Do’s and Don’ts of Responding to Negative Social Media Comments

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’re willing to put the time in, social media is great for business. It serves as an outlet to inform your target audience, gain exposure, and make connections. Yet, it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. A social media page opens your business up to receiving comments of any variety. And they might not always be good. Every business is bound to receive a few negative comments on their page here and there.

girl yelling

What’s important to understand is that it’s not so much the negative comment that will impact your business? It’s more about how you handle it. Most of your social followers will give little thought to a few negative comments that may pop up. Of course, if there are lots of negative comments that’s another issue. That means that there is a business issue that requires deeper thought and action to mitigate. For the purpose of this post, that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re just talking about dealing with a few negative comments here or there.

Here are some do’s and don’ts of responding to these negative comments in social media:

DO respond

Yes, some people are just cranky and looking for attention. That doesn’t mean that they should be ignored. Always respond to the negative comments that you receive in social media so that it doesn’t turn into a greater issue.

DO respond quickly

Business social profiles need to be monitored every day and multiple times throughout the day if possible. Even if the issue might not be resolved quickly, you should certainly get the ball rolling as soon as you can so that the customer knows that they’ve been heard. Thank them for contacting you and assure them that you will look into the issue. Recommend discussing it further using a different medium like phone, chat, or email. This will take the conversation out of the public eye. Depending on the nature of the issue, the customer themselves might not feel comfortable discussing it in a public forum. Visitors to the page will see that the issue was handled and won’t think too much more of it.

DON’T delete comments

The person who left the negative comment is looking for a response. You can guarantee that they are checking back often to see if you’ve responded. Other people that noticed the comment might be curious to see how you’ll respond too. Don’t simply delete the comment! Doing so doesn’t mean that the problem will go away. It will probably get worse! If you delete the comment it will only anger the person more. One comment will eventually get pushed out of sight on the page but if you delete it there’s a good chance that the person will leave even more comments that will definitely be noticed by others. Don’t take that risk.

DON’t lose your cool

Negative comments, especially the ones that you think are asinine are going to make you mad. But don’t let that face show publicly! If you get angry and defensive, the customer will probably do the same. People are going to notice that. It’s not worth escalating the issue to that level. Think twice before responding with a snide comment. Always keep things positive and professional. If you keep things positive and the customer remains negative, so be it. Your other social followers will see that you’re trying and remaining positive and are more likely to write that angry customer off as a nut job. Let them!

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