How to Deal With Negative Comments on Social Media

Image: Flickr, Shelby H.

Hey there!

We’ve all seen them—the individuals who post comments that are snarky, rude, or downright ugly.

Sometimes they have good intentions, such as trying to give a company constructive criticism on their product, and struggle with communicating it well.

Sometimes, they just want to be difficult.

In these cases, please don’t punch your computer screen, and please don’t post a retort back.

Instead, use the following outline for a response:

1.       Respectfully thank the individual for the comment. This will likely be the last thing you want to do, but it starts your response in a positive light and shows you’re listening to your audience.

2.       Address the issue. Politely and briefly answer or explain the issue at hand, if possible.

3.       Finish with a positive statement. Whether you offer a solution, assure improvements are in the works, or simply wish them a great day, this will end your response in a positive tone.

This type of reply typically solves the problem.

Sometimes, the individual may follow up with another negative comment or two.  

I’ve found answering these comments, however well-intentioned, only “stokes the fire” on an issue that was already addressed.

Leave it alone, and they typically stop.

In the rare instance the person doesn’t stop and begins "trolling* your profile/page, they’re no longer adding value to your social conversation and blocking them is your best bet.

Yes, companies can (and do!) block these types of individuals, too. It helps to have social media community guidelines posted online to which your social profiles refer to that indicate abusive behavior won't be tolerated.

Bottom line: Don’t argue, attack, or post back to these individuals out of anger.

You’ll likely say something you regret and in social media land, you can’t take it back.

Instead, stay calm and answer in a way that demonstrates class.

Until next time,