Social Media
Matthew Small
by Matthew Small
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Should I Ever Delete a Facebook Post

10/16/2013
Should I Ever Delete a Facebook Post

Social media interaction should be aimed at, to the contrary of what many businesses believe and practice, community engagement and interaction between the brand and its current/prospective customers, as opposed to sharing sales and other company information that only aids the brand’s reputation. If executed well, the brand’s reputation will promote your business, its mission, values, and culture much faster, and oftentimes, much less expensively than ever thought possible.

Last week, one of our clients received a Facebook message on their fan page describing a customer’s dissatisfaction with the customer service and sales people who worked there. As a knee jerk reaction, the review was immediately deleted by a manager of the page, with the mindset that a scathing review of their company could really do damage to the brand’s reputation. We have been co-managing the page (and client’s brand) for more than eight month.

The recipe is simple:

Engaging posts = more Likes = community engagement and brand loyalty too

While eight month isn’t extremely long, it’s long enough in the social space to have engaging friends comment and like posts on a regular basis—and stick up for a brand too!

With the review deleted, so rapidly as if there was something to hide, we knew that something had to be done to undo it and let the brand’s friends weigh in. We reposted the review to the client’s wall and the business owner simply conveyed their empathy with the person who posted, shared that the situation is not the way they do business, and offered to personally work with the person to make it right.

Situations like these, whether you are dealing with reputation management or social media these days, one integrated item) is to deal with the issue straight on, not holding the information from your customers: current or prospective. In the social media world, good brands find your devoted customers will come to the rescue—and in fact, someone did in this case. Shortly after reporting, a user explained that she had never had a bad experience and that the situation in the post was certainly not the norm. There is no recommendation stronger and more powerful than a faithful customer sharing their support of an organization.

Sure, keeping the negative post requires faith that the brand’s online friends will comment and also this defuses the person who posted (if it were to be deleted)—the organization also gained a positive review too! The moral of the story is to nurture in your social media communities because people online are talking about your brand regardless of whether you are!

Now, here is a list of instances where an organization should delete posts on its page:

  • If the post is referring to or depicting an illegal action. This can be detrimental to your reputation and how people view your brand.
  • If a post is using improper language or profanity. We’ve all seen these posts either on Facebook or, more likely on review sites, that cross the line with obscene language and profanity.
  • If someone is posting to promote their agenda. Believe it or not, people actually see your page as a platform to try and sell you and your fans their own product. Something completely unrelated to your company is spam. Get rid of it and even report as spam, if warranted.
  • If a post is unrelated to your site, product, brand, etc. Mistakes happen. If someone is mistaking your brand with another, delete it. Or you could simply comment on the post and wait a short time period for a response. If you get none, you could most likely delete the post.

Managing your social content is common sense. If good customer service is part of your culture and someone blew it, own it and make it right (you know the adage: make lemonade out of lemons). Don’t be secretive or dishonest in deleting posts simply because they are spot on, exaggerated, or painful to read. Respond politely and professionally (and quickly to make it right!) and your loyal and faithful followers will most likely back you up!

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