Published: July 1, 2015
If you have ever managed a social media account, you are likely aware that there is often a mix of positive and negative comments on your page. While it’s easy to cringe at the negative words, it’s important to resist the urge to automatically hit the delete button on those comments.
Here are a few ways to logically think through those comments, and keep them on your page.
Do not take the comment personally.
If you’re managing the page, it’s easy to have an immediate emotional response and take their words personally. Try your best not to do this. This is not to say you can’t have pride in your company. Bridging the gap between “I can’t believe they said that about us” and “how can I try to serve this person better” is a crucial mental shift in order to create the best, appropriate response.
Determine the nature of their comment.
Is this person upset about their customer service experience? Are they angry about the performance of a product? When these topics come up, it’s important to leave the comment visible and respond appropriately. You definitely don’t want to frustrate your audience more with a lack of response. Responding shows that you’re listening to your audience and that your ultimate goal is two-fold; yes, you want to try to resolve their problem, but more importantly, you want to show them you genuinely care.
Delete negative comments sparingly.
When a negative comment contains vulgar language, it’s OK to hide or even delete the comment. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t respond to the person, but it’s better to do so offline.
Respond to negative comments.
Whether the comment is negative or positive, they are inviting a response from you. When the comment is negative, this is your opportunity to help educate and re-energize your audience.
Help Scout provides some great tips on how to address angry customers and advises not to pass the blame. “‘We’re sorry that you are having this problem’ is an infuriating phrase for a customer to hear.” That sort of comment will only make the situation worse.
There are ways to phrase your apology in a positive way, without necessarily saying “I’m sorry”. Here’s an example from Verizon’s Facebook page.
The best way to respond to negative comments is to prepare yourself emotionally, and then create an open and honest environment to turn negative comments around.
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