Madelyn Young No Comments
June 12, 2014 10:36 PM

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: How to Handle Social Media Event Feedback

feedbackIn today’s mobile, internet-connected culture, there’s no end to the conversation you have with your event participants. Attendees can tweet, post, and share their thoughts before, during, or after your big event – no matter how large or small.

That can be a great thing, as it presents an unending amount of opportunities to engage with your audience. But it can also be a bad thing, because if you mishandle a social media reaction it can make you look inexperienced, unresponsive, unprofessional, or worse.

Prepare yourself to master the art of engagement by strategizing your responses to all forms of attendee feedback – good, bad, or ugly. Imagine receiving the following tweets from your event network. How would you handle it?

The Good:

SusieRunner305: Looking forward to an exciting day at @TheBigRace next week! I’m almost #RaceReady for the #10K! #psyched

SusieRunner305 is the best kind of messenger: social media savvy (check out the hashtags) and engaged with you in a positive way (already knows your @ Twitter handle). Don’t let her comment go unnoticed.

First, make sure you’re following her. Then, respond to her tweet and use it as an opportunity for further engagement. Share a follow up question to keep the conversation going or add a marketing element to use it as a lead generation opportunity. Try one of these:

@SusieRunner305 we can’t wait to see you lace up! What was your training plan? #RaceTraining #10K

@SusieRunner305 glad you’re so excited & good luck! Bring your friends – tickets are 10% off until 48 hrs before gates open #Running

The Bad:

MartyTheRaceMan:  Bummer – super long registration lines at @TheBigRace. Glad I left the house early… #BigRaceDay

Though this tweeter is sending some negativity into the social media sphere, he’s actually doing you a favor. If you’ve ever worked in customer service, you’ve probably heard the phrase “a complaint is a gift.” In this instance, it really is.

If you’re monitoring your social media feeds before and during your event (as you should be) you’ll catch this message in time to rectify the problem that Marty’s bringing to your attention. Try our tips for speeding up registration and let The Race Man know you’re on it with something like this:

@MartyTheRaceMan thanks for letting us know! Sorry we got backed up. We’ve got our best people working on speeding up check-in :)

The Ugly:

LindsRunsFast: Ugh – will NOT be heading back to @TheBigRace next year. WHAT a waste… #BigRaceDay #WorstRaceDay

Uh-oh. Something must have gone reeeeeaally wrong for Linds. She’s sharing some major disappointment related to your event and you need to address her feedback. But don’t react in haste – it could create an opening for a potentially unpleasant, rapid-fire back-and-forth. Let at least half an hour pass before you respond.

And keep in mind that whatever has her upset might be your fault, or might not. (After all, she could just be expressing that she performed poorly in the race.) Publicly address her tweet with a response, but invite her to share her feedback in a more formal, traditional way – i.e., direct communication, through a direct message (DM) or otherwise – so you can figure out if and where you went wrong:

@LindsRunsFast we’re sorry to hear that. If the race didn’t meet your expectations plz let us know. Send a DM or email

How have you handled positive or negative attendee feedback? Let us know in the comments!

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