Responding to Negative Comments on Social Media

  • January 27, 2015

It happens. People respond in a negative way to something we’ve posted on our social media profile. So what’s the best, most professional way to handle such a situation? Let’s find out.
You see the comment and suddenly it seems to have taken over your entire profile. The comment is rude, condescending, argumentative, or maybe even all of those things. Do you fight back? Ignore it? Delete it? Block the user? These all initially sound like great ways to handle it, but taking the time to assess the situation and ensure you act professionally will put you on top in the end.
1. Respond politely. No matter the tone taken by the commenter, it is up to you to swing the conversation back to a professional voice.
2. Take the conversation offline. When responding, give the user an alternative way of communicating with you. Whether it is through the direct message feature of the social media platform or your business email, guide the commenter off your social media page to continue addressing the concerns.
3. Do not keep engaging. If the commenter does not take the conversation offline and continues conversing on your profile, do not keep engaging with them. A simple “I will be happy to help you at” should be there cue.
4. Delete the comments and block the user. If the cue is not taken and the comments continue to be posted, now is the appropriate time to delete the posts and, if necessary, block the user from further engaging with you on social media.
Blocking should be used as a last resort. You want to establish yourself as a professional who can hold his or her own in the industry. Constantly deleting and blocking all but the very best of comments and reviews will be immediately obvious to anyone visiting your page. Only use the blocking feature if the other user is being harassing, derogatory, defamatory, or threatening.
Negative comments are bound to crop up on social media. Social media platforms were established to give people a voice, and some of those people will be adamant when it comes to being heard. Always take a step back and think about the most professional way to handle a situation before responding. Keep your career and professional reputation in mind when engaging on social media and interacting with the public.

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