How to handle negative social media posts and comments

Monday, February 26, 2018

Three out of 4 consumers consult social media before making a purchasing decision. Statistics like these that increased the pressure on restaurants to better manage their social media. If you have invested time and, perhaps, money in Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor then the last thing you need is to have that brand positivity damaged by haters. So how do you deal with negative social interactions and still come out on top? 

Do deal with them

If you’re getting negative comments on your social profile then the worst thing you can do is ignore them. It may be that this is feedback you could use to improve your business – and maybe the complainer has a genuine issue that you need to deal with before others report the same problem. Set up whatever social platform you’re using so that you’re notified of comments. The worst position to be in is a total lack of awareness of a tide of negativity against you on social media.

Take a light touch

The anonymity of the online world gives people a courage they may not necessarily have if they were standing in front of you. Which means it’s a good idea to take anything negative that is said online with a pinch of salt. Listen to the criticisms but avoid getting drawn into extensive arguing and keep any replies you make professional and pragmatic. Although it may feel like a personal attack that you want to hit back against, it’s important to remember that your responses can be seen by everyone and could influence whether a potential customer comes your way or not.

Take it offline/turn comments off

There are some situations where it’s a good idea to cut short the part of the discussion that anyone can see. For example, if it’s a complex problem that you need personal details to solve, give the person an email address and ask them to contact you off social media. Similarly, if you’re just being subjected to repeated online abuse and it’s obvious that there is no way to reasonably stop it, you might want to block the user, turn comments off or report the account responsible.

Be authentic

If you’re getting negative comments on social media then don’t delete them, as this tends to be noticed. Most other users can spot someone who is just causing trouble and the way that you deal with this kind of attack can be a credit to your online reputation. Bear in mind too that honesty is the best policy – if you’re at fault then hold your hands up and apologise. Acknowledging a problem, apologising and offering to make up for it is the fastest formula for stopping a negative situation from escalating.