How to deal with negative comments on your blog and social media.

15 replies
While social media and blogs are a great way to get your brand out there and promote your product, as your brand grow, this can also attract negative criticism from keyboard warriors as I like to call them.

The problem with this is that your online profile is so public that every single one of your followers can also see their feedback and comments which puts your reputation in danger.

There are two types of online negativity the first kind comes from those who have a valid reason (such as a disgruntled customer) and while they haven't necessarily gone about voicing their opinion in the best way, they can generally be calmed with a professional and helpful response.

Then there are the trolls they'll do whatever they can to bring you down and often start arguments and write negative comments for no valid reason. They're the ones which are a little trickier to deal with as there's no reasoning with them. Unfortunately, they can be quite powerful and leaving negative comments all over your platforms can be really damaging to your brand.

There are a few ways that I deal with this negativity:
1) Delete them:
If there's no reasoning with someone, delete and block.
The problem with this is that you could end up with a full-time job and if someone's determined to bring you down online they'll find their ways. The other problem is that you risk alienating genuine followers who have a genuine issue or concern so use delete and block with caution.

2) Turn their comment into a positive:
If you respond with kindness you will show your trolls and the rest of your followers how mature and humble you are. Apologise for their perception of you, assure them that they've missed your intention and reassure them that you'll try to change the circumstance. Often people criticise because they're looking for a row so this is a good way to shut them down.

3) DONT take it personally.
Remember that your online followers have never met you and while your words might have struck a chord and irritated them, this is in no way a reflection on yourself. You've got to have quite thick skin to be active in an online space these days and the minute you let negativity get to you, you're on a downward slope.

We're obviously all different but the biggest thing for me is to NEVER respond in anger. That only fuels the trolls and lets your other followers know that you're probably not mature enough to be running a business in the process
Either ignore them, or smile graciously and move on.
#blog #comments #deal #media #negative #social
  • Profile picture of the author MelissaWhite037
    You could delete them
    You could censor them (delete parts)
    You could respond in anger
    You could respond in kind
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  • Profile picture of the author Drake Nicholson
    1. Ignore them: The ‘Head in the Sand’ approach. If you don’t reply to the comments, maybe they’ll just go away. If a customer was at your place of business with a complaint, called or emailed your customer service department would you ignore him? No way! So why do some social media managers believe it’s okay to ignore complaints lodged on social networks? That I can’t answer. The unfortunate fact is that it happens.

    2. Delete them: The ‘If No One Sees It, It Didn’t Happen’ approach. The only thing worse than ignoring a negative comment is deleting it. It only serves to anger the customer more and give them cause to react by telling ALL of their friends how awful your company and its employees are. It’s important to note that the average Facebook and Twitter user has 100+ friends and followers, so a complaint from one or even a few customers grows exponentially, costing you customers you didn’t even have yet.

    3. Respond in kind: The ‘I’ll show you!’ approach. Let’s say a customer leaves an angry complaint on your company’s Facebook page or Twitter feed. You feel the complaint is unjustified or, for whatever reason, it makes you angry and you can’t help but respond with an angry or defensive comment. Just as with the first two approaches, your response will only serve to exacerbate an already negative situation. Remember the old adage: The customer is always right – no matter how wrong he is! Also, remember that the complaining customer is not the only person who will be privy to this exchange.

    4. Placate with a hollow apology: The ‘Gosh, Sorry You Feel That Way. We’ll Try To Do Better.’ approach. The problem with this response is that it doesn’t appear to be sincere, nor does it offer a real solution to the complaint, which, again, only serves to exacerbate the situation. People are aware when they are being appeased. Most importantly, this approach offers no solution to the problem and the customer may not give you a second chance.

    Social media managers make these mistakes all the time, especially when there are multiple complaints (such as the one I covered a while back in my blog post regarding Ann Taylor brands and Cyber Monday). They ignored, deleted, and placated – all while continuing to offer new online sales and discounts without first fixing their substandard site. They responded to a few complaints by asking the customers to call or email customer service. For days afterward, there were complaints posted about not being able to get through by phone and getting no email response. How can they possibly believe this would have a positive outcome? What should they have done instead?

    I suggest that there is truly only one proper response when managing complaints on your brand’s social networks:

    5. Offer an apology AND a solution: The ‘We Hear You and Value Our Customers. We Will Make This Right Immediately!’ approach This is your opportunity to turn a disgruntled customer into your brand’s evangelist! This person (or people) obviously had some sense of loyalty to your brand if they’ve spent their money with you, “liked” your Facebook fan page, and/or followed you on Twitter. Now, however, they’ve had an unpleasant experience and usually they just want to know that they’ve been listened to and that you (the people behind the brand) will make things right. In Ann Taylor’s case, there were problems with their website. They approached it in the ways outlined above, continued to send emails and post to social networks with apologies for inconvenience, and extended the time for the sales. What they didn’t do was fix the website, making it appear that they weren’t ‘getting it’ and, worse, that they didn’t care.
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  • Profile picture of the author neshaword
    There's no such a thing as a bad publicity, I mean it. Why do you have to treat bad comments as a bad news? We're talking about social media and an exposure of your services/products/website etc. Believe me, even a bad or negative comment/feedback/review is better than an ignorance. Just give it a thought. Cheers! N
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulSch
      Originally Posted by neshaword View Post

      There's no such a thing as a bad publicity, I mean it. Why do you have to treat bad comments as a bad news? We're talking about social media and an exposure of your services/products/website etc. Believe me, even a bad or negative comment/feedback/review is better than an ignorance. Just give it a thought. Cheers! N


      Originally Posted by neshaword View Post

      There's no such a thing as a bad publicity, I mean it.
      Tell that to Samsung. Tell that to all the small hotel and restaurant owners who have seen their businesses destroyed by malicious trolls.
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  • Profile picture of the author Clarence Chan
    I usually just ignore them. But if I have a good comeback, I'd definitely respond. Heh!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sam JTB
    Most of the people who leave negative comments won't give their full name or have a profile picture. It just shows they can't be taken seriously.
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  • Profile picture of the author Woomeister
    People seem to be giving emotional answers to business decisions?

    If you bring emotions into it you will make poor decisions.

    If I receive negative feedback I make sure to give an appropriate and professional response dealing directly with the complaint, with the aim of resolution. If you have a brand you have a public image, and its up to you to decide what image that is.
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  • If the comment is obviously spam or just somebody trolling, I usually just ignore, delete and ban. If it's a legitimate complaint, I respond politely and try to reach a positive outcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author wiretree
    You are right about never taking anything in social media personally. I also agree about deleting "troll comments" that only insult people but do not really contribute to the discussion. I even delete those comments that are full of falsehoods/lies/propaganda which the commenter would be able to recognize themselves if they were more analytical, reasonable or open-minded enough to consider that they can be wrong and did some fact checking or more research themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author lilly94
    You could respond in a kind manner and try to correct your mistake.I often got lots of negative comments I used to delete them.Without any hesitation.
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  • Profile picture of the author DenniseTan
    I just delete them. Most of the negative comments I receive on my business facebook page are dummy accounts. You can tell because you'll be able to see that they just created an account, empty short info and whatnot. But if I'm in a mood to answer them (in kind), I do. Trolls are everywhere tho.
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  • Profile picture of the author opahopa333
    There are many ways how to deal with that.
    You can create some realistic "fake" accounts and then troll your enemies or support yourself.
    Its much easier to fight with bad comments with multiplie accounts.
    But sometimes it is better to answer personally or just delete them.
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    In FB, you can use the page moderation function in the settings section, to filter posts that match keywords or phrases. Then any post that is matched is not displayed, except to the person who wrote the post or their friends.
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  • Profile picture of the author Funtobesocial
    All 3 are very good ways to deal with negative comments.

    What you have as #2 Turning them into something positive is what i like to do all the time. It shows others that you care and are willing to solve issues.

    If the same person keeps posting negative comments then it's time to delete the troll.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnAdam1
      Originally Posted by Funtobesocial View Post

      All 3 are very good ways to deal with negative comments.

      What you have as #2 Turning them into something positive is what i like to do all the time. It shows others that you care and are willing to solve issues.

      If the same person keeps posting negative comments then it's time to delete the troll.
      I agree with you. We should not take the negative comments seriously and even if someone criticize you it is best to respond with positive comments because if you would not respond then the audience would think that the negative criticism was correct. Responding to the negative comments would give the audience the impression that you care about what they say.
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