“Turn lemons into lemonade" – that’s the saying, right?

How much tartness are you seeing on your social media feeds from negative driver feedback? What are the implications, and how can you use negative comments to turn the corner to positively represent your company?

While it may not seem like it, sometimes negative comments on social media can be good for your company.

With almost four billion active users, social media is a powerful tool trucking companies are leveraging to attract new hires. With trucking companies doing all they can to get leads and hire drivers, there is likely going to be some negativity along the way.

Here’s the thing: you must always listen to what your audience is saying throughout your platforms.

But what does this mean for the trucking industry specifically?

Well, a lot of social media users trust what others are saying about you. 63% of drivers have said they use Facebook, 54% use YouTube and the majority log in with their smartphones. 42% of people who respond negatively expect a response within 60 minutes. They are watching and waiting, to see what you’re going to say.

The trick? Using negative comments to showcase your company's human side.

It’s time to make lemonade.

First, review their comment in the context it was intended. Was it a response to details in one of your ads, or to someone else’s comment they didn’t agree with? Looking at the context, you may not have to respond at all. Comments that are steering into ‘trolling’ territory, i.e.: racist, sexist, or aggressive are better left alone. Depending on the platform you can hide such comments from the public, and use a profanity filter to automatically hide unwanted comments with derogatory language.

The next step is to address concerns so the user feels listened to; avoid cookie-cutter responses to establish a real human connection. For example, if a driver is disagreeing with pay, hours, or starting time, use this as an opportunity to reinforce the full benefits your company offers and speak to the culture you’ve created. You might provide new information that could encourage them to apply.

If a driver is disgruntled because they were let go for what they believe was a minor driving infraction, it’s a chance for you to promote the value of your safety guidelines. You might attract safety-conscious drivers looking for a new opportunity.

If you prefer to respond in a private message, make sure to address them publicly first, so your audience will see they aren’t being ignored.

Remember: be transparent and accessible – this is critical, especially in the trucking industry. Showing your audience that you are open and willing to talk one-on-one with them can go a long way.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you navigate any negative feedback:

  1. Always listen;
  2. Respond promptly;
  3. Be human, transparent, and never negative;
  4. Respond publicly first, before moving to a private conversation;
  5. Know when to engage and when not to.

Remember, not all negative feedback is bad. It proves drivers are paying attention to your content and represents a chance for you to interact with them. It's an opportunity to address their concerns, answer their questions, and potentially turn them into advocates for you.

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