any of this appeal to you? Any of this gives you the ‘Wow, I really need to try this’ vibe? Of course not, which is why social marketers are never comfortable about asking feedback from their audience.

And this hesitation isn’t restricted to small brands or marketers only. There have been so many instances of big brands’ snarky reactions to negative feedback only for it to further complicate the situation.

Ever heard of the ‘If you think education is expensive, try ignorance’ adage. This applies to the feedback conundrum as well.

If you think negative feedback is bad, then just imagine the consequences of not having an audience for getting feedback or having an audience that just doesn’t care whether your brand does well or not.

Unless you feel public embarrassment is worse than going out of business, there’s never a good case not to seek feedback from your audience. So, here’s how to get feedback without creating a public spectacle out of your brand.

Be selective in seeking feedback. A generic ‘what do you think’ approach may backfire because you don’t know whether the person responding is being sincere or not. Instead, try contacting groups of people for more reliable feedback.

Control the process through polls. Virtually every social platform allows you to conduct polls. This approach will help you control the process and restrict the range of answers. You can set up multiple polls for a graded response.

Focus on actionable responses. The simplest way to ensure this is to seek feedback after every major campaign or initiative. Changed something and want to find out whether it worked? Initiate feedback protocol.

Learn to live with trolls. The world would be a much better place if online trolling could be controlled. But, it cannot be, which means you just have to learn to live with it. A mature response to trolling feedback can actually help boost your brand’s credibility.

Avoid one-size-fits-all approach. A feedback request about your tweets cannot follow the same format or approach as your Insta posts or TikTok uploads, can it? Comments trump likes while shares or retweets trump all other forms of feedback. So, come up with a platform-specific approach and combine with standard metrics to understand your audience’s feedback

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