How to Respond to Negative Comments on Social Media

SociNegativeResponseSMal media can be challenging since your reactions can transfer straight to your fingertips without stopping at your brain. As a result, your emotional response rushes onto your screen without a second thought. This feedback can be hurtful to others and cause unanticipated repercussions, either immediately or in the future. —Ragan.com

Social Media…it can bring out the best in people and the worst in people. No matter what business you are in, you are going to face times where clients/fans will leave a negative comment on your social media platforms.

If there is one thing I want you to know, it is that you are not alone. This happens to everyone who puts themselves out there on social media. Truth be told, you don’t have to react to negative comments as though a crisis is taking place. Instead, you can choose to see negative comments as something you can build upon. So today, let me share a few tips on how to respond to the negativity:

  • Not everyone will like you: This is something we all have to come to terms with. We will have those who love us and then those who would rather not know us. And you know what, that’s ok…no business can reach each and every person. That’s why it’s so important to have a clear understanding of who your target audience is.
  • Maintain professionalism always: Never, ever allow a negative comment to throw you off track to the point where you lose your professionalism. Remember, people are watching and people are watching even more when there seems to be a disagreement taking place. Always choose the higher road because if you don’t, in all honesty, it will come back to bite you.
  • Never label people who disagree with you: Yes oh yes, I have seen this take place before and when I do, I can’t help but to cringe. Truth be told, you never really fully know a person so to label them as something is not only unprofessional, but just plain rude. And again, people are watching and if they see you labeling someone, you most likely just lost out on a potential client.
  • Resist the urge to respond to every comment: While I’m a big fan of engaging with your audience on social media, I also believe that there are times when it is just best to remain quiet. When you do, you give your fans/followers the opportunity to speak up and many times, those fans will speak up on your behalf.
  • Resist the urge to respond right away: If you choose to respond, let me encourage you to give yourself time. I don’t know about you but there have been times in my own life where if I would have just waited a bit to respond to something, my words and actions would have been quite different and for the better. Sometimes you just need to sleep on something before you say anything.  That’s ok…take your time and don’t rush into it.
  • Don’t call people out when they disagree with you: Again, I have seen this take place far too often. All I have to say is, take the higher road….in the end, you’ll look better for it.
  • Always be respectful and polite: You know, sometimes the written word can be taken the wrong way. Give the person the benefit of the doubt. And regardless, whether or not they meant what they wrote, always choose to respond with respect and polite words. No one can argue with someone who continually shows them respect.
  • Give people grace: We all have said or done things that when looked upon later, we wish we wouldn’t have. Just like you and I need grace, choose to extend it to others.
  • Turn a negative into a positive: If someone has criticized you and/or your business on social media, look for ways to turn that negative into a positive. Look for ways that your business can improve. Let your customers/fans know that you value their feedback and that your goal is to serve them the best you can. Again, when you do this, you’ll come out on top.
  • Lighten up, don’t take everything so personally: Sometimes I think we are just too serious and anytime someone criticizes us or disagrees with us, we are ready to “pounce”    on them. I once read a comment on someone’s FB fan page where they were telling the business owner to “chill out” because the business owner was over reacting to something that really wasn’t a big deal. What we have to remember is that with business, comes criticism…we just have to roll with it!

All in all, people are going to respond to genuine people and when you portray that in your responses to those who disagree with you and/or criticize you, you will no doubt gain a bigger following! Choose today to focus on the impact that your making and know that not everyone is going to “approve” of what you do, say, offer, etc. It’s just not possible and that’s ok.

Share with me below, how do you handle negative comments on social media?

Jen Bennett

Dr. Jen Bennett is the Social Media/Communication Specialist and Project Manager at iBloom. Jen’s passion is helping businesses, ministries and individuals, #BeWorthFollowing. Jen enjoys speaking, training, and writing on all things that inspire and help leaders build a digital footprint and personal brand that is different and that helps them stand out and influence people in a crowded and noisy social media world.

Comments

  1. This was soooo good! Thanks for sharing. I think these wise tips apply to everyone that uses social media, not just the business people. (Although business people tend to be under more scrutiny) 🙂

  2. Great information on an often-ignored subject!

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