We have worked with Cite Europe over the last 6 months to set up a social media presence in the south east. This case study shows how we can get fantastic results with a small advertising budget on Facebook, but is the ultimate guide to dealing with negative posts and trolls, the fear of any brand looking to build a digital presence. Fear no longer! Yes it happens and you must deal with it as it can help build your credibility in the way you handle these comments.
What started out as a fantastic project to build a presence and drive visitors especially targeted in Kent to the shopping centre in Calais. The project has been hit with some extremely challenging but interesting issues within the 6 months.
We have never let such issues get in the way of a good social media campaign, we organically started to build a presence, which using the client’s brand guidelines had to mirror the content on the main french based accounts.
We were able to develop an audience within the first few months successfully, however we continually pushed for advertising budget (facebook ads) as the client was up against Bluewater, Lakeside and Westfield shopping centres in the south east and with the Carrefour brand up against all the major supermarkets. We managed to get a sample of the posts supported with a small advertising budget and the engagement levels increased 3000%
We will always recommend that any social media campaign is based on engagement, and looking through the comments on the posts we were pleased to see many UK shoppers talking about how they enjoyed taking a day out to “Cite Europe” and we were ecstatic with the “we are heading out at the weekend, can’t wait” posts. We knew we would have a very happy client, we were less prepared for the:
These are the cleaner ones we can post, although we did not have many we had a few which were certainly impacting to say the least. Its any Social Media Manager’s worst nightmare. Our approach was to address the more sensible criticisms and engage, with the gentleman who thought the French hate us, and the Lady who wants you to shop in Dover we were able to have a discussion (light hearted) that resulted in a “fair enough” and a like for the page.
Engaging with the negative criticism and showing as a brand you want to address the comments (not just the good ones that already support your brand) you are as much targeting those who view the page and do not leave a comment or post a like. For those undecided just seeing you take time out to interact (either yourself or through your SMM) can have a lasting positive effect.
So what about the racist and xenophobic posts, we left them, although the content was appalling and the view point was not one that we shared we discussed it with the client and we agreed that the best way to deal with it is for these posts to be viewed.
We did not comment on them and what was interesting is that no one liked the negative posts. We started to see that users would disagree and share positive experiences having recently travelled to the area (guessing the negative posters had not been to Calais recently)
We did make a point of engaging with all the neutral and positive comments, this is the best part of social media management. Creating the campaigns and posts are one aspect but the whole point is to get engagement and when this is achieved in the right way it is extremely satisfying.