Managing Negative Feedback on One’s Pages

By on February 9, 2011

There are a host of positives when it comes to using social media to control the flow of information about your business. One of these positives, is the fact that you get to deal with negative feedback in real time, to defuse a situation, apologize about it – or generally dismiss it as nonsense.

negative comments on social media

Courtesy of actasifblog.com

It’s amazing though, how some social media managers manage to drag their businesses name through the mud when this happens. That positive opportunity quickly becomes bad publicity, and all because they handled the situation incorrectly. So how do you know that what you’re doing is having a positive effect on your businesses reputation? Let’s take a look at some best practices that you can use as a checklist.

Address Concerns in Easy To Consume Detail

When someone brings to light an issue with your business, you need to address it immediately to curb any negative press that has begun circulating. Not only should you explain your side in detail, but you should do it in a short, concise manner – that drips with professionalism and poise. If someone rants about the service they received from your business, detail your experience with the client in a non-inflammatory manner.

Remain Professional and Don’t Stoop To Their Level

This is social media, which means people sometimes think they have the right to say whatever the heck they want about your business – lies or not. They often don’t consider the real damage that could result from it.

If someone decides to go out of their way to ‘get back at your business’ by publishing reviews, posts and terrible comments about you everywhere they can – find each source, address it, and resolve the situation. That way other readers will see that you’re on top of the bad things being said about you – always a good sign that the business in question cares.

Fend off Personal Attacks with Polite Logic

Because social media invites personal conversion, it also invites personal attack – which, let’s be honest, is a lot harder to swallow.

When people are plastering nasty things about you on the internet, it’s very easy to lose your cool and say nasty things back. But this doesn’t solve a thing. If you deal with it in a professional manner, and logically explain your position – you’ll make the ‘troll client’ look like a spiteful person.

Thank People for Constructive Criticism

Not all negative feedback is that negative, and often you’ll find yourself confronted with constructive criticism. Misinterpreted, this can lead to all out battles on Twitter, Facebook or on your blog. When someone is offering advice based on their experience of your products or services, accept it with a pinch of salt. And thank them for it.

Don’t Respond At All to Threats or Abusive Language

Last but not least is the negative feedback that threatens to dismantle all of your hard work over the last few years. Someone, for no real reason, leaves outrageous comments about your business on your social media pages.

There is swearing, threats and things are blown out of proportion so badly, you feel like deleting your profile. In this instance it’s sometimes best to ignore it. You might even delete it, if you can. Delete and ignore. That’s how to deal with vicious, unfounded feedback.

Have you ever received a particularly bad comment about your business?
What did you do about it? Let us know!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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