How to Deal with Tweets about You - dummies

By Kyle Lacy

It can be a tough thing to control the message about your company on Twitter. This may not sound like too big of a deal if people are praising you or your products and services. But it may be a tough pill to swallow when others are badmouthing you.

Here are some ways to deal when people are talking about you and your products, whether they are saying good or bad things about them.

Some evangelists are communicating with others on our behalf. Should you stop them?

Suppose you run across fans who are communicating with others on your behalf. Should you try to stop them? Absolutely not! These people are your evangelists, your raving fans, your paying customers and repeat business. These people are doing a lot of your PR work for you. They’re answering questions that new customers may have, they’re promoting your brand for you, and they’re working as an extension of your PR department.

Try to resist the urge to control all content that is about you, even if it’s in your favor. If people are talking about you, answering questions for you, or posting information on your behalf, you actually want to encourage them to keep doing it. Think about it this way: Not only are you getting some great press and marketing, but you’re also getting it for free. Most marketing and PR people would give their weight in gold to get this kind of coverage and fan loyalty, so don’t risk damaging it by trying to control it.

People are talking badly about you. Should you stop them?

Say you discover that people aren’t just talking about you, but they’re bashing you. Should you step in and try to stop them? Again, the answer is absolutely not! Leave them alone.

If you try to stop people from talking badly about you, they’ll simply spread the word of your silencing efforts. Then they’ll have two stories to tell: the original complaint and the story of you trying to cover it up. Instead, look at these complaints as an opportunity to resolve the complainer’s problem in a public forum. By solving the problem publicly, you show off your customer-service prowess and willingness to address people’s issues with your product or company.

It’s true that people people will see the complaint on your website, but you need to realize that people are going to talk about you, regardless of whether you have a website with a comments section, a Facebook page, or Twitter.

If anything, you want these people to make complaints on your website. For one thing, they’ll expend all their energy venting their frustrations at you and not to the world in general. They’ll complain and rant, feel that someone has heard them (make sure that you are actually listening, please), and then go on about their business.

Who says you can’t say it yourself? When you respond to a complaint, do it publicly. Be sure to address the complaint in a professional manner, offer a solution, and then follow through. Don’t take it private or deal with it via e-mail. The person made a public complaint for everyone else to see, so you need to have a public solution. By solving the problem publicly, you can show off your customer-service prowess and willingness to solve people’s problems.

Then, when other people see that you have addressed the problem, you look like you care about your customers and will do whatever is necessary to keep them happy. (Note: It actually helps if you really do care about your customers and want to keep them happy.)