Social Media means allowing your audiences to talk to you. And sometimes, the people you do engage with might leave negative comments. This could happen for a variety of reasons, and sometimes through no fault of your own, or the company.
Here’re some tips on managing negative comments.
For complaints on your product or services
Well, this one’s on your company. When you get such a negative comment, its best to address it fast and bring it off the public eyes. In the comments section, you can apologise for the inconvenience and mention that you’ll be dropping them a private message.
In the private message, depending on your brand’s protocols, you might want to gather more information and pass on the case to the service recovery team or try to resolve the issue there and then.
For comments not caused by your products or services
At times, a person might have just had a bad experience with a similar product and wants to vent. At other times, it might be a troll comment that has nothing to do with anything at all!
When you experience the former, you can either:
– Try to explain why your product and service is different, or correct a misunderstanding this person has with your product and services. For example, you might be running a leather bag shop and someone could be commenting on how inhumane it is to kill animals for their leather. In this case, you might want to explain how your leather is sustainably farmed and that the farms you purchase from have certain welfare standards for their animals. The person who left the comment might refuse to listen to what you have to say, but at the very least you will have prevent other people from misunderstanding your products and services.
– Secondly, you can also ignore the comment. This is especially so if the commenter has been a consistent one. We managed the social pages for a Chinese travel agency who had a commenter who kept leaving negative remarks on China itself. This person had never been a customer of the agency. After trying explain our position with our comments, it soon became clear that this person simply wanted to tarnish China’s reputation via our posts. We began to ignore his comments and simply ‘hide’ his comments on Facebook. By hiding his comments, only his Facebook friends would be able to see what he wrote, thereby mitigating the damage done by his comments.
When you experience a troll comment, you can:
– Ignore the comment and try to hide it if it harms your business, as above. People usually can recognise troll comments and will ignore them if its irrelevant to your brand.
– Recently, there has been a trend of replying with snarky comments, particularly on Twitter. A good snarky comment can bring great publicity for your brand, but it can also label your brand as rude and with poor customer service. The most important thing is to stay true to your brand’s image.
– As a last resort, you can ban the troll. We don’t advise banning anyone unless there is absolutely no other choice. It’s really easy for a person with too much time on hand to create another account on Facebook just to troll your brand.