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All of us online marketers preach higher engagement rates as the thing to strive for in your strategy, but what happens when you get negative comments on social media?
Here’s 5 of my go-to tips for navigating the rocky waters of negativity online and what you should do when you get a bad comment:
- Don’t delete and shy away! While it is very important to delete comments that are offensive in nature or spammy, don’t delete critiques or negative feedback from your community and/or customers. I know it can be difficult, but taking a moment to craft a thoughtful response can help work through conflict and avoid further angry rants from the commenter. (If there’s profanity, hiding a response is fine. You can also comment back with a statement about the language you accept.)
- Take note. If a troll or angry commenter is giving you a hard time, it’s worth documenting the situation so you have something to track on when it happens again. Sometimes it’s genuine concern from your customers/clientele, but big hint: Sometimes, it’s just the same old trolls repeating the offense! If they re-offend too frequently and don’t otherwise contribute positively to your presence, you may consider banning them.
- Move quickly. Angry commenters usually share their opinions online because a). They think you won’t respond/aren’t listening, or b). They genuinely have the expectation and desire that you respond and acknowledge their concerns. No matter what the case may be, working to get a response up quickly is key.
- Draft a set of go-to responses. If you’re a larger company, chances are you have a few core complaints that are often brought up, whether a valid concern from your audience or simply a concept that your audience has trouble understanding from a business standpoint. Whatever they may be, having a set list of pre-written responses is a game changer that you can refer to in times of crisis. This way you will also avoid any emotional responses in the moment and can separate your personal feelings from business matters.
- Offer help privately. The most productive and smart decision you can make when attempting to resolve public conflicts is to flush them out privately. Invite the commenter to direct message you – this isn’t as threatening as a phone call for them and gives them an opportunity to have a back-and-forth dialogue without involving the rest of public opinions. By commenting and acknowledging the situation publicly, you are still showing to the greater public that you do in fact respond and handle negative feedback in an appropriate, professional manner.
When you are forming your digital crisis communications plan, these are helpful tips to keep in mind. If you have a question about anything I’ve detailed here, please shoot me a comment below or a direct message – I’d love to help!