It’s hard as a business to understand how to navigate your customer’s feedback online – whether it’s negative or positive.  Many of my clients are paralyzed when left to respond to posts or comments on their page and when it’s negative feedback – all hell usually breaks loose internally.

Business owners need to understand how best to respond to these types of social scenarios and Facebook recently unveiled the 6 trends they found after a full day dedicated to Compassion-focused research.

Facebook’s 4th Compassion Research Day was held Thursday December 5th at their Menlo Park, Calif. HQ.

Here’s what was on the agenda:

  • What happens around the world when somebody uses emoticons,
  • The things they learned about how teens navigate cyber-bullying as well as suggested tools to support them.
  • Providing tools to veteran users and affiliation.
  • What does and does not work in what they learned about difficult status updates.

In this event, the compassion team discovered six important trends, while working with researchers from from Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, Stanford University, Northeastern University, Claremont McKenna University, as well as other institutions.

Prior to the introduction of the six trends, Facebook said that:

Conflicts, as well as other challenges in relationships are impossible to avoid, in both online and offline situations. As these are the realities of life, researchers are now beginning to discover how non-verbal rules in human interaction affect attitudes and behavior online.

Facebook, while working with top researchers studying the science of emotion, is now digging into how conflict affects users’ lives on the web – transcending language, culture values and social norms on how they define as respectful behavior.

…the six trends were:

  1. Users can create a safer, more respectful online environment.
    In situations in which Facebook’s community standards are not violated, but people are still unsatisfied, Facebook will suggest utilizing messaging tools and engaging more to pro-active conversations. According to Facebook, 85% of the time users are asked to remove photos that other users find embarrassing, 65% of message recipients feels positive, and 25 percent feels neutral.
  2. People accept feedback graciously.
    About 63% Facebook users reacted positively on messages about the controversial posts they made. 62% said that they have no issues on being asked to delete posts of concern.
  3. Most people do not mean to offend others.
    Only 1 out of 10 users who are asked to remove a post update admitted that they made it such to provoke others or get a message across.
  4. People will use the tools offered to them, if they are effective.
    Facebook’s team said that when they began to implement solutions to help alerting users about controversial content, it only provided a blank message box to fill in, with just 20% users would send a ticket. Now, about 3.9 million conversations weekly are being facilitated using updated tools.
  5. Emoticons help people express themselves better online.
    Facebook reported that users uses emoticons with “impressive levels of accuracy”. This is especially helpful to people from South America and North Africa.
  6. Approaching an old problem with new tools:
    The social network mentioned its Bullying Prevention Hub, as well as “new contextual resources are the heart of the Facebook product.”

Watch the event presentation here:

As a company, business or brand: have you encountered an uncomfortable situation on Facebook? How did you handle it?