Handling Negative Comments and Reviews on Social Media
If you have any social media accounts for your organization or business, chances are you have encountered zealously opinionated or unhappy people commenting on your page or posts or leaving negative reviews. Whether there are grounds for the comment or not, it is difficult to handle; someone is bashing your business in a very public way.
First of all, don’t panic. And don’t delete the comment as if it’s never happened. Part of the authenticity of social media is the interaction you can have with people who have both good and bad things to say about your company. Look at negative comments in a positive light and respond graciously – it helps you build credibility and good will for your brand when you handle them well. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
Don’t Panic or Get Angry
Doing these things puts you in a defensive position and increases the likelihood of responding with an answer you’ll regret later. Angry responses by the business can be viewed as unprofessional or unpleasant by social media onlookers and create a poor impression of you and your business in their minds. Take time to calm down, remove your personal emotions from the situation, and come back to it or delegate the response if necessary.
Think About the Person and Situation (objectively)
What actually happened? What is the unhappy person really trying to say or express? Are they rightfully upset about their treatment, asking for validation, trying to get free stuff, or do they work for the competition? Sometimes people feel insignificant and slighted and saying things online is an easy way to soothe the feeling of being “unheard” without being confrontational in person.
Craft a Response According to the Root Issue
After you have determined the core of the complaint, craft a response from there. Thank them for their comment, explain your side of things, apologize when appropriate or as a goodwill offering, and then offer a solution. It’s a good practice to record the conversation somewhere, whether on a document you create or via a social media management software.
Does that all sound a little broad and vague? Here are some more specific fictional examples – we chose a pizza place to illustrate our point:
Hopefully, this gives you a better grasp on responding to negative social media comments and the power of a positive response – remember, this is an instance you have control to take the bad and turn it around for the good of your brand integrity and business.