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How to manage negative comments on social media? – Do’s and Don’ts

How to manage negative comments on social media? – Do’s and Don’ts

Over the last two decades, social media has become a game-changer of every business's marketing strategy. Social media not only helps to increase brand awareness and boost website traffic but it also an effective tool to communicate with your prospects and customers.

Even if you have good products, good working teams, and good customer service, sometimes, getting negative comments on social media is unavoidable. Of course, no one likes to receive negative comments on social media. Am I right? It is the most awkward situation that every brand face today.

If you don’t want negative comments on social media will ruin your brand, you should know how to respond to negative comments on social media. Here are some tips to manage complaints and negative comments on social media.

Tips to manage negative social media comments on social media

  • Monitor all comments
  • Don’t delete the negative comments
  • Respond ASAP
  • Ignore offensive comments – know when to engage
  • Take the conversation offline, if necessary
  • Don’t argue with a customer
  • Apologize sincerely when it’s your fault
  • Don’t give a generic response to every comment
  • Personalize your message
  • Don’t forget to reply to every positive or neutral comment

Monitor all comments

In order to find negative comments, you need to track what people are saying about your brand, product, or service on social media. Make sure to set up a notification on your social media platforms that will help you to alert you when someone comments about your brand.

Sometimes unhappy customers don’t voice to you directly, so it is really important to track all the comments and mentions related to your brand whether they add @ mention or not.

For example, here the customer doesn’t add @ mention.

monitor all comments

With the help of specialized tools like Hootsuite, Mention, and Brandwatch you can monitor your mentions and comments. These tools allow you to monitor specific keywords, hashtags related to your brand, and any mentions of your brand in real-time.

Recommended post: Free social media management tools 

Don’t delete the negative comments

Don’t think that the negative comments will ruin your reputation. Believe it or not, negative comments actually help your brand appear more trustworthy if they were handled properly.

Ignoring or deleting negative comments on social media is the very worst thing you can do for your brand. Deleting comments can also make the situation like, you don’t care about them and that will give another reason for your unhappy customers to hate your brand. 

When your customers feel that they are not been heard that may fuel their anger and frustration and that provokes them to post a bunch of new bad comments on other social media platforms as well. It makes the situation uncontrollable. It brings the question of your integrity to all your follower’s minds as well.

So never ever delete negative comments.

There is one famous quote by Bill Gates - “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” 

Actually, negative reviews are an opportunity for you to understand what, why, how went wrong. You should be thankful to your unhappy customer for pointing out the issues. So that you can improve your brand, product, or service.

Respond ASAP

Generally, an unhappy customer doesn’t have the patience to wait and they expect an instant reply & a quick resolution for their issue. Customers interacting via social media expect a reply within an hour. Do you know? According to convince and convert, 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes.

Respond to a negative comment quickly shows that you care about your customers and it is another opportunity for you to change your unhappy customer’s view about your brand.

respond quickly

So make sure to respond to the negative comments as soon as possible, even if you don’t have a resolution to that particular issue. This will not only help you to prevent the issue worsen further but it also helps you to earn some extra goodwill among your followers.

Don’t think negative comments are spoiler to your brand, they are like reviews. They allow you to improve your product or service.

Ignore offensive comments – know when to engage

Some genuine customers use social media for genuine complaints, on the other hand, some people post inflammatory, offensive, and controversial comments for the purpose to provoke trouble. They use strong words to make you angry and it is simply designed to generate provocative debates.

Of course, every comment deserves your reply whether it is negative, neutral, or positive. But when it comes to offensive comments it is best to ignore them.

So it is really important to know when to engage and when to ignore. Don’t mix your unhappy customers with trolls, you have to differentiate genuine complaints from a troll.

Take the conversation offline, if necessary

Respond publicly helps you to show the world that you are transparent and attentive. At the same time, it is best to take the conversation offline to resolve some complex cases. 

Ask the customer to contact you via direct message, email, or ask them to call customer support to provide a solution of greater detail.

If you are going to ask some personal information like an account number or some identification details to solve their issue, it is really necessary to move the conversation to a one-to-one environment.

move to private

After resolving the issue in private, It is the best practice to close the issue on the original stream where the complaint was posted. For example, reply to them like, “I hope the issue has been resolved now, thanks for letting us know” – this will help you to show your other followers or customers that you are responded.

Don’t argue with a customer

The customer is always right” – you have probably heard this phrase, Isn’t it? Keep this in mind before reply to your customers. Never blame your customers and don’t argue with them especially in public.

Make sure to reply to your customers as politely as possible. Don’t use strong words even if your customers use them. In social media, your reply was not only seen by a single person who posts a negative comment, but it is also seen by your loyal customers and other followers. 

If you respond inappropriately, it will ruin your brand image. So it is important to keep your cool, be professional and polite to respond to an unhappy customer to save your brand image.

Apologize sincerely when it’s your fault

Apologize sincerely is the very first step to resolve the issue and you should say sorry no matter if it is your fault or not. It is a big opportunity to make your unhappy customer into a loyal customer.

For example, start your reply like sorry to hear that you have a problem with our service or product.

Next, analyze the problem and explain to your angry customer what exactly caused the problem and how you can solve the issue. If the mistake is on your side, instead of hiding your mistake, don’t hesitate to accept that mistake, apologize sincerely for the unsatisfactory experience that they had.

If possible, offer an incentive is the best way to turn an angry customer into a happy one. For example, you can offer a coupon code for their next purchase or you can also offer any reward as an apology.

Don’t give a generic response to every comment

Don’t give the same generic response to every negative comment. If you reply to your every angry customer with the same message as “Thank you for your feedback, we really appreciate it” - it will totally spoil your brand identity only. It doesn’t help you to build a relationship with your customers in any way. 

The same copy and paste response make your unhappy customer be more upset.

Each and every issue will be slightly different from each other, so it is not good to give a generic response to every comment because your customer may think that is an automated message. Your unhappy customer expects to communicate with a human, not with a bot.

Personalize your message

Addressing the customer by their name is a powerful tool to turn them into loyal customers and it also helps to improve the brand image. Generally, an angry customer doesn’t like automated messages.

Personalized messages show that the brand really cares about its customers and truly wants to help them. Use their name in your replies shows them that they have your full attention.

Make sure to use your customer’s first name in your replies and another way to make the conversation more personal is to sign off with your first name at the end of your response

personalize your message


Don’t forget to reply to every positive or neutral comment

As I mentioned above, every comment on social media deserves your reply. Any social comment whether it is positive, neutral, or negative allows you to engage with your audience. 

Actually, responding to a positive comment is a very big opportunity to show your gratitude to the customer who loves your brand. This will help you to build a relationship with your loyal customers.

Your customer has spent their own time to praise you, so personally thank their loving words, appreciate their effort, and share their message that will help you to improve brand awareness.

ensure to reply all positive comments

Final thoughts

Don’t think negative comments are spoiler to your brand, they are like reviews. They allow you to improve your product or service.

The only thing is you have to learn how to communicate with an angry or unhappy customer. Handling negative comments with politeness, speed, and transparency is the best way to turn your angry customer into a loyal one.

With the right response and solution, you can generate positive results from every negative comment.

I hope these 10 do’s and don’ts will help to manage the negative comments on social media.


Content writer and Marketer

An enthusiastic SEO expert, passion for digital marketing with two years of expertise in writing Digital Marketing and SEO content. She is a Master of Business Administration graduate from a reputed university in south India. Her passion for SEO and online marketing helps her to stay up to date with the trends and strategies. Follow her on social media sites, to stay up to date with SEO, and Digital Marketing, Updates. To contact Raji, visit the contact page.

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