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Social Media Marketing

How to Respond to Negative Feedback: Social Media Marketing

Ah, social media. It provides so many ways to connect with your current/potential customers.

Unfortunately, it also provides lots of ways for those current/potential customers to diss you. Big time. In front of thousands!

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When it comes to your social media marketing management, what do you do when you receive negative feedback or bad reviews on your social media channels? It’s simple. 

Really, it is:

Apologize and promise to fix the problem.

Yep, that’s truly it.

Your consumers want a real connection with you. What does a real connection entail? Listening. Negative commenters, at the heart of it, just want you to listen to their concerns and answer them.

Of course, there should be a teeny bit of finesse in your response strategy. Luckily, we’ve put together a short guide on how to respond to negative comments on your social media channels. 

A Guide to Negative Feedback Responses

Take a look below.

  • Always respond. Always. When it comes to social media, not responding to negative comments is akin to a slap in the face to the person who left it. It also looks really bad to anyone else who sees it. As in, “they do NOT care about their customers!”
  • You don’t need to respond with a full answer immediately, but you should respond quickly (within 24 hours at most; within five is best). It’s a good idea to have an autoresponder set up on all your social accounts that lets commenters know you take their feedback seriously and will get back to them quickly.
  • Talk to anyone in your company who may have been in contact with the commenter and gather insight on what happened.
  • Thank the commenter for their feedback. If you were at fault, apologize. Sincere apologies go a long way to settling ruffled feathers. Then offer to make some sort of recompense. Depending on what happened this could be a freebie, a refund, or something else appropriate.
  • Mention that you are taking steps to make sure it never happens again. If possible, describe one of the steps.
  • Understand that some people just want to create problems. They may reply to you in a negative way. We recommend responding again, and repeating that you are sorry, are working on a solution, and offer recompense once more. If the person replies again in a negative way, we recommend that you state you have apologized on the social channel and if the person wishes to speak to management, to please contact you via the email/phone number on your profile.
  • Don’t worry that you’ll look mealy-mouthed. Other people reading the comments will see the commenter is being unreasonable and that you are being more than reasonable.
  • This goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: never get in a “shouting” match with a commenter on your social channels. No matter how nasty they are, respond professionally; ask them to contact you via direct message or offline, and so on (see above).

Responding to Negative Comments When Privacy is Important

Some negative feedback can’t be discussed publicly. This could be in the case of an unhappy job applicant, former employee, medical patient, or for an otherwise personal situation.

If that’s the case, your response strategy should be:

  • Thank the commenter for their feedback. You take their concerns seriously and because it’s a private/protected/privileged matter, you’d like to discuss it offline. Provide a way for the commenter to contact you. If necessary, provide a name and number of someone with whom the person can speak.
  • If the commenter continues to spew, respond again that you take their concerns seriously but can’t discuss them in a public forum.
  • Should the commenter continue the tirade, let them know you’re happy to discuss this with them offline and that you won’t respond to any more comments from them on the social channel. And then don’t respond to any more comments from them.

The Good News About Negative Comments

Social media monitoring means you can catch these negative reviews and comments quickly. Responding professionally, kindly and in a reasonable time shows your concern for your clients/customers to all of your followers, not just the commenter.

In fact, once you have discussed the situation with the commenter, you may ask them to remove or edit their review. This is especially so in the case of comments on Yelp, Glassdoor, and other review sites in which you ask the commenter to contact you offline.

Some comments occur when one of your followers or customers didn’t understand one of your policies or some other miscommunication occurred. Once you speak with them, it’s quite common for people to come away quite pleased with your response/reasons for the misunderstanding, and happy to change their reviews to reflect this new information.

Social Media Monitoring for Negativity 

When it comes to social media management, there’s no need to monitor your sites for follower and customer comments 24/7. How? Read our free ebook How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day to learn the secret to streamlining your social media monitoring process.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about how to create a results-getting social media marketing strategy, reach out to Jeff Hays, Ingenex Digital Marketing’s director of client services, to schedule a one-on-one conversation.

You also can contact us our online form.

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