Life on social media can be hard and whether you are a business or an individual, sadly, negative comments can be commonplace. Whether it’s an unhappy customer, a misunderstanding or trolling, sadly it’s hard to avoid on socials today. For businesses, it can be detrimental to their brand image and leave a lasting impression on their audience. That is why it is important to have a strategy in place to deal with these types of comments online to minimise the impact and maintain your brand image and credibility. Poor handling of negative comments can create a bad image for your brand and turn customers away. But handling these comments well and promptly can actually be great for your business leaving a good impression on those who are following you. So what should you do when you receive negative comments on your social platforms? Here are FOUR tips on dealing with negative comments so you know exactly what to do when it happens.
1. Don't ignore negative comments about your brand
While it might be tempting to ignore negative comments, this can in fact hurt your brand more than dealing with them head-on. Part of building a strong brand image is how you respond to both positive AND negative feedback on your brand. We suggest replying quickly, being apologetic and moving the conversation to a private setting (DMs or email) to avoid hashing out any detail in public.
Example: We are so sorry to hear your parcel didn't arrive on time [name]. We try our best to make sure orders arrive on time. Please send us a DM with your order number and we can look into this and sort it out ASAP for you.
2. Always respond on time
Responding swiftly to negative comments is always advisable. Not only are customers/clients looking for a quick response, but it also reduces the time anyone else sees the comment without a response from you. A lack of response or taking a long time to respond may signal that you do not care about your customers.
3. Respond with facts, not emotions
Negative or nasty comments can be hurtful and even make you feel angry and irritated BUT always make sure you don't take it personally and use facts rather than emotions in your response. Offer solutions & counter misinformation but don’t get personal. Always keep your replies professional no matter how hard it might be! Remember you are representing your brand! Sometimes it’s even best to simply admit you made a mistake. Being honest with your audience goes a long way to building trust and people will react better when you hold your hands up, admit you were wrong and take steps to rectify the situation.
4. Report harassment or hateful comments
There is a difference between negative comments you should address and trolling, hateful comments and harassment. If someone is nasty, hateful or makes you or your followers feel uncomfortable, don't hesitate to report them. Social media platforms all have the capability for you to report these types of comments and messages. On Instagram, simply swipe left on a message and you will have options to report it, restrict their ability to comment or block the user altogether.
4. Encourage positive comments
Ok, so negative comments may be hard to avoid at times, especially as your business and account grow but, encouraging nice comments and creating a positive, safe space on your social media platforms is key to building a great community who trusts in your brand. Post positive content including advice, humour & relatability to tap into your audience and build relationships. Use your content to encourage supportive and positive comments and conversations and don’t forget to reply to these comments too to build that trust and brand image.
Social media can be such a great place for building a business so don’t let negative comments or messages get in the way of you building your empire! Learning how to deal with this type of feedback is all part of growing a successful business and won’t harm your image IF you deal with them in a timely and appropriate manner. Dealing with them strategically can in fact help your brand image so follow our advice and make sure you have a strategy in place to deal with all your customers comments - good or bad. For more advice on how to grow your Instagram and make it a positive place to build a loyal community, follow us on Instagram where we share all the latest news, updates & tips!