Social media is public. Every time someone writes badly about your product or services, the whole social media audience can see it.

People will judge you based on several criteria: how quickly you have responded, what was your reaction, what was your customer’s reaction and how the whole thing ended.

Social media is all about quick reactions and swift responses.

Is my company prepared to handle negative comments on social media?

If you’re wondering where to start from, here’s the main advice: make sure that there is one person responsible for handling comments on social media sites.

I highly recommend choosing only one person, because if there are more people responsible for one task, it might turn out that they leave unanswered comments because they thought that the other person will respond!

Second thing: make sure that your social media specialist knows social media and knows what they are supposed to respond.

How quickly should I respond?

You should respond as soon as you have received a negative comment. You should aim to respond in 15 minutes to make a good impression, but if you’re not able to do that, try to respond in an hour.

The faster you respond, the better you’ll look in the eyes of the social media community. 

What should be my reaction?

Actually, you can do everything you want. You can shout, swear, break stuff or hide in a closet and cry.

There’s only one rule: you need to respond calmly and politely.

We all know that it’s hard not to take it personal when someone leaves a bad comment or a review. It gets even harder when you’ve been doing your best to satisfy your customers and make your business awesome.

Of course, you won’t be able to satisfy everyone, but there’s one thing you need to remember. Among negative comments, you will find both: your dissatisfied customers and Internet trolls. And while you should try to make things right with your customers, you need to get rid of unwanted commenters as soon as possible.

You may ask: but why would someone troll me?

It’s simple: because there are always malicious creatures that feed on your anger and frustration. If you let yourself vent in public, you will be judged by your behaviour. You might find yourself arguing with other people who will stand in the trolls’ defense and that’s the last thing you want!

So, whether you’re talking with an angry customer or troll, make sure you’re doing the following:

  • thank for their opinion (try not to be formal, short “thanks for reaching out to us” should be fine),
  • apologize for inconvenience (“sorry to hear that you’re having problems with our product / you didn’t like our services”),
  • encourage them to send you a private message.

It’s important that people see that you respond to every inquiry and you’re interested in your customer’s opinions. But even more important is not to discuss your problems in public! Deal with it behind the curtains.