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Social media is a breeding ground for negative comments, especially if you're a brand with quite a following. It's just how things go sometimes. The bigger your brand gets, the more exposure to negativity you are likely to have.

It can be something as simple as a dissatisfied customer or someone who has experienced a misunderstanding. How you handle these comments will affect your online presence. Looking at how established brands have dealt with negativity on their socials is a great way to follow suit and prepare yourself so that you don't get caught off guard.

Let's look at some steps to take when dealing with negative comments.

1. Never Ignore Them

The worst thing you can do is to ignore negative comments.
Always reply to comments from your followers, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Keeping up with public relations is pivotal in building your brand. It allows you to better connect with your followers. You can use Pur Social to monitor and track comments and mentions made on your social accounts.

Running a business can be a heavily emotional experience, so a few negative comments can really have an effect on you. But if you respond strategically, you can turn that negativity into positivity.

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An example of how Southwest Airlines went about helping a customer who had a bad experience.

2. Always Be Sincere In Apology

The first step to resolving any conflict is always to say sorry. As a brand, you may not agree with the point of view of the person making the complaint, but it'll clear up the issue much quicker than engaging in a war of words with one of your customers.

Negativity gets clicks and views in this day and age. The last thing you want to be associated with your brand is for people to know that you can't keep your cool when dealing with negative comments on your socials. That would be an even worse look for your brand.

If you happen to find yourself needing to apologise on behalf of your brand for something then make sure you do it properly, general practice dictates a post from the CEO or Founder of the company. This allows you to get out in front of the issue and show your followers that the brand takes these things seriously.

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Dove released a statement in 2017 for an ad campaign that poorly represented women of colour.

3. False Promises Are A No-No

The knee jerk reaction to a dissatisfied customer will be to do whatever you can to make them happy again. A common mistake that brands make early on.

Immediately leaping to a refund or a replacement on an item or service without analysing the issue is a recipe for disaster. You want to create a conversation with the customer and try to get to the root of the problem.

Apologise to the customer and get them to reach out to your support team, this way the conversation is off your socials and a resolution will be easier to achieve.

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Here we can see MADE apologising first and then directing the follower to customer service.

4. Politeness Is Always A Winner

Killing them with kindness rings true throughout every facet of your brand, especially when dealing with negativity. You may not want to respond nicely, you might be fed up and want to put that person back into their place, but this is not the way.

Keep your language clean this means no swearing, even if the customer is using colourful language towards your brand. It helps nobody if you start throwing out f-bombs in retaliation.

If the followers on your socials see you responding to other customers like this, it will give them a reason to cut ties with your brand, and you want to maintain your connections to your customers, not lose them.

5. Get Out Of The Spotlight

The worst place to resolve conflict is in the open on your social media accounts, do your best to move the conversation elsewhere. Get a direct message chain happening between your brand and the customer. An email or even a phone call are great tools to help resolve an issue with a customer. Don't be afraid to speak to your customer directly. They want to be heard and valued by you and your brand.

6. Personalise Your Message

Your customers aren't looking for an automated message as their first point of contact with your brand. Make the message personal to them, use their name if you can see it and show empathy to their situation.

7. Be Quick To Reply

Making an angry customer wait for a response is going to make them angrier and less receptive to your solutions. Do your best to reply within a couple of hours of receiving the complaint.

Customers who are made to wait for excessive amounts of time will feel ignored by the brand, and you don't want that. You want your customers to feel seen and valued so they continue to use your brand for their needs.

8. Explain Yourself and Explain It Well

There's nothing worse than asking someone for an explanation and getting nothing but spin. It's a frustrating thing to have to deal with, and it's how your customers will feel if you do the same to them.

Give an explanation as to what caused the issue the customer is experiencing and what the company is doing to resolve the issue. Provide them with updates and information, this gives a point of reference and will help put the customer at ease knowing that the wheels are in motion.

9. Let Your Mistakes Be Lessons

Mistakes are a part of life, everyone makes them. If you brand or company happens to make one, don't panic.

The negative comments you receive are essentially going to work as feedback for whatever you did, so take the time to read them and digest what people are saying. Find out exactly what went wrong and what you can do to fix it.

Admit to you customers that you made a mistake. By being upfront you'll garner some goodwill and hopefully take the sting out of the initial backlash.

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The Wrap Up

Always remember that negative comments are not always bad if you know how to manage them correctly.

Companies get receive negative comments every day without it affecting their brand or revenue, and this is because they know how to deal with angry customers.

Keep an eye on what people are saying about your brand across social media, and always communicate with your customers.