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What To Do (And Not Do) With Negative Social Media Comments

August 16, 2023 | Social Media

Ugh… the internet. It stands as one of humanity’s peak achievements and provides a tool we can no longer live without.

On the other hand… ugh. It can be a little rough out there. No matter who you are, no matter what you’re trying to do, if you engage with social media – as virtually all businesses must – you will have to contend with negative comments. Maybe people have a legitimate grudge. Maybe they’re just pesky trolls causing chaos for the sake of chaos. Either way, you’re going to need a procedure for dealing with people besmirching your enterprise for all the world to see. 

What To Do

Let’s assume the comment in question comes from a place of legitimate grievance. Whether expressed politely or… not, the person’s issue has genuine merit and highlights a pain point in your organization. This can be especially troubling because it may expose something you already know is an issue but can’t help. Plus, it just looks bad.

For comments like this, it’s best to simply take the hit. Apologize as promptly as you can. Acknowledge the issue. If you’re taking steps to resolve it, spell that out. Direct the commenter to a resolution if one is possible. 

While it’s obviously better to have no problem at all, that’s just not realistic, and this tact will make you look caring and responsive in the face of negative feedback. You may not make the commenter happy, but comment readers will be more likely to understand if you approach with humility.

Now let’s assume the person has no legitimate grievance, or they’ve chosen to express themselves in a decidedly crude or explicit fashion that dirties up your page. In cases like this, it’s best to utilize Facebook’s “Hide” feature. This is a great tool as the comment will essentially go away without the commenter even knowing it. To them, it'll look like nothing has changed. You might feel tempted to overuse this feature, however, so use it only in worst case scenarios.

What Not To Do

Simply put, do not delete the comment willy-nilly. That may be your instinct, but do your best to ignore it.

Deleting comments can bring new troubles to your feed. For one, people may notice. They're equally likely to notice when you “Hide” a comment, but if you do that sparingly as described above, people will also understand the need to remove abusive content. That’s not the same thing. We’re talking about callously deleting anything negative. It makes you look craven and suspicious, like you have something to hide.

Furthermore, it can have an effect on the commenter, inspiring them to double their efforts only more aggressively this time. This can snowball into a bigger issue you likely don’t want to deal with on your feed for all the world to see.

In short, you’ll put your best foot forward by simply addressing issues best you can and using the “Hide” function whenever someone crosses the line. Follow this advice and have fun on, ugh… the internet. 

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