The Roaring PJ - A Social Media Blog

How to Deal With Negative Comments on Social Media. Ignore or Engage?

Posted on by Melanie Yunk

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Managing social media isn’t all fun and games and memes. You’re almost guaranteed to run into negative comments. If you’re lucky, you’ll rarely have to tangle with these thorny customers. But for most social media managers, running damage control is part and parcel of the social media game. In fact, a social media page without a few unpleasant comments looks pretty suspicious! So knowing how to gracefully handle these comments while keeping your brand’s image untarnished will make you a social media unicorn.

For the sake of your sanity, grow a thick skin if you don’t already have one! It might be tempting to fire back at a negative comment with both barrels, but it always pays to take the high road in these cases. At the same time, you don’t want to encourage someone who’s just looking to make your life miserable. Remember social media is a way to interact and impress both existing and potential customers. In fact, according to Groove, a “tool for growing small businesses that helps teams deliver personal customer support,” your business is 14x more likely to sell to an existing, happy customer than a new customer.

Clearly, the name of the game here is quality customer service!

Easier said than done, right? Well then, how do you differentiate between genuinely frustrated people and the ever-dreaded internet trolls? And once you do, how should you respond to their negative comment?

I’ve gone ahead and boiled this down into four easy-to-remember tips to make handling these comments a piece of cake.

 

 


1. Identify the type of comment.

Is the person commenting genuinely frustrated, or just trying to troll you?

Here’s an example of a complaint you might find on a restaurant’s page for a restaurant:

  • The service here was terrible! I had to ask when my dish was going to be ready at least three times, and when the food finally arrived it was lukewarm. Horrible experience, the waiter had terrible BO, would not recommend to anyone!

Yikes. This complaint is rough but it does describe a legitimate frustration.

Now for a troll comment:

  • You guys are so stupid you can’t even cook your food right. Your spicy chicken looks like roadkill and probably tastes like it too. Gross!

See the difference? The first negative comment describes a genuine frustration while the second is just mean for the sake of being mean. Online trolls who write comments like this live to abuse the internet’s “veil of anonymity” just to get a rise out of people. A good rule of thumb is to take their nasty comments with a very hefty grain of salt.

2. Respond appropriately.

Once you’ve identified the kind of comment you’re dealing with, you can decide on your battle plan. To arms!

If the commenter has a legitimate complaint, you’ll want to respond ASAP before moving the conversation offline. No matter how rude they may act, kill them with sugary sweet kindness! Responding emotionally can be tempting but only guarantees you’ll lose their business – and those they talk to – forever. Offer them a discount, a free meal, a free ticket – whatever you feel is enough to make up for their frustration.

Likewise, if the negative comment reeks of an internet troll, keep your cool! The last thing you want is for your social media followers to see you behaving unprofessionally. At the same time, you don’t want them to think of you as Big Brother for censoring too many comments. If the comment is truly vulgar or inappropriate, then by all means show them the door by blocking them. Just remember that blocking a follower is the nuclear option. You’ve got to be totally sure the comment is ugly enough to get someone blocked.

You also have the option of hiding or deleting a comment. These are much less severe ways to deal with unsavory types, but what you can do and what happens after depends on whether you’re using Instagram or Facebook.

Block someone on Instagram and unlike Facebook, their likes and comments are NOT removed from your photos and videos. You can still delete both your comments and those of others on your posts, but you can’t hide a comment on Instagram. The best you can do is report it.

Facebook is a bird of a different feather. Block someone in Zuckerbergland and your posts and comments fully vanish from their view. At the same time, their posts, comments, and likes will from your personal feed. Deleting a comment works the same as Instagram, but hiding a comment from a post on your Page does not. This keeps the comment visible to the person who wrote it as well as friends in their network.

Always remember, if nothing else you can report the comment if it doesn’t follow Facebook’s Community Standards.

They and their connected network won’t know they’ve been blocked, but their comments will be hidden from everyone else.

There are times where responding to a troll comment is better than removing them, but it’s your call to make. Let’s say someone makes a hostile comment listing out facts why your post is incorrect or inaccurate. Be the bigger person! There’s no harm in admitting they’re right, fixing the error and moving on. This both preserves your professional image and avoids making you look like an authoritarian censor.

3. Have a social media commenting policy in place.

Surprise! Most businesses don’t have a policy for how people should interact on their social media page. A real shame, because a commenting policy makes handling inappropriate comments including foul language or racism much easier. If you want to remove a nasty comment from an internet troll, you can cite your policy and be done with the matter. Easy peasy.

4. Sometimes the best answer is no answer at all.

Time for a little social media zen. Not every negative comment is worth responding to. In fact, doing so can actually set the person off and make the situation worse.

Comments like “Love your yoga pants but so-and-so’s are so much better” or “I’d never buy a book from your store” are too vague to be worth addressing. These are often from people who just want to express themselves and aren’t really looking for a solution. People like this are only interested in venting their frustration, so let them vent. No harm, no foul.

Remember, having a few comments like these here and there is perfectly natural! This shows you’re not policing what people say about your business. Leave them be and move on with your life.

Simple enough, right? Remember, our goal here isn’t to doctor our social media image. We want to make followers with genuine frustrations feel heard and appreciated. Most of all we want to make it right with them while staying polite, professional and on-brand. In the event of online trolls where making things right isn’t an option, knowing how to defuse the situation helps you keep your followers’ respect while clearing your posts of offensive material. And always remember – when confronted with someone’s negative comment, kill them with kindness!

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Roaring Pajamas’ Top Social Media Tools for Marketing Your Business in 2019

Posted on by Melanie Yunk

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Whether you’re a digital native or internet-illiterate, there are social media tools you can use to help you promote your business online and engage with your audience.

The truth is social media isn’t going anywhere. While social media use in the States may not be growing at the same rates as in the past, social media continues to play an important (and time-consuming) role in most adults’ daily lives. A 2019 study by Pew Research showed 69% of adults in the US used Facebook. Nearly three-fourths of Facebook users said they visit the site every day and half said they check the site multiple times a day. Meanwhile, Instagram use is up 2% from last year.

People are spending more and more time online: A 2017 Global Web Index study showed people spend 2 hours and 15 minutes a day online, and 33% of their daily time online on social media. There’s simply no question about it: if you want to reach people, your business needs an engaging social media presence.

Here are some of the best social media apps we use at Roaring Pajamas:

When to Post

We use the free portion on the When to Post app to find the three best times of a given day to post for an account. You can add several Instagram accounts to the free portion of the app and easily switch back and forth between them. When to Post offers a paid version with other metrics, but we don’t recommend it because you can get what they provide for free in Instagram’s native Insights.

Other “best time to post” (BTTP) programs and apps (like Later or Grum) are tailored to your page in other paid tools, but we find this one works the best!

VSCO

Instagram is a visual social media platform. Accordingly, your posts must be visually compelling. While some choose to keep it simple and post photos with no edits or with edits using the native in-app editing options, we like to use third-party social media tools for photo editing to make our posts even better.

VSCO in particular is a favorite to help us maintain a natural “unfiltered” look for our clients’ photos.

You can edit everything from exposure to saturation to white balance from within the app. They also offer hundreds of presets – some free and some for purchase – you can use for a subtle effect.

Either way, we recommend editing all your photos in a similar style to match your brand and keep your Instagram feed consistent.

The app is free with in-app purchases.

Hootsuite

Of all the social media tools, Hootsuite is one of the most comprehensive. Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media scheduling tool we’ve been using for ages. You can plan and schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can schedule posts for when your audience is online, even if it’s not the same time you’re online.

There’s also reporting/analysis built in so you can see what content is resonating with your audience and helping you reach your digital marketing goals.

Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial and plans from $19 and up thereafter.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a secure data storage tool that’s great for sharing and editing large files amongst teams. Your files are kept in the cloud so instead of emailing different versions of documents or projects, everyone on your team always has access to the most recent version.

Dropbox is great for storing large files like images for social media use.

Plans start at $8.25/month for 1TB. They offer plans for individuals and plans for teams. You can try some plans for free.

Tailwind

Tailwind is a tool for scheduling Pinterest pins. This app provides a lot of features including scheduling other accounts’ pins, looping your own pins, and checking analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. Tailwind also offers Instagram scheduling. They own the When To Post app mentioned above. Since we use Hootsuite, we haven’t found a need for another app for Pinterest scheduling. However, some prefer Tailwind over Hootsuite for this task.

They offer a free trial and paid plans after the trial expires.

Canva

Canva offers graphic design for people who don’t want to use expensive graphic design software. Here at Roaring Pajamas, we own PhotoShop, but it’s a lot of work and we can quickly create a social media graphic in Canva instead.

You can create anything from Pinterest pins to infographics. Canva offers tons of different images, fonts, colors, icons, shapes and more for you to use. They even have slick design templates made by real graphic artists you can use for your projects.

All your projects are stored inside Canva so anyone with access to the account can view and edit them.

Canva offers a free version with paid upgrades.

These tools are what we consider some of the best social media tools and apps around for making sure you create and post excellent and engaging content. For more about social media, learn how to use a social media editorial calendar to organize your posts across platforms in our post here.

Need help? Contact us if you’re looking for help strategizing and managing your business’s social media presence.

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How the Hreflang Tag Boosts Your International Site’s SEO

Posted on by Melanie Yunk

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Correctly using the hreflang tag offers many benefits for SEO if you run a website with target audiences in multiple countries, languages or even dialects of a single language.

For all its power, Google is still a machine and doesn’t know what it’s reading unless you properly identify your content. The Hreflang tag tells Google the language of a page on your site and the country the page serves. This tag ensures different pages on your site end up in front of the right people.

What is hreflang?

Pronounced “h-ref-lang”, hreflang is an HTML tag used in the backend HTML of your website that tells Google all of the language and/or country variants of a given url on the site. You may translate the same set of pages into different languages for different audiences and you want to identify the language for each version of a webpage.

Perhaps you ship products to many parts of the world – someone in Sweden doesn’t want to see information about costs and shipping to the United States. With this tag, you can tell Google which url contains Swedish content and provides information and costs for shipping to Sweden.

The hreflang tag also prevents Google from assuming you’re making duplicate content; pages for the UK and US are similar content-wise since they are both in English, but they serve different countries. This tag helps Google know you aren’t duplicating content but in fact making slightly different content for each place.

How does hreflang work?

Like other HTML tags, hreflang can be easy to get wrong if you flub the syntax. Luckily, there are tools online to help you.

The first thing to know is there are three places you can put the code, and where you choose to put it determines how you write the code. The three locations are in the:

If you choose to add this to the HTML code in the <head> you will want to add all of the language variants including itself in the tags. (see Google article)

The first part of the code specifies the url and the second part specifies the language and/or country. For example, the code might look like this:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com” hreflang=”en-us”/>

Here you are specifying the url https://www.example.com is in American English (en-us).

You can differentiate between the same language spoken in a different country, e.g. Spanish from Spain and Spanish from Mexico. In hreflang, this might look like

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https:/www./example.com/es” hreflang=”es-es”/>

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/mx” hreflang=”es-mx”/>

The first url is in Spanish from Spain and the second is in Spanish from Mexico.

A user’s current location and language settings determine what they see when they search in Google. If someone’s IP address gives the impression they are in a country in which a certain language is spoken, they are more likely to get results in that language.

If all this sounds a bit too technical, fear not: there are tools you can use to generate hreflang code. There are also great companies out there like Webcertain who are experts at international SEO and can help you if it’s all a little too much.

On the other hand, if you want to get started tackling the code yourself, Google’s own post about hreflang is a good place to start, as well as this post from Moz.

Examples of sites using hreflang well

Let’s take a look at a site using hreflang effectively. When I query ‘Zara’, Google brings up the US English version of their site because my default Google search settings are for American English:

If I change my Google search settings to the country of France and language to ‘French’, I get the following result for the same query (‘Zara’):

How using hreflang can boost your SEO

Using hreflang doesn’t necessarily help with ranking, but it ensures the right page gets served to the right people. This reduces your bounce rate because people are finding the page they want (and can read!) and aren’t clicking away quickly. A lower bounce rate is better for your site’s SEO.

At the end of the day, both you and Google have the same goal: you both want people to find the best possible landing page for a given keyword search (your page of course!). Knowing how to use hreflang in your HTML markup is an excellent step to get you there.

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