The Community Manager’s goal is to increase engagement, but what if that engagement takes a turn for the worse? Our clients have often turned to MetroStar Digital for advice when they receive unexpected feedback. If someone posts a negative comment on your Facebook page, for example, what is the best way to respond to it?
Writing back is rarely a good option. You want to keep yourself above the fray no matter what. I know we’re always told to add personality and the best social media sites humanize their brands with authentic and original voice, but this is one instance where you want to hide your emotional side. Responding to a negative comment might make you seem defensive, combative, or bitter. Chances are the offender will respond again, and before you know it, you are knee-deep in a heated exchange for all your fans, followers, peers and colleagues to see. Spare yourself this experience, take the high ground, and don’t get involved.
Instead, let the comment sit there, and see what happens. You may find that your followers do have something to say and would like to voice their opinions on the issue. A spirited debate on your Facebook page would attract more engagement and followers.
Of course, if the comment involves pornography, hate speech, threats, graphic violence, bullying, and/or spam, you should report this abuse to Facebook, which will investigate and terminate the user’s account depending on what it finds. Facebook also allows you to delete comments. Offenders won’t receive notification if you delete their comments, but if they visit the page again, they will see it’s not there.
But the next time you are itching to argue back or delete the comment, remember the points above and consider doing nothing at all. We take so much time and effort into crafting the perfect Facebook page or Twitter feed, but it is in the very nature of social media that it cannot be controlled. The best we can do is create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable interacting with your brand and expressing themselves. If they write something disagreeable, have the courage to let your community stand up for itself.
Have you ever received a negative post or comment? What was the outcome?