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How to deal with negative comments online

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Your company receives a negative review or comment on social media, it’s an ugly feeling, we know. But don’t let your emotions take the wheel on this, there’s a simple formula for diffusing and dealing with negativity online. Here’s six simple steps to dealing with negative comments:

  • Read carefully: read the post carefully and ask yourself these questions, what is the core problem? What is the solution? Stay calm and collected as you wade through the negativity to really define what the complaint is.
  • Document the message: take a screenshot or log the complaint somewhere so you will always have it on file. This will help for follow-ups, delegation to other team members, etc.
  • Don’t delete the message: transparency is an asset online, and deleting the comment will only make you look like you have something to hide. Despite what you might think, leaving a negative comment up and responding publicly will show your audience that you care about customer service. However, if the negative comment is abusive in any way, delete it and be sure to report it to the website it was posted on as well.
  • Respond quickly: timeliness is crucial in this process, as most social media users expect a response within an hour. Respond in a timely manner, and be swift with your follow-ups as well.
  • Keep calm: don’t let your hot-headed emotions take over in this process, while a negative post can stir up a lot of feelings, it’s important to take a minute and digest the information before you start drafting a response. Responding in the heat of the moment will only fuel the fire.
  • Respond and monitor: once you’ve taken time to draft a response, post your answer, publicly. Be sure to apologize, offer a solution and a timeline for your follow-up. Then be sure to monitor the situation closely.

Interested in having someone else manage your online reputation? Feel free to contact us! And you may be interested in our recent post on social media responsibility for professionals.

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