5 Steps to Manage Negative Online Comments


chalkboard with color-coded faces included one green smiley face with a check mark next to it, a yellow unsatisfied face and a red angry face.

Social Media platforms are a wonderful place to engage with the community, offer customer service and market your business. These platforms are also a place where spam, negativity, and unhappy customers can run rampant if not addressed properly. Managing your online reputation and handling negative comments effectively can actually win over unhappy customers – and prospects – and make your online community even more brand-loyal. So how do you handle online negative comments?

Respond promptly

Ideally, you should respond within a few minutes, if not hours. If you do not monitor your social media accounts during the evenings or weekends, you need to clearly spell that out to your online community, so they do not expect an immediate response.

Use “I’m sorry” and “thank you”

If appropriate, you should thank the commenter for their honest feedback and apologize for the issue (if applicable).

Do not delete the comment

Your first instinct may be to delete or ignore negative comments on your social media accounts; however, you wouldn’t ignore a customer on the phone or in person. You need to address the issue and offer your best customer service. [If the comment contains racism, sexism, verbal abuse, inappropriate language, then you should hide the comment, and then respond, so only you and the commenter can see the conversation. If you are dealing with a spammer it is appropriate to delete their comments and block the user].

Take the conversation offline and contact the parties involved privately

Follow the first three steps in addressing negative comments and then ask the commenter to privately message you on Facebook, DM you on Twitter, email or telephone the appropriate person in your company. If you have the contact information of the person posting negative comments, take the initiative and contact them outside of the social media platform to remedy the negative situation.

Deflect to a positive discussion

Whenever possible take the conversation in a positive direction and highlight the good things about the situation.