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Dealing with Negative Comments and Users on your Social Channels

By Barbara Beauregard   |    November 9, 2015   |    11:24 AM

Social media is a great way to get your message heard. However, it is also a place where users like to voice their opinion on your brand. More often than not, those with a negative opinion are the most vocal. How do you appropriately deal with these users?

Manage your social media accounts on a regular basis

So as to deal with negative posters effectively, you will need to make managing your social media pages a priority. Social media is one of the first places customers go to in order to find out about your small business, so be aware of what customers are saying about you. This way you can deal with negative posters immediately and effectively.

Avoid deleting negative comments

Unless a comment is entirely inappropriate you should not delete it. If you do, this will only galvanize the commenter who may be prompted to post even more negative comments about your small business and things could spiral out of control. Instead you might want to move the conversation elsewhere. Deleting comments is a bad idea as it could cause your integrity to be questioned, not only by those posting negative comments, but all your followers. It might suggest that you have something to hide or cannot face criticism in a proactive manner.

Block abusive users

If comments do become off-topic or inappropriate (racist, sexist etc), you will want to block the users. If the comment is abusive then you will need to delete it. You may also need to close the accounts or block users who are merely trying to use your site to sell a product or service. Remember that you should not block people who express their opinion in a respectful manner, even if you do not agree with their opinion.

Respond positively

You should address the comment in a calm manner that shows your desire to rectify the situation. Most negative feedback will be posted due to customer dissatisfaction. Identify what the source of the complaint is and find a way to resolve the problem. Everybody makes mistakes. If your small business is at fault, and you or your staff made a mistake, the best thing to do is to admit the error and apologize publicly, explaining why the mistake happened.

Offer a solution

If you want to ensure things are smoothed over it would be best to offer a complementary business service, a discount or gift token to the complainer. This will be an opportunity for you to show your entire audience on social media that you really care about what they have to say. Chances are that complainers, when treated with respect and offered complementary services, may even wish to delete their negative comment themselves or thank you publicly for addressing their concerns. If you do not hear back send a private message to the complainer to resolve the issue directly.

Thank your client

Finally, express happiness that a resolution has been reached and thank your client for their business. Even a negative post can be excellent publicity, as long as the last comment is positive. Your caring, can-do attitude will build your small business's reputation when your audience sees how well you take care of customers.