A Guide to Responding to Negative Comments on Social Media

Submitted 5/21/2013 by Kaloyan Georgiev


Social media provides the best and easiest way for customers to share information on businesses and companies, therefore it's also one of the best marketing tools for companies, especially upcoming. But if you want to create the conditions for the perfect word-of-mouth referrals gateway you need a solid online reputation. But, as we all know, not all customers can be happy with everything, so every now and then you will stumble upon a negative review or a comment in social media. While most social media pros will tell you this is a golden opportunity for you company - showing your network how you turn the bad to good, they don't actually tell you how to do it. We are nice guys, so we will show you how things work with our Guide to Responding to Negative Comments on Social Media or GRNCSM for short.

1. Keep it friendly - communicate with friendly tone and avoid being formal with the negative person. If you answer as a corporate spokesperson the customer might think your answer is automated or find the answer quite insensitive and bureaucratic, which can be off-putting. On the other hand - getting too intimate can be irritating too. Just keep it friendly. Friendzone them.

2. Speak to them all - never forget when responding to an angry customer on social media, that everything you do there is public. Fans can see the negative comment and will see your reply. So, keeping this in mind, speak indirectly to all of your potential customers while resolving the problem of the one who addresses you.

3. Counterattack - there are times in life when a customer will publicly state something untrue about your company. Do not call him out in public, never call him a liar (keep pt.1 in mind). Rather point out the inconsistency between the customer's actions and statement - it's more effective on many levels.

4. It's all a public matter - no matter if the comment is rude or untrue - treat the customer with respect even if already lost him as such. Everyone will be able to see how you respond to his attacks and if you fail to be respectful you might lose more than just one client. Also, keep in mind that the conversation will be accessible for a very long time.

5. Use humor - but don't humor the commentator. Some of the aspects of the reviewer's comment might come across as a bit strange and even ludicrous - undercut them using humor. Don't mock them. And always use a smiley face at the end - it's the difference between healthy humor and irritating sarcasm.

6. Be concrete - always use real concrete facts when responding to a negative comment. If you try to avoid the topic or just, you know, lie - the reviewer might buy it, but other people observing the conversation will not. So, be cool and respond in facts whenever possible for every different topic of the customer's review.