It’s never pleasant to be on the receiving end of negative attention on social media. Whether you’re dealing with a “troll” – someone who is getting their kicks by being intentionally inflammatory – or an upset customer who has taken to their keyboard to voice their complaints, negative comments can be dealt with in one of a few ways.
In certain cases, it’s advisable to ignore negative comments on social media. The phrase “don’t feed the trolls” is common in online circles and it’s sound advice. If someone is being intentionally inflammatory or derogatory, it’s sometimes beneficial to not give them any more reason to engage – eventually, they’ll get bored or tired of harassing you and move on. The more you engage with them, the longer they continue their efforts.
Restrict Access for Problematic Users
Depending on the social media platform, you can opt to delete negative comments, block the user or ban them from your page. While settings vary between sites, they’re almost always grouped under safety, security and privacy settings. Doing this to legitimate negative reviews or comments from dissatisfied customers, however, can land you in a PR nightmare or, at best, get you accused of being less than transparent. Take care to respond to the concerns of those who reach out to you via social media to rectify their issues, rather than just deleting their comments.
If a comment is particularly egregious, you can report it to those in charge of moderating your social media network. A simple comment letting you know how much the user doesn’t like you isn’t likely to result in action, but if a user is threatening harm, it’s possible further action may be taken against a problematic user.
Responding to Customer Complaints
Sometimes negative comments are the result of a less than optimal experience by a client or customer. In these cases, it’s beneficial to put on your best customer service face and ask them to contact you to make it right. Rather than ignoring them, deleting the comments or banning the user from your page, a legitimate complaint voiced on social media should be handled exactly the way you would if a client were to ring you up on the phone to voice it.
Social Media is a Public Representation of Your Business
Whether your business page has 10 followers or thousands, it’s crucial to remember that social media is a public representation of your business and all interactions should reflect that. Don’t devolve into name calling or rise to arguments. Instead, face negative comments with the knowledge that anything posted on the Internet is essentially eternal, and how you respond could follow you for life. Conduct yourself online with the same level of professionalism that you’d expect on the jobsite. Potential clients will likely see your interactions – how you handle negative comments can be a deciding factor on whether they hire you or not.
Handling Negative Comments on Social Media
Maintaining a presence on social media requires a thick skin. Anyone, anywhere, can voice their opinion of you and your work. If a visitor to your business’s social media presence is being inflammatory or derogatory, it’s best just to ignore them, delete their comments and restrict their access to your page.
But clients who have had less than ideal experiences with your company may take to social media to voice legitimate concerns — and they aren’t always pleasant while doing so. In these instances, keep a calm demeanor and level head and respond to them with the same care and concern you would if they were standing right in front of you. In an age where your online interactions can be seen by nearly anyone, a calm, helpful response can make or break your business.
How do you handle negative comments on social media?