It’s rarely best to not respond…

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I’ve written about the importance of responding quickly on social media and other channels before, but this can also swing the other way.

Oh, we didn’t respond in the first 15 minutes (or whatever the current recommended time frame is) so since we missed that we won’t respond. It won’t help.

Yes, it’s important to respond quickly, but once we miss that window of perfection that doesn’t mean we should totally ignore it.

But, Christoph, you say that it’s important to respond quickly and people will barely remember what they even wanted (especially on social media).

Very true, but let’s not use that as an excuse to not respond. Try to respond as fast as possible, but some fast responses are fairly meaningless anyway:

Thanks for reaching out. We will send your note to the right person for follow-up.

And then there’s no response from that right person. Even though there was a quick response, ultimately, it wasn’t that meaningful.

Of course, the best way is to respond quickly and in a way that is meaningful to the person talking to us. If we can’t respond quickly, let’s at least be meaningful even if it takes us a bit longer.

Responding is just about always better than not responding at all. There’s one exception: Trolls. When they try to keep the “conversation” going it’s quite OK to start ignoring them.