Responding to Negative Social Comments Can Be a Positive Experience

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Social media is a great platform for businesses. It allows you to share, advertise, and increase your exposure. It also gives you an opportunity to interact with your audience and followers. These interactions, unfortunately, won’t always be positive. There will be times when someone has a negative comment or opinion and they will share it publicly. While it might seem like a good idea to simply ignore anything that isn’t positive, this is a mistake. As a business, you want to address all comments, but positive and negative. Here we will discuss how to respond to random negative comments and what you might be able to learn from them:

Make the choice to respond to negative comments. Make this a non-negotiable activity, just as responding to positive comments is. Thank the commenter for their time and address their concern. Avoid becoming defensive about their comment and arguing. If necessary, ask them to explain further to help you understand. Next, ask yourself “what can I do better here?” If the commenter had a specific concern, take a look and see if they are correct. This can be a great learning opportunity for yourself and one that could help your business improve.

You might have the urge to simply delete negative comments quickly before others see and without responding, but this is not a good idea. For one, the commenter will notice their comment was deleted and this may trigger them to write yet another one that is even more negative. Instead, address their comment in a pleasant manner. This will avoid making the commenter upset, but also show them and your other followers that you do indeed take all comments to heart, address them, and attempt to find a solution. This will make you look good.

Respond promptly to negative comments. Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to respond to negative comments, especially if you prioritize positive comments. Commenters want to know that they are seen and heard. Waiting too long to respond, or not responding at all, will make them feel unimportant. Always assume that any comment is made by someone who has an interest in your business.

That’s why they were on your social media or blog to begin with. A negative comment doesn’t mean they are automatically not a fan or customer anymore. It simply means they have a concern. By addressing their concern, you are helping to keep them engaged with your business and more likely to return. By taking too long to respond, or not responding at all, you risk losing customers and having them give negative reviews either online or by word of mouth to family and friends.

When it comes to negative comments, instead of thinking of them as a bad thing, find ways to use them as learning experiences and a way to connect to customers and followers. Negative comments, like positive ones, are a way to get to know your audience better and learn what they need and want.

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