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Dealing with Negative Social Media Comments: You Can’t Just Delete


Social media allows brands to connect with their consumers on a pretty cool, personal level. When you set up a social media account and get things rolling, it can also be a nice ego boost. Things have been going well on your company’s Facebook page – people are liking, commenting on, and sharing your posts. Some have left nice 5 star reviews on your page. Your followers are climbing every day, and you’re getting great reach on your paid ad placements.


And then, it happens – someone posts a negative review or comment. It’s easy to feel angry. Here’s this ugly comment tarnishing your sterling social media branding efforts. Can’t you just delete it from existence, and then forget about it? Well, no, you can’t. And you can’t just ignore it either. Both of these responses can take a molehill issue and make it a mountain. There are a few steps you need to take to not only deal with the comment, but turn it into a positive experience for your brand.

  • Really read the review or comment. Is this something that needs investigated?

Even though it’s frustrating, turn on your customer service skills and really read the person’s complaints. What went wrong for them? It’s worthwhile to go to the team members involved (if any are mentioned, or you can deduce who may be) and get their take. Things happen, team members slip up, and customers get upset. Mistakes are often an opportunity for customer service improvements. The commenter’s complaint may also highlight that certain policies your company has aren’t working.  If you put yourself in the commenter’s shoes, you may be able to better see that yes, this circumstance would upset you, too.

  • Respond to the original comment as soon as possible, and get it out of the public eye.

You can respond to the comment even while gathering more information for your team. As soon as you see the comment, respond with a brief answer that shows empathy, a desire to help, and a call to action to move the discussion out of public view. Something like, “John, we are so sorry to hear this. This isn’t the experience we strive to provide. Can you email us at with more details? Thank you!” would work well.

  • Follow through with a solution.

Showing empathy isn’t enough, however. You still have to follow through with finding a solution. Hopefully the commenter will take you up on your request to email or direct message you (if they continue to respond in public view, try prodding them again to come to email/direct message while responding as best you can without giving out private information). Talk to team members involved and put together a plan. Step one explained above is useful now in designing this response plan; would the issue be resolved with a refund, or is something deeper needed? If a service wasn’t performed, that’s one thing, and easily fixed with a return or refund. However, if the commenter is, say, accusing an employee of racism, an in-depth internal investigation may be needed before you can circle back with the commenter. This would require figuring out what actually happened, making a public apology, and maybe even changing policies if the commenter is telling the truth.

  • Share takeaways with your team.

No matter what your response plan is, be sure to share notes with your team afterward. There is likely a learning opportunity here. In some instances, team members may be able to highlight policies and procedures they think aren’t working and could have led to the issue. In a best case scenario, the commenter will leave much happier, and you will be able to use the event to avoid a similar issue in the future. Sometimes, angry commenters can be become brand loyalists after you’ve seen an issue through.

  • A Troll in the dungeon.


Some people just want to watch the world burn. Occasionally, you will get comments from people who apparently have nothing good to say about anything, or just have too much free time on their hands. If you have a commenter of the first type, your team could have done everything right and exceptionally well, and this person would still be upset. Even if they’re just looking for free stuff, working with them and offering a refund may still be worth your time and brand image. For type number two, you really don’t have much opportunity for recourse. You’ll know them when you see them. Their comment is likely inflammatory, vulgar, and very obviously a lie. Still take the time to consider it, and even give an opening for response via email or direct message; just understand you probably won’t hear from them. However, if the comment is slanderous, threatening, or uses over-the-top language, this is your free pass to delete it and block the commenter. If the comment got some traction and responses before deleting, you’ll need to post a brief response to your page explaining why you deleted it, and re-iterate your company’s ethical standards. Either way, delete it without guilt, and move on care free!

Enhance Your Social Media Posts on Any Platform

Social media platforms

Getting the most out of your social media platforms

Looking for ways to boost your posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more? Take a look at this handy infographic, designed by My Clever Agency, which provides tips to keep in mind when sharing content across various platforms. I’ve outlined few of their suggestions below; click on the infographic to review all of their tips in further detail, which includes preferable times of day to post. In general, it is preferable to engage with your followers in the afternoon versus late evening/early morning.


  • Keep content upbeat
  • Incorporate images
  • Use imagery that is mobile –device friendly



  • Provide a Call to Action
  • Use proper punctuation – avoid abbreviations and use of all caps
  • Shorten URLs



  • Images of human faces are shared less than non-facial images
  • Vertical images fare better than horizontal shots
  • Images with strong colors like red, dark green and pink get 3x more likes and repins



  • Enhance reach through use of hashtags in your post
  • Tag other brands and people to enhance opportunities for engagement
  • Integrate full sized images to make your posts more noticeable



  • Reply back to those who have posted comments to your image
  • Use hashtags and image captions to increase awareness and drive engagement
  • Explore image enhancing apps like Camera+ and Snapseed



  • Avoid shaky video footage
  • Master the seamless infinite loop
  • Avoid excessive background noise 



Social Media Platform Tips

Image: Ragan’s PR Daily

Can Your Predict Which of Your Messages Will Go Viral?

social media phones

The Harvard Business Review wrote this week about a recent psychological study that found we can successfully predict which messages will go viral and which won’t. The key to this success, according to the report, lies within the brain of the sender. In short, the more the author of the message values the message itself, the more likely he or she is to be at spreading it. In addition, the more accurately he or she can predict how the audience will respond to it, and the greater his or her desire for the message to spread, the higher the likelihood of success.

At the most basic level, these findings underscore the importance of 1) being passionate about your business and 2) knowing your target audience.  It’s far too easy to lose sight of the end goal – engaging your audience in a meaningful way. We see it all the time, for example when a locally restaurant posts a question to Facebook asking its followers how their day is going rather than letting them know about a new special that night. How will your audience feel about your post? Is it something they will want to share with their friends and family, perhaps with an invitation to join them for dinner? Or if you are a nonprofit with a new outreach program, can you communicate your excitement about the potential impact it will make with a real-life human interest story rather than a message saying you are excited about having kicked off the new program?

The findings imply that you can predict which messages will go viral and which ones will not based on these factors and structure your social media marketing efforts accordingly. By valuing the message, knowing how your audience will respond to it and simply being determined to spread it, it’s possible that you can better engage your existing audience and get the word out about your products or services to a much wider group.

Six Tips for Social Media in 2014

social media in 2014

In the interest of year-end list-making, let’s talk social for a second. It’s not going anywhere. Whether or not you’re avidly updating and tweeting in your off-time, social media is an established tool in the marketing and communications field. So how is your company using it? Consider these options and best practices as you embrace social media in 2014.

Pick your Media

There isn’t a rule that says you have to have a presence on every social media platform that exists. Consider the pros and cons of each, the type of content you’ll be posting, the level of interaction you expect from your audience and plan accordingly.

social media in 2014

Keep it Interesting

People follow because they’re interested in your brand. Maybe they’re devoted followers, maybe they’re new. Maybe they signed up because they were hoping to win a contest. Keep their interest by continuing to provide information and access that makes it worth their while. Giving insight into the new happenings, special deals or sneak previews of new products gives your followers the satisfaction of knowing something before everyone else and rewards them for being fans.

Make it Pretty

If you’re sharing photos and video on Instagram or Vine, make sure that it’s worth sharing. A blurry shot or a haphazardly edited video will quickly result in an unfollow at best, a total write-off of your company at worst. Your content shares a feed that’s filled with creative shots. Make yours stand out.

social media in 2014

Create a Dialogue

Social media in 2014 will be about providing a direct connection with your followers. How this looks is up to you, but the most successful accounts are the ones that inspire engagement. Ask questions, use polls, post images that inspire a reaction and get ready to follow up. Responding to the comments of your followers lets them know that they’re heard.

Take the Good with the Bad

It happened. A disappointed customer went to your page with a negative comment. While it’s not ideal, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Address the comment quickly either on the feed or in a private message. Let the commenter know that they’ve been heard. Provide an explanation or a solution. What started as a negative situation can quickly be turned into a positive customer experience.

Set the Rules

Before setting out on your social campaign, make sure you have some guidelines for your brand voice, topics that are on-brand, and what to do in the face of a snafu. Check for spelling and grammar errors. Discuss the style and voice of your comments. While it’s great to have multiple people contributing, the style should be seamless.