Handling negative social media comments


6th December 2022


Georgia Christley

Reading time

4 minutes

Having a social media presence as a brand means that at some point, we’re more than likely going to receive negative comments or criticism of some sort on our online channels.

It could be a simple misunderstanding that has gone public or an unhappy customer leaving a negative review but it’s important to respond and act quickly to ensure it doesn’t turn into something bigger. There are many well-known brands that have led the way in dealing with negative comments and so in this blog, we’ll take a look at a few of our top tips that make your work a little easier!

1. Firstly, never ignore a negative comment online.

Your business is likely to be something you have worked incredibly hard on building and it’s easy to take negativity personally. Not every troll comment online will be worth a response, however, it’s important you consider each comment carefully and think about whether you can improve in some way. Be critical of your business so it can be better.

Not replying to a negative review that calls out poor customer service or something similar will only make your brand look disengaged and put off potential leads.

You should always reply thoughtfully to comments online, whether that be a positive or negative comment. It’s all about maintaining that relationship with your audience and showing you are willing to adapt and assist, it shows you care.

2. Be understanding and polite, and apologise!

Okay, now you’ve considered the negative thoughtfully and critically you need to show understanding and apologise for the situation. This is the first step in gaining control of the matter and resolving any bad feelings or conflicts.

Reading negative comments online can be frustrating but it’s important to stay calm and be polite to maintain your reputation and humility. Be respectful. You want your audience to see you care and this will help to keep your followers on side.

3. Reply in a timely manner

Though it’s important you take the time to consider negative comments properly and reply in a thoughtful way, you also need to respond in a timely manner. Be responsive. Show your audience that you hear them and are engaged with their experience. Keeping them waiting will only leave time for festering grudges and misunderstandings to spread.

4. Take the conversation offline and be personal

Although it’s key to show a response online, you don’t want to have the whole conversation in full view of all your customers. Reach out privately and deal with what you can behind closed doors. This gives you and the source of the negativity the privacy and space to deal with any issues. You can share a public statement regarding the resolution publically when you’ve come to some kind of conclusion.

5. Be willing to offer solutions

Once you have taken the matter offline, make sure to listen to the feedback you’re getting and be willing to offer positive solutions. Demonstrate you and your company’s willingness to come to a resolution that puts your customers first.

6. Learn from your experiences

It may be that the whole situation was simply a misunderstanding but if you have made a mistake, don’t worry. We’re all human and we will make mistakes along the way. There will always be something we can learn from a negative comment or piece of feedback.

Analyse the negative comments online, and try to find out what it is that your customers aren’t happy with. Is it a specific product? Or is it a company policy? Whatever it is, take the comments as constructive criticism and adapt so that you can move on from this and avoid similar mistakes in the future. Make sure you put a plan in place for how you’re going to fix this and ensure to inform your audience of the actions you’re taking to resolve the problem, build back that trust and show you care.

Having an online presence means that negative comments are pretty much unavoidable but there is always a way to minimise any impact on your brand and that is by generating lots of positive comments! A positive comment will always out-way a negative so just keep working hard to build on these.

We hope these tips will help you if you ever need to respond to any negative comments online. You can also find more great advice on dealing with negative social media comments here.

If you’re looking for more tips on letting your guard down and earning your audience’s trust then take a look at another blog from Carnsight Communications on why PR only works when you keep an open mind.