How to deal with a spate of sudden commenting?

Astute brand managers and marketers are carefully analyzing the trend of rising comment counts on social networks. In keeping with the trend, consumer-oriented businesses have started paying greater attention to the process of proactively engaging the users from point of view of product and service promotion.

Many top brands invariably keep their Facebook Pages active and dynamic. Major Facebook brand Pages (for instance, Disney’s image of ‘Snow White dwarf’) are benefiting a great deal, which underlines the relevance of the strategy. Such examples clearly point to the benefits accrued out of just single posts. And if all other allied wall comments are added, one can grasp the quantum of compounded fan commentary plus the gains to be made from it.

Marketers nowadays often encounter the tricky situation of a brand suddenly drawing a flood of negative comments from across its aggrieved customer base. The best possible remedy is to prevent it rather than firefighting. In other words, brands cannot afford to remain complacent. The task of online relationship management assumes importance.

Let us discuss a few basic measures that your company can initiate to be prepared for a large-scale wave of commenting.

Declare rules of the game

  • To start with, it makes sense to formulate specific commenting guidelines. Once you put in place clear norms for interaction on your official Facebook Page, users know what to expect.
  • While opting to enforce them, you may resort to publicly available guidelines that will help your brand managers subdue any forceful arguments by fans. This can help you minimize the level of second-guessing by page admins.
  • In other words, your customers and moderators should be aware of proper guidelines for moderation. Once the basics are in place, everything else falls in place in terms of a smooth communication.

Stick your organization’s values and culture

  • Try and make sure that your rules regarding commenting are an accurate reflection of your overall brand values, culture and philosophy that you espouse within and outside the organization.
  • However, in case you find a user communication deflecting the publicly set or implied norms, there is no need to get hassled. Be judicious in dealing with such situations.
  • Find out whether the intentions behind such sudden flow of conversations are genuine or a design to malign your online image. Accordingly work out a strategy.

Under no circumstances, brand managers and marketers should let volume of Facebook comments affect their proficiency to moderate their online communities. One of the major reasons for brands to allocate resources and invest in expertise to develop both manual and technical interface is to ensure they’re well prepared for any such eventuality.

Ideally, the task should be handed over to experts who are alert to any such situation. They study each and every comment – positive or negative – knowing its gravity and the kind of viral effect it can have, in no time.