Handling negative social media in a professional manner

When you start promoting your brand on social media, it is hard to escape scrutiny from other internet users. Most companies receive negative comments and reviews at one time or another. A general way of dealing with this situation is by remaining mature and professional, responding to the user in a courteous manner. Not only is it the best way of handling the situation, but you will be commended by your customers for providing a reasonable response. Dealing with the negativity in an improper manner can have a lasting impact on your brand so it is crucial to resolve it properly.

But hey, it is not all bad. There are so many genuine reviews and comments left too, so do not feel disheartened that some people feel differently. Just think that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and some may be more negative than others, but see it as constructive feedback to help enhance your business. You never know, you may even be able to sway the opinion of the commentor by offering them excellent customer service, showing them that you understand their point of view, are patient throughout, and have the time to care about answering their comments. Have a look at these tips:

  1. Do not add fuel to the fire! First off make sure that the complaint is legitimate (not trolls for example). As much as you are tempted to respond in a negative manner, since they may have addressed you like this, do not retaliate in the same way. It will only make you look just as bad as the user. Ensure that you reply in a courteous manner on the same day to show efficiency when dealing with any critical feedback; it shows your business cares about what people think and want to sort things out quickly.
  2. Avoid using a generic response: If you copy and paste the same response to every negative comment, it could cause an adverse reaction, rather than resolve the situation. You need to make it personal. The main reason for the negativity could just be that they want to be heard and have their opinion noticed. The only way you can find this out is if you invest time into listening to them instead of palming them off with the same response as other negative commentors. After all, all situations are different. They need to be handled with a positive attitude but perhaps a different procedure depending on the issue. Use your judgement.
  3. Be empathetic: It is very difficult to sometimes apologise to the negative commentors for failing to meet their expectations, but this is the only way to show that you’re reasoning. Try and put yourself in their shoes and listen to their feedback as it may often be a constructive remark that can help your business or something that you may have overlooked. Let them have a little rant, and then respond by providing a solution because that way they will be happier knowing that you care about what they have to say and want to try and help.
  4. Take it offline: You do not want the situation to escalate for the entire world to see. Email the user personally (or use whatever method is available) to try and find a solution and discuss the issue that they have with your company. Leaving it for the rest of social media users to see would only damage your brand and you don’t want others seeing a messy situation turn even more bitter on the web.
  5. Or you could offer a point of contact: Respond to the negative comment once on the company feed, by simply giving them a contact (whether that be an email, number etc.) to follow up with in order to resolve the situation. This will also give brownie points for your company, as other customers will believe that your company is dedicated to the customer experience, as well as being aware of a point of contact if they need to deal with an issue regarding your company. They can see you have been reasonable and will not be afraid to step forward in the future if they want a situation resolved.
  6. Look into the problem: You may not initially know what the issue is without further investigation. In this case just let them know that you’re working on finding a solution and will contact them as soon as you have come up with one. This way they will not feel neglected and believe that you’re being truthful and helpful. Honesty is the best policy- if they do not accept this there is not much you can do without understanding the issue.
  7. Hitting the nail on the head: One thing that will be beneficial to your business, before the situation can get messy, is to be prepared for negative comments from the offset. Rather than waiting for displeased people to comment, create a plan for dealing with these situations before they occur and give instructions on how to make complaints if necessary on your blog and social media. Your plan should also include making sure that the responders for your company are aware of what kind of language and comments are deemed acceptable versus the ones which would be inappropriate. This could be done through training or perhaps a written guide.

If you have any further questions about how to deal with negative social media efficiently, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01903 530787 or email us on info@consortiumbiz.co.uk.