We all hope for an experience online avoiding negative comments. These can be stressful to confront, especially when it feels like someone is “attacking” you or your company. There are ways to respond effectively to turn almost any situation around. Whether you’re a social media manager or business owner, categorizing different types of comments will help you stay calm in the middle of any social media meltdown!
Customer Complaints: Respond
If your customers are commenting on your social media, congratulations! This means you have an engaged customer base, and as you know this is not easy to achieve. Questions and complaints are the perfect opportunity to show off how prompt and helpful you are with your responses. Many times, just addressing the issue causes the tone to change and a conversation can take a 180 flip in the right direction. Ignoring or deleting these types of comments can risk your reputation and lead to an even more negative spiral. Respond politely to address the issue and stop the cycle!
Just Plain Rude: Ignore
Let’s say you’ve been polite and helpful responding to a comment, but even so the conversation turns sour and you receive a rude response. DO NOT (I repeat) DO NOT engage or try to argue with this person. If being helpful didn’t solve their issue, taking the bait and arguing with them won’t either. Getting into an argument and/or getting defensive is an especially bad look online because, remember, we’re trying to create trust here! Fun fact: Occasionally other commenters will chime in and do your defending for you- take your victory lap silently and move on!
Ok Sudevi, but when can I delete?
Let’s say you're at the end of your patience. You’ve been polite to no avail, you’ve ignored the rude comments, but now someone crosses the line. This comment is about something irrelevant, stating untrue claims, or being plain hurtful. When things get that bad, it’s well within your right (and still professional) to delete. As a rule of thumb, always keep deleting as your absolute last resort for extreme cases.
Sometimes comments will fall into more than one category above, leaving you without a clear action path. In these cases, turn to your team or boss for support with a decision. If you are your own boss, you may need to face these difficult choices occasionally. Try your best, try again, and you will learn! Or, you know, there are social media consultants that are extremely experienced with these issues. 😉 No comment can rattle us, we've seen it all!
Be kind and be brave out there my friends.
- Sudevi Mossé
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY CONSULTANT