It’s really quite simple once you get past your pride.

- By Bill Nolan

Sooner or later you’re bound to run into it… a negative comment posted to your business’ social media site. Keep in mind that you are on social networks to stay connected with your clients and sometimes they may be displeased about something. Don’t panic! You talk the talk and walk the walk don’t you? So, use this situation to show your followers that your company does in fact care about what they have to say! Here is some advice on how to handle these situations the correct way.

Damage Control

All of us have had a bad experience with a business in the past, so think of how you would have liked that handled and treat your clients the same. Whatever you do, don’t add more negativity with your response. You don’t want to escalate the situation by insulting or ignoring them. Quickly acknowledge what their complaint is, ask how your business can make up for it, and what you can do in the future to prevent it from happening again. For 99% of the people, letting them know that you are concerned they had a poor experience is all they are asking for! With a couple of quick, pleasant comments, they should be satisfied and the case is closed.

However, we do recommend that you ask them to email you directly to resolve the issue. You don’t want to have an entire conversation on your social account. More importantly, you absolutely do not want your other followers to see this conversation and try to jump in and help you by bashing the other person or start bashing you! Can we say GOSSIP, RUMORS and MORE DAMAGE? Even if your followers’ intentions are good, it only creates more problems for you and your business!

An additional type of problem that you may encounter is trolling and spam… somebody with nothing better to do than try and aggravate you. If this is the case do not respond to it, immediately delete it and if the problem persists you may need to report the user. This type of behavior is designed to bait you into an argument (by a competitor in some cases) in an attempt to make your business look bad, but we know you’re intelligent enough not to fall for this trick.

Let’s take this one step further and look at one more thing that can bite you in the ass in the form of negative feedback, your own posts themselves. Keep in mind that your personal pages are basically an extension of your business page and should be considered personal branding. This means that an ill advised personal page post can reflect poorly on your business. Stay away from politics, religion, and any other hot button topics or you are just opening the floodgates. Content that is not suitable for your business pages should be avoided with your personal accounts as well. Remember that everyone doesn’t share your beliefs, and inadvertently offending people can cause substantial harm to your business. This may actually be the cause of some negative comments and reviews you are receiving through your business pages.

Keep these tips in mind, and when the time comes to engage a user about their negative comment you’ll feel confident in your ability to handle it. No sweat!