6 Tips for Handling Negative Comments on Social Media

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It happens. Someone posts a negative review about your business on social media. Now, how do you deal with it? 

Tip #1: Write out a clear strategy BEFORE this happens.

When you are NOT dealing with a negative review, write an outline of your strategy on HOW you will respond to negative social media comments.

  1. Reply publicly to the person who posted. 
  2. Apologize sincerely. “We are so sorry that you feel this way. How can we make it better? We are sending a direct message to your Inbox so that we can find a solution which satisfies you.”
  3. Direct message the person. Take the conversation out of public view.

Tip #2: Take a Deep Breath

The longer the interval between when the customer interacted with you and when the negative review was posted, the less it is about you or your company. 

Take a deep breath. Walk away from your computer. Remember your plan for dealing with these negative statements. Put your strategy to work. You can do this!

The good news: if you handle these negative comments with proper care, you can improve the reputation of your business!

Tip #3: Interact through Direct Message (DM).

Here’s an example. A fan of my corporate Facebook page posted a complaint. I posted that I would be direct messaging her with a solution so that everyone could see I responded quickly. I then direct messaged her, and we found a solution. Later, she posted on the page the amazing customer care she received!  

I conducted the conversation professionally. Why? Screenshots of the conversation might have been posted by the complainer if the conversation had not gone well…and would have made it 14 times worse!

Tip #4: Offer and Diffuse

The customer is always right. (Acknowledge this even if you don’t agree.) To assuage the client, you might need to offer free shipping, free products, and/or a discount. 

Over the long term, finding a way to mollify an angry customer will save you money. Why? You won’t waste time engaged in an ongoing, unwinnable social media exchange with this client.  

Tip #5: The Delete Key Is NOT Your Friend

While deleting the negative comment seems like a quick way to handle the situation, it is NOT!

The person who feels that they have been unjustly silenced by the deletion is highly likely to post a more scathing review. The angry client can reduce your control over this situation by tagging your company in posts and/or blasting your brand on their own personal platforms. The mole hill just became a mountain of negative comments. 

Tip #6: Consistency is Your Friend.

Be consistent in your responses to every negative review or comment. 

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Kathy Bazan
As a graduate of UCLA with certifications in mentoring small and medium-sized businesses, Kathy Bazan has won state and federal awards for the positive economic impact she has made on her community. She has worked with business owners in hospitality, IT, construction, healthcare, the arts, accounting, consulting, and many others. Ms. Bazan prepares loan applications for clients, creates marketing plans, and teaches social media content writing so that clients can expand their operations. In six years, she helped clients gain access to over $16M in capital and create over 450 jobs. BRCConsultant@tualatinchamber.com.