How to handle negative comments on Social Media like a professional

Contributors: Amol Ghemud
Published: August 14, 2018

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The phrase ‘spread like a wildfire’ can now be better used as ‘spread like social media’. The rate at which information is getting created and spread on all these platforms is just crazy.

“What the hell, a hair in my oreo shake! This place sucks.”

Spreads like a wildfire? Yes, perhaps faster than that.

The amount of “things” having a presence on social media is just mind-boggling. Living as well as non-living. Every other thing is on social media- cats, dogs, trees, roofs, monuments, etc. Humans too, of course.

With SO MUCH activity going on social media, getting a negative comment on your product or brand is no big deal even if your product and service is good and your business is growing rapidly (Coz Hey, not everyone is perfect).

If you have a winning social media strategy then you can even turn it into an opportunity to get more leads and take your business to new heights.

Here’s a workbook which will help you develop an effective strategy for all your social media marketing needs. Fill it up and see yourself get that clarity in setting your social media goals and use it to achieve great results.

There is a high probability that someone somewhere is not going to like it and is surely going to voice their opinion on social media. (Unless your product really sucks and everyone is bad-mouthing on social media. In that case, you, my friend, have a serious problem)

Well, looking at the pattern of the people posting negative comments, they get great satisfaction in doing so or they have nothing else to do. They get that much needed attention from like-minded naysayers and feed each other’s ego.

But anyway, it is good that they are doing so. Most of the times, businesses get a good idea about what is going wrong and what needs to improve.

Okay so let’s say you have got a bad review(s) or a negative comment(s). You have two choices. Either you can panic that something bad about you has reached hundreds of users and consider yourself doomed or pull up your socks, take ownership and think this as an opportunity to make yourself stand out.

Afterall, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore. (sorry, if you aren’t a potterhead)

To panic is a choice. If consider this as an opportunity is a choice. (To ignore and not do anything is also a choice, which is much worse. )

We assume you choose to do something. (Coz you are a winner. Why would you be reading this article if you were not?) So what to do if you come in a scenario where you have to handle a negative comment on your social media?

Before we get into the how, let’s first look at why it is so critical to deal with negative comments properly.

The main reason is because everyone can see it. Social media is transparent. It is public. Everyone can see and read negative comments.

What do most people do after reading negative comments? They draw conclusions, they judge you, they take part in the discussion.

Also, they tell about it to their friends. The basic of human nature- whatever people like or don’t like, they share. This spreads and spreads and can tarnish your business’s reputation.

In order to stop this, you need to have a concrete content marketing strategy to deal with negative comments.

If you are able to turn it your way and use it as an opportunity, then it can really boost your company’s image and give your brand free publicity.

Want To Know More

Read: Organic Social Media Marketing

Now let’s see what you can do.

Be alert

Stay constantly online. Constant vigilance (as Mad-eye would say). Whenever a notification comes, be sure to check it ASAP.

Be alert

Don’t panic

Be calm.. Don’t take it personally. Take it easy. Keep it cool. Do not delete the negative comment.

Dont panic

Let someone responsible handle it!

If you see a negative comment and you aren’t the right person to handle it, notify the right person ASAP.

To avoid unnecessary confusion in future, make sure that it is only a single person who is handling negative comments.

The right person means, anyone who has complete knowledge about all aspects of the product.

Also someone who has people skills. Soft and fluffy. (You don’t want to have someone who will abuse the one who has written the negative comment in the most beautiful and wonderful way)

It’s always a good idea to respond before other people join in and add further negative comments.

Keep record of it

It is always useful to document the negative comment in some or the other way. The best way is to take a screenshot.

Apologize if necessary

Apologise (Even if it isn’t your mistake). People don’t like being corrected. Run an analysis of what went wrong. You can say that you are sorry and will get back to them as soon as you have found what went wrong.

Make personal connect

Respond in a calm and polite manner. Do not say anything which will create an uproar and spark a debate. Never copy and paste ready-made replies. Use their name. Make a personal connection.

The Feel-Felt-Found strategy comes handy in most cases to deal with negative comments.

For example, you can first say that you are sorry for the inconvenience caused. Next you can say that if something similar would have happened to you, you would respond in a similar way. Then you can come to the matter, tell them what you found and give your insights in the issue.

Make amendments

If it was really a mistake on your part, make amends. Thank them for pointing it out and bringing the issue to your notice. Ask them what you can do to rectify/repay. Send them a free goody or voucher if that works.

Ultimately, it depends on the skill of the person who is handling the response. If he/she is able to handle it well, then it can also be a positive experience for your brand which will lead to more customers.

Be witty if needed…

That being said, there will be some stupid negative comments which make no sense and which give you an opportunity to frame a witty reply and get people’s attention.


Having said that, it is necessary for you to be well updated when you are handling big brands. Your social media strategy should aim to turn adversity into advantage. So if you get a negative comment on social media, think of it as a brilliant opportunity.

If you have some specific questions like the following, we have tried our best to answer them. If you still have more, please mention them in the comments section and we will answer them.

(No negative comments here please or should we say post a negative comment and we’ll give you a demo of how to handle it 😉

Is it ok to ignore or delete negative comments on social media?

No, it’s not. We repeat. Do NOT delete any negative feedback, reviews or comments. Why? Because first of all you are visible to everyone on social media. It is important that people see you handling everyone’s comments. This shows that you are interested and really care about your customers’ opinion.

Secondly, it might upset the customer if you delete his/her negative comment or choose to ignore it. This leads to him/her getting more frustrated, annoyed and angered. The result is that they will bad mouth about you with double the intensity as if your competitor is paying them to do so.

If you are 110% sure that someone is unnecessarily trolling you and saying real bad words, then and only then it is ok to delete their comment or give a witty and sarcastic reply.

How fast should you answer negative comments on social media?

ASAP. Aim to respond within 15 minutes when a negative comment shows up. People judge you on how fast you reply. The faster, the better. People don’t care how much you know. People value how much you care.

Who should respond to the negative comments on social media?

Follow this criteria:

  1. It should be a single person
  2. He/She should have knowledge about social media
  3. she/he should know about your product and service through and through
  4. He/She should be good at dealing with people.

What should you do if someone is badmouthing without any reason? eg. A competitor

Your perfect opportunity to frame a witty reply, stand out and get that much needed attention. But be sure that you do this when you are 110% sure that it is a competitor or a troller.

The phrase ‘spread like a wildfire’ can now be better used as ‘spread like social media’. The rate at which information is getting created and spread on all these platforms is just crazy.

About the Author

Optimizer in Chief

Amol has helped catalyse business growth with his strategic & data-driven methodologies. With a decade of experience in the field of marketing, he has donned multiple hats, from channel optimization, data analytics and creative brand positioning to growth engineering and sales.

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One response to “How to handle negative comments on Social Media like a professional”

  1. Kurtis Pell says:

    With thanks! Valuable information!

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