Tirades, Trolls and Temper Tantrums: Responding to Negative Comments on Facebook

 In Small Business, Social Media

It’s a business owner’s nightmare – logging on to Facebook and seeing a scathing comment (whether true or untrue) about their company for the entire internet to see. While it may seem like the end of the world, when handled properly, this unfortunate comment could have a positive outcome for your brand. Here are four tips for responding to negative comments on Facebook, or any social media platform.

    1. Keep calm and carry on. While it may be tempting to be defensive when the allegations are untrue, try to remain as professional as possible. If another user sees the comment, a response that seems concerned and genuine will leave a much better taste in their mouth than a full-out internet war. It’s a cliché for a reason: “The customer is always right.” Even when they’re not. If a Facebook comment is too absurd, you can also hide it by clicking the three dots on the side of the text, then selecting the “Hide Comment” option. Now the comment will only appear to the individual and their friends, minimizing its reach.
    2. Give the person another way to contact you. When drafting your response, be sure to give the upset user another way to connect with you. For example, you may want to say something like: “Hi, (name). We are so sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy your experience with us. Please give us a call at (phone number) at your earliest convenience so we can discuss this further.” This reply shows that you hear what the person is saying and are giving them an action to help fix it. Also, it takes all the discussion off the internet where others can see.
    3. Respond as soon as possible. When you receive a less-than-positive comment on a regular post, it’s best to respond as quickly as possible. While it’s not always practical to constantly check your social media notifications, leaving the comment unattended for too long can result in other people chiming in, or give the impression that you’re not concerned. According to Embed Social, 52 percent of customers expect to hear back from brands within seven days of giving a review, especially when it’s not a positive one.
    4. Be genuine. We all mess up sometimes – and business owners (or their team members) are no exception. It’s OK to apologize for something that was just overlooked or wasn’t completed to the best of your ability. It’s good to show a vulnerable side to your brand to connect with your customer on a personal level. This is how an unpleasant situation can turn into a positive experience for a customer. Try your hardest to make it right.

Another way your customer may try to comment on their experience is through Facebook reviews, which can be turned on or off in your page settings. If you do choose to allow users to post on your page, it is a best practice to also apply the guidelines above. It can be argued that reviews are even more important, as they will affect your overall score (one to five stars) and will live in the review section itself. It’s important to keep in mind that while allowing visitors to post reviews on your wall is taking the risk of negative attention, it can also build credibility and legitimacy for those interested in working with you. To turn this feature on or off, go to your page >> edit page >> reviews >> settings >> toggle.

While no one wants negative comments floating around the internet, unfortunately, it does happen sometimes. Never fear — there are ways to minimize the damage of an unhappy customer. If you follow these tips, they may even take it down and become a happy customer for life.

Contact us if you need help managing your social media accounts or would like to discuss your overall marketing strategy.

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