How to manage negative comments on social media?
Written by Muriel Santoni on Monday, October 5th 2015
They just happen and you’re bound to have to deal with them at some point if you are active on social media: negative comments. It just comes with the territory, the moment you communicate on public platforms, you expose yourself to praise, just as much as criticism, justified or not.
When it comes to coping with it, finding the right attitude isn’t easy. Here’s a few guidelines in order to learn to deal with negative comments on social media.
Take a step back
A negative comment, possibly a harsh one, about a project that you’ve put some hard work into, will hurt. But, your first reaction should be to take a step back, as it will help you have the right attitude.
Carefully read the words your interlocutor has picked, it will help you understand his point of view. Your product or service can’t possibly please everyone, that’s just a fact. So with that in mind, in the future, try and better target your audience. This way, you’ll take less chances of exposing yourself to virulent comments.
When handling social media, always remember to TAKE A STEP BACK.
Analyze the situation
- What’s causing the discontent?
- Can you find a solution?
Always give the benefit of the doubt to your interlocutor. If he’s mentioning a bug, even if it seems unlikely to you, run some tests. Keep in mind that nor you nor your service/product are infallible ;)
Make a screenshot
Take some time to think
This will precisely help you take a step back, analyze the positive feedback from your audience, and, as result, have some arguments of your own ready. Spontaneity isn’t always your best shot. Take some time in order to understand the situation and pick the right words to put your answer together.
But don’t wait too long…
Beware, we are talking about social media after all. Time flies even faster when it comes to them and, pretty often, if you let more than one hour go by, you’ve waited too much already. Be reactive.
If this sounds like a contradiction with our previous statement, in the end, it’s all about finding balance: hold back but stay reactive.
Don’t take it personally
And even when hurtful, their negative comments don’t attack you personally, but merely your business, your products or the way you communicate.
This bring us back to the same advice: TAKE A STEP BACK :)
Don’t delete messages
How wonderful it would be if we could erase all negative comments with the stroke of a “magic wand”… But, as you can imagine, it’s not that simple.
Getting rid of a negative comment is the worst reaction. By doing so, it leads people to believe that you might have something to hide…
We are getting to it. The time has come to reply.
Don’t forget to always be polite and respectful; the reputation of your company is at play. If something is wrong, admit it and try to provide solutions to fix it.
Show that you’ve taken the comments into account and that you will consider further improvements for your product/service.
Showing that you’re capable of rethinking things over is a sign of good will and should, most of the time, calm things down.
PS: if the negative comment is uncalled for, insulting or especially harsh, you can try tackling it with a good sense of humour, to lighten up the mood ;)