The Dos and Don’ts of Negative Comments on Facebook

The Dos and Don’ts of Negative Comments on Facebook 1024 683 lodestar marketing group

We hear it repeatedly from our clients, “we got a negative comment on Facebook; what do we do?” It seems to create a sense of panic and urgency, the need to “deal” with negative comments and hopefully make them disappear. Sometimes even the most innocent of posts can cause someone to lash out. So what’s the best way to handle the situation? Here are our dos and don’ts of handling negative comments on social media.

Do Reply, Don’t Get Emotional

The worst thing you can do is respond to the comment in anger; that is only likely to escalate the commentor and create even more negative comments. Having a standard reply that you use in these situations is a good idea. For example, “We appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment and are sorry you had a negative experience. We would love the chance to make things right. Please email us at (company email) so we can follow up with you personally.” This kind of response shows other followers that you respond to any concerns and take complaints seriously.

Do Hide Negative Comments, Don’t Rush to Delete Them

When you hide a comment, the comment is no longer visible on your page. However, the commenter and their friends can still see it, making it appear visible to them. We still recommend replying to the comment as discussed above, but by hiding it, you won’t have to worry about other followers jumping in and continuing the thread. You might think it’s an even better idea to delete it and move on, but this isn’t the best idea. If someone sees that their comments were removed, they are more likely to become angry and start spamming your page with more negative comments. Best to let them think their post is still visible. Specific comments should be deleted, though. These might include ones that promote other websites, spam, inappropriate content, etc.

Do Block Constant Hecklers, Don’t Limit All Commenters

There is an option to block people from your page, and this might be a good idea if you find that someone is consistently leaving negative comments and doesn’t seem to want to rectify the situation. On Facebook, you can do this under the Page’s settings, under “People who Like this Page,” selecting the gear icon, and selecting “Ban from Page.” This should be a last resort because once a person realizes they have been banned, they may move on to posting negative comments about your page on their profile, where you have no control. Some people might advise you to limit commentators, but we don’t think this is the best idea. You can choose who is allowed to comment on your posts by selecting “Who can Comment on your Post” and changing it from “Public” to “Pages you Follow” or “Profiles and Pages you mention.” However, when you do this, you are also limiting the possibility of positive comments. In addition, Facebook determines the visibility of your posts based on how many people interact with it, so you are potentially decreasing how many people see your post.

Negative comments are par for the course when it comes to social media these days. If you keep calm and respond appropriately, you will usually be able to remedy the situation. And in those cases where you just can’t seem to stop someone from a barrage of negative comments, you now have a few tools to stop them. The key is to constantly moderate your page so that you are aware of any negative comments as soon as they appear and then handle them immediately.

Interested in learning how to grow your presence on social media and help promote your brand? Contact Lodestar Marketing Group today and learn more about how we can help.