An unfortunate side effect of having an online presence is the vulnerability to public criticism. And while we all do the best we can to maintain the integrity and reputation of the brand through social media, there is no guaranteed safety from cyber bullies. What we can do, however, is mitigate the negativity by using the following tips. If we’re lucky, we won’t have to rely heavily on these suggestions as we won’t see many negative comments, but it’s best to be prepared if we do. Here are our tips on how to deal with social media negativity:
Be Apologetic 🙏
Even if you disagree, it’s best to take the high road when it comes to customer complaints. Apologize for any inconvenience caused, any harmful miscommunications, or any other upsetting instances for your followers. That way, you can maintain a positive relationship with your customers by showing them you’re willing to listen to their concerns and to be held accountable.
Don’t Add Fuel to the Fire 🔥
Internet trolls might try to get a rise out of you or get you to engage in a verbal spat in your comments section, so it’s important not to give them any ammo. If they are coming with hostile energy, don’t match it. Instead, ensure all your replies in the comments section of your profiles are positive, professional, and level-headed.
Show Appreciation for Their Feedback 👩💻
Even when it might hurt to receive criticism, it can help to reframe it as feedback instead. By thanking your customers for their feedback, even if it’s negative, it’ll promote positive interactions online and maybe even improve your brand. Customers want to feel heard, so thanking them for their feedback and implementing it in the future will increase loyalty and improve customer-brand relationships.
Provide the Facts 📝
If a follower crops up in your comments section spreading misinformation, use this as an opportunity to provide the facts. Don’t argue or condescend, but instead simply provide your audience with a factual response that might clarify any misconceptions about your brand.
Respond ASAP 💯
Leaving negative comments hanging out to dry is also another sign your brand might have something to hide or that your brand isn’t receptive to criticism. This will deter customers from using your brand in the future when instead, it could be a great opportunity to promote loyalty. Respond to negative comments as soon as possible to keep customers satisfied and to show other customers you are willing to quickly resolve any issues they might have with your brand.
Take it to the DMs📲
If a problem can’t be solved in the comments section, it might be best to initially reply publicly to the customer and then take it to a private conversation to get to the nitty-gritty. This way you aren’t having lengthy, potentially difficult conversations in your comments, but you are still solving customer issues and maintaining the reputation of your brand.
Ask Specific Questions 🤨
Sometimes, trolls come to the comments section just to spread hatred. If this is the case, ask questions about what their specific complaints are and what they would like from you in terms of a remedy. You might be surprised that they cannot answer these questions and choose to back off when they are met with kindness, or they might change their approach and give you both the opportunity to move forward in a positive way.
Choose Your Battles 🤺
Know when to engage. It’s important to be able to discern between legitimate customer concerns and internet trolls looking to stir the pot. For the sake of your social media presence (and the sanity of your social media manager), make informed decisions about when to engage with negativity for a potential solution, when to delete inappropriate comments, and when to thank customers for their feedback without any further engagement.
Report Harassment 🙊
At the end of the day, if someone is crossing appropriate boundaries and harassing you or your brand, don’t be afraid to report the account to the app. Sometimes, trolls are relentless, and the best way to prevent them from damaging your brand and its social media presence is to report them.
Being a social media manager is hard work and incredibly stressful. If you’re struggling and on the verge of burnout, read our blog
on what to do if you’re feeling at the end of your rope with social.