In this day and age, everyone and their grandmothers (literally) are on social media. The masses are obsessed with sharing any and all thoughts that come across their minds at any given time with the public. More often than not, there are folks out there in the social sphere voicing very “interesting” opinions. If you’ve ever looked at the comments on a media outlet’s Facebook page, for example, you’ll see these “interesting” opinions on all sides of every issue imaginable.
While perhaps the media pages want this kind of dialogue happening, there’s a good chance your business does not. Most businesses today have social profiles, and these business pages are inevitably an easy target for internet trolls looking to share their opinion to get a rise out of someone and gain some solid attention in the process.
What is one to do when a less than desirable comment is posted on your business page?
Regardless of how large your organization is, if you’re the one managing the brand or the social media accounts, it’s hard to not take it personally. Your first reaction might be: “This person isn’t even a customer” or “They’re completely out to get us!” You feel you’ve been done an injustice, and want to go into battle. Unfortunately, the fact that you feel this comment is unwarranted and unfair is irrelevant. Before you do anything else, pause and go through the following steps:
1. Take A Deep Breath
This allows you the opportunity to pull yourself out of reaction mode and assess how you’re feeling and what you want out of this situation. The good thing is, the negative comment actually gives you and your business a great opportunity to show up as the “good guys”. There is so much dialogue right now on the dangers and evils of social media. From fostering a bullying environment, to fake news and the compromising of users’ safety and security, social media is earning a bad rap for itself and people know about it. You have the chance to take the high road. And consider this: there is a chance that the comment isn’t coming from a reputable source or even a real person.
2. Consider your options
Figure out what actually happened in the situation. If this is a customer who was truly done wrong, apologize immediately and request to take the conversation off of social media to be remedied. If a customer is upset, they want to be heard first and foremost. Responding and taking care of the problem shows other users reading the interaction that your business cares and is going to do the right thing.
If you don’t believe that this customer has been wronged in any way, it is still wise to respond. A good way to put this fire out is to simply acknowledge that they are upset, but don’t be defensive, try to justify, or overly explain anything. If the comment came from an individual who isn’t even a customer, that is just a troll. Again, a response is warranted but it only needs to be a positive comment apologizing for anything that you may have done but you don’t recall the problem. Your true followers want to see that you are responding to these types of comments, and in many cases, will jump into the fray on your behalf to defend you.
3. Let it go
It’s common to feel personally offended by negative remarks on your page, and this is a natural reaction. It is very easy to let something of the sorts affect you when you’re trying so hard to authentically live your brand and provide the best for your customers. The fact of the matter is that it’s the nature of the beast. If you have a presence on social media, you will receive a wide array of feedback and not all of it will be positive. Don’t take it personally, because it happens everywhere.
The best thing that you can do is to respond respectfully, appropriately and in a way that displays your brand in a positive light. You can’t control the conversations happening around your brand, but you can control how you engage in the conversation.