What Should You Do If Someone Posts a Negative Comment on Your Facebook Page?

Amy BakeryI’m a fan of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. I like the typical story line featuring struggling business owners who get a branding makeover and come out the other side living happily ever after. It’s a feel good moment!

Then this headline caught my attention: “This is the Most Epic Brand Meltdown on Facebook Ever”.

Yikes! Turns out a recent episode of the show didn’t follow the typical story line. The owners were impossible to work with and the TV drama turned into a social media drama with the help of sites like Reddit, Yelp and Facebook!

This is all very fascinating (and completely painful). As a brand manager it does raise a key question I’m often asked: What do you do if someone posts a negative comment on your Facebook page (or other social media sites)?

Here are some options to consider: 

  • No nothing. Don’t acknowledge the comment but leave it up. 
  • It depends. It depends on the nature of the comment and the validity. Remember that two of the virtues of social media are transparency and authenticity. So if your brand messed up, your might be best off to come clean, apologize and do what you can to make the situation right. Companies that do this usually get kudos up for this approach.
  • Delete the comment. If it is off the wall and legitimately doesn’t have merit, this might make sense.
  • Provide clarification. A clarification of policies or procedures might be appropriate. Often you’ll see brands acknowledge the problem/situation publicly but send more detailed response privately. Which should include an attempt for a direct conversation via telephone if possible.

What you never, never want to do is fight it out on your Facebook page!! 

About Wendy Forsythe

I've spent my career working with people and organizations to help them build their brands. We live in a connected world where that line between a personal and professional persona has become nonexistent. Your brand is you 24/7. This blog is about me and my life. Some of it will relate to my passion for the real estate industry and some of it will just be about me living life and exploring my interests.

The opinions expressed here are my own personal opinions. They do not reflect the opinions of my company (Carrington Real Estate Services).

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+

Comments

  1. Wendy, great blog. How about don’t reply and if you do, don’t do it in CAPS, lol – wow, wow, wow…

    • Yeah, it’s a bit crazy! This whole story is already a business case full of do’s and don’ts. Interesting that they’ve gotten thousands of likes in a very short period of time. So social media/brand management aside, it does validate the old saying “even bad press is good press”.

  2. But what do you do when you resolve the situation, make the customer happy enough that they post a positive response to it but it still shows the negative comment on the page (without seeing the positive response post at first glance)? I mean, people will only see that negative part of the post unless they expand the comments. I don’t want to delete it in fear that it’ll upset the customer but I don’t want to leave it becuase people will get the wrong idea.

    • Hi Jason

      That is a dilemma for sure. If your response or new comments is just below the original comment (much like this one appears) then visitors to your site will see the entire string on comments. Even if they are not linked but at least on the same page most users will scroll and then see the positive responses. I think most of us expect that it is impossible to keep every customer happy. So the main thing is that the majority of comments are positive. It’s like when you look at Yelp. If most of the people reviewed a restaurant as positive but a few didn’t like the food you’ll probably still eat there.

      • I agree that negative reviews/comments lend credibility to the positive ones. The problem in this case is that on this particular social media site, the only way to see the secondary, positive comment is to click through, twice. So at first glance and even at second glance, it a visitor doesn’t know we resolved the problem and made the customer happy. It’s only after “3rd glance” that they can see that. Unfortunately, most people don’t put that much investigation into reviews so I just deleted the comment altogether. Bottom line is that we made the customer happy and word-of-mouth should do the rest.

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