We’ve discussed how important it is for hoteliers to respond to online reviews, and how to respond to a negative review on this blog before. But how should social media backlash be dealt with? Backlash often consists of negative posts from hotel guests on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Here are some tips on how to respond if you start seeing negative comments from customers on your Facebook Timeline or Twitter feed.
- DO NOT DELETE THE POST! Just because you have the power doesn’t mean that you should abuse it! Many hoteliers censor negative posts on their social media sites but that is not the best solution. Yes, it is censorship because you are breaking the trust we share in this country that everyone is allowed to express their opinions freely. It does look bad when someone complains about your hotel on such a public forum, but deleting the person’s post will not resolve the conflict. Often, the person who posted the comment will become even more upset that his or her opinions were censored, and continue to post on multiple networks until his or her opinions are heard.
- Respond ASAP. Responding quickly to the poster will show other potential guests that you care about their concerns and are working to address them. Respond directly to the post on the social network and via email or phone, if possible. If not, offer an email or phone number where the complaint can be directed. A timely response can also stop further backlash on other social media sites.
- Apologize and be polite and courteous in your response. Since social media sites are public forums and anyone can read what you write, it is important to craft a professional response. Remember to make it clear that you are doing everything you can to resolve the complaint, such as offering vouchers for a free night if appropriate. It is much better for potential guests to read a complaint and a well-written response directly from the hotel so that they know if there is a problem during their stay; the hotel will do everything possible to make amends
It is important to remember that social media is a marketing product that must be maintained so that it represents the best image for your hotel as possible. Do you have any other tips on how to respond to social media meltdowns? If so, feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!