<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

Positive Ways to Handle Negative Feedback on Social Media

Jan. 2, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board
negative feedback on social media

For most small businesses, getting negative feedback on social media is probably inevitable. Sooner or later, a dissatisfied customer or former employee may post unfavorable comments on a social media platform, naming a business and “calling it out” for some grievance, real or imagined. The challenge for small businesses is responding in ways that enhance its reputation and social media standing, rather than damage its brand and alienate prospective customers.

It’s worth preparing for this eventuality since maintaining a strong social media presence makes things “a lot easier for your customers to get a hold of you and let you know how they feel about your products or services.” Here are tips on handling negative feedback that enable you to maintain and bolster favorable relationships with your followers.

Always be “listening.” It’s vitally important to monitor what’s being said about your business online. If you haven’t done so already, set up notifications on your various social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to alert you when comments are made about your business. This way, you know instantly when someone has mentioned your business, favorably or not.

Respond quickly and forthrightly. A negative comment may provoke you to respond defensively or even go “on the attack.” Don’t let this happen! Instead, post a short response acknowledging that you’ve seen the comment or complaint and intend to reply more fully as soon as possible. (This gives you time to cool down and forego a kneejerk response.)

Go public first, private second. Digital marketing expert Jennifer Goff advises that “responding publicly is essential to showcasing your brand as transparent, attentive, and helpful.” After you post a public response, Goff adds, you can “move the conversation into a private message in order to provide a solution of greater detail, or to ask for sensitive information, like an account number of identifying details” to solve a customer issue.

Want additional insight? Download Harness the Power of Social Media to learn more

DOWNLOAD

Offer concrete solutions. In response to a specific customer complaint, it’s best not to post a generic message, i.e., “Thank you for your comments, we will be in touch shortly.” Far better—in terms of your brand and reputation—is acknowledging that a problem has occurred and offering a concrete solution. If for some reason this isn’t possible, try offering a refund or “store credit” instead. The key is ensuring the person who posted the negative comment feels heard and that his or her complaint is being addressed.

Ignore inflammatory or offensive comments. Remember, social media enables anyone to pretty much post whatever they want online. You may come across statements that are blatantly derogatory, sexist, racist, etc. Naturally, most of us want to respond with a vehement denunciation of these comments, but in general, it’s best to ignore them. Followers and friends on your social media platform may respond on your company’s behalf. That’s preferable to getting into a fierce online spat you can’t ever win.

In some respects, negative social media feedback is a good thing. It can alert you to potential problems with your products or services in time to make updates or corrections, as needed. It can also help you stay attuned to customer attitudes in general—whether your business is being perceived in a favorable light or if you need to improve your customer service efforts.

Finally, when fans and followers see how you respond to negative comments in a reasoned and mature way, they’ll think more highly of your business. That can lead to stronger trust and loyalty in the long run.

***

Compare your business to leading businesses around the world. Take TAB’s free business diagnostic assessment for a comprehensive comparison report. Start the test here

Watch our BOSS Webinar: Social Media for Business Owners

View Webinar

Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

Quick and Easy Way to Maintain an Active LinkedIn Presence
May. 27, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
LinkedIn is a mainstay social media platform for business owners and professionals. No news flash there. But while most of us understand that having an engaging LinkedIn presence can bring tremendous...
Tips For Improving Your Networking Skills This Spring
Apr. 19, 2022 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
Love it or hate it, networking is essential for business growth and success. It’s often the bane of existence for many business owners that I work with. But if done right, you can take the hassle of...
How Social Media Can Drive Product Innovation
Apr. 15, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board TAB
The process of product innovation has, for some time, relied upon a cadre of forward-thinkers within an organization, and/or soliciting input from customer surveys and focus groups. These methods...
When a Business Owner Wears a Selling Hat
Mar. 4, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
If you are like most business owners of small or mid-sized businesses, there are times you must put on your Selling Hat. When you put on that Selling Hat, your mindset needs to change to one of “What...
How to Thank Customers for Supporting Your Business
Feb. 24, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
These days, after what seems an eternity of business restrictions due to Covid-19, companies are rightfully grateful for returning customers, and new prospects willing to give their business a...
Use Customer Feedback to Pivot Your Business
Nov. 17, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The global pandemic has prompted a wide range of businesses to pivot and repurpose their products and services in new ways. Changing market conditions often mandate that businesses evolve (whether...
5 Ways To Manage A Remote Sales Team
Nov. 5, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Sales leaders have struggled with managing remote sales teams even before the pandemic. Today, with an increasing number of organizations moving partially or fully remote, the need to put practices...
Phone Sales Mistakes Your Team Might Be Making
Oct. 28, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Cold calls and other approaches to phone sales might not be considered as vital as they once were, but many businesses still rely on this method for customer acquisition. That’s all well and good, as...
How to Lead More Productive Sales Meetings
Oct. 26, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Sales meetings, like business meetings in general, come fraught with potential minefields. They’re often perceived by team members as a waste of time, too predictable and boring, not long enough or...
5 Surefire Ways to Boost Repeat Sales
Oct. 19, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Aside from new customer acquisition, repeat sales is the “holy grail” of all company sales departments. Having customers come back again and again for your products or services should be at the very...