Turning something negative into something positive

October 18, 2012

How to handle negative comments on social media websites

As I was searching the web for what was happening in the world of social media today, I came across an article published by the Los Angeles Times. The article mentions how Bodyform, a company who produces feminine hygiene products, turned a negative Facebook comment into advertising gold.

A message, which was probably meant to be a joke, was left on their Facebook page by a male user who claimed that they had been falsely advertising what women really feel like during that “special time of the month”. Instead of responding to the message in writing, Bodyform posted a clever Youtube video that was addressed directly to the man who wrote on their Facebook page.

So this got me wondering “What is the best way to handle negative comments on social media websites?” I already know that you should never ignore a negative comment. You must always respond to it in one way or another. But how do you correctly respond to negativity?

Here are some tips on how to handle negative comments on your own social media pages.

1. Keep a close eye on your pages and respond quickly to negative feedback
When someone posts a negative comment on your page, they expect to receive an answer very quickly. That’s why it’s important to monitor your page on a daily basis. The faster you respond to the comment, the more professional and caring you will be in the eyes of your fans and followers.

2. Don’t sound like a robot
Nobody likes to receive an automated response when they email someone; the same can be said about posting on social media websites. Address each comment individually. Don’t use the same automated, empty sounding response to every negative comment that is sent your way. Prove to your followers that your Facebook page is monitored by an actual person and not a machine.

3. Honesty is the best policy
Never ignore a comment and think it will just go away. If you are to blame for a customer’s negative experience, admit your faults and apologize. After you have sent out your apology, do you best to reassure the customer and let them know that they will never again go through the same experience with your products or services.

4. Don’t view negative comments as a personal attack
You yourself have had bad experiences with companies in the past. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Just because someone leaves a negative comment on a Facebook page, it doesn’t mean that they hate every single person that works for that company. Accept the negative feedback and respond to it as politely and professionally as possible. However, if you feel that the customer doesn’t have all the right facts, you can defend yourself, but, remain civil as you do so.

Don’t hide your head in the sand and hope the comments will go away. Always address negative feedback no matter how bad it may seem. You will leave a positive impression on your followers and you might even gain a few more when all is said and done. 

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