How to Limit Damage from Negative Social Media Feedback
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By Nick Cassells
Social media offers a great way for businesses to connect instantly with their target market and
receive valuable feedback. But if you invite comments, it is likely you will have to deal with negative
messages as well - and when they are in the eye of the general public, they can wipe out all trust you
have built up in a millisecond.
So what is the best way to deal with those negative posts?
1. Speed is important
Any content you place on social media needs to be monitored closely. The whole point of this
marketing tool is to be able to communicate in real time with your clients and prospective clients –
so be there when they come back to you. Most importantly, if it is negative, you need to answer
straight away before it goes viral or gets out of control.
2. Reach out - don’t try to solve the problem
There is a tendency to immediately defend yourself, but don’t ever try to solve the problem or make
excuses for the company there and then. This will only start a dangerous online argument. Reach out
to the fact that they are unhappy with their experience - let them know you are there to support
them with their bad experience. Take the argument offline
3. Always apologise – but for the right reasons
An apology can go a long way in calming angry feelings and controlling any further vitriol. But make
sure the apology is for the right reasons. Your company may well be in the right and have done
nothing wrong but you need to make clear that you are sorry that the client is unhappy and has had
a bad experience
4. Another form of contact
Where emotions are high, any online chat, can quickly run out of control and turn nasty. Make it
clear you want to put everything right as soon as possible and offer them a support contact outside
of the social media account.
5. Dealing with trolls
Sometimes bad posts are just malicious and are simply meant to be destructive. Where you can,
delete blatantly malicious messages as soon as they go up or ignore them. But make doubly sure
beforehand they have no substance.
Finally, remember negative stuff can also be very helpful. Watch future patterns. If more than one
customer is feeding back the same negative issue, it is likely something needs changing.
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