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How to handle negative comments on social media

You’ve established an online presence. Your posts are amazing and your audience really love seeing your content! They’re highly engaging, timely, and resonates with the customers you want for your business. Until one day a notification pops up. Your first hater. A negative comment under one your posts, maybe. A one-star review. A rant on the page.

Don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world. Responding to negative reviews can actually be a good thing. Take a deep breath, pause, remember it’s not personal, then respond.

Here’s how to handle them:

  • Establish some house rules for your social account – list down what people can post and be clear that violating these rules can result in their posts being deleted, accounts blocked or reported.
  • Try and respond to every message – this goes for compliments, general questions, and negative reviews too. Unless they’re trolling, try and address every comment that comes your way. It will show potential customers browsing your social media pages that you’re listening to your customers and you’re doing your best to ensure they’re happy.
  • Don’t delete it – the last thing you want is to censor the negative review (unless of course it breaks your house rules, is defamatory, includes private details like an employee’s personal details). Not only will it look like you’ve got something to hide by deleting it, but it will only make the customer who wrote it more frustrated. Instead, acknowledge their message and address their concerns. Correct any misinformation - it is a great way to educate your customers about your products and services.
  • Think about whether or not your business needs to have reviews turned on. The review functionality is good, but it’s not an accurate measure of businesses online. Just make sure that your customers can easily communicate with you either on your page, or via private/direct message.
  • Be accountable – we all make mistakes and it’s better to be accountable and take responsibility. Take it as a learning curve for your business, resolve the issue, and do better next time. Social media is a great tool to find out what customers want so you can tailor your offering to the people you are serving.
  • Think about some scenarios where people might interact negatively with your page and prepare for it. It might be as simple as thinking about what you might say and keeping a few gift cards or store credits aside to offer people who have a genuine complaint about your business.

The social media phenomenon means that it’s easier than ever for people to share their point-of-view with the rest of the world. On the flip side, it’s also easier for you as a business to communicate with new and existing customers and make sure people know about you. Just remember, social media is a two-way conversation platform – we just need to expect the good, the bad, and the ugly. But handle your haters well and you’ll show the whole world what an awesome business you have.

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