I have some answers for you as I have personally dealt with negative comments on our University's Facebook and Twitter.
I know dealing with negative comments is really hard, especially when it seems like it's a personal attack. Comments about the person behind the social media, which may be you, especially about how the social media is being handled and what's being posted, can really seem personal, but try not to take it personally. This has definitely happened to me and I got upset and took it personally, but I calmed down, learned from it and in the end, it really helped me out.
As for other negative comments like "f*ck this company" "you guys are the worst ever" or anything like that, I don't typically delete them unless they get really bad. By really bad I mean personally attacking someone with a threat or something like that.
The best thing about negative comments, YES there is an upside, is that people come to your defense!! I have seen this in SEVERAL cases where someone posts a negative comment and people have come to the defense of the University. For instance, a woman posted about how "it's so unsafe the University is encouraging people to drive in the snow, the students and parents are so uninformed, WCU is doing a terrible job at updates, etc." on the University Facebook and about 10 people came to our defense and posted links to updates the University had sent out, e-mails that had been sent out, examples of messages from RA's and RD's of residence halls, and other stories of help the University and University staff had offered. It was really great for us!
So, in the case of negative comments on any social media site that represents your company or your company handles, I do not think you should delete them, wait and see what happens and see if others come to your defense! You can always chose to respond to comments too, but sometimes letting others respond to negative comments is better because other people are coming to your defense.
Now, how do you respond to negative comments?
1. You can always play it safe and acknowledge the comment and say: Thank you for your input, we will definitely look at that.
- In my opinion, a response in general makes most people happy and they will leave it at one comment.
2. If someone had a negative experience, you can always give then a discount, reimbursement, or ideas for a more positive experience next time.
- This kind of advice or "gift" back leaves them with a more positive feeling and will most likely get them back to your business/company.
Do negative comments get you more looks and more hits? Yes, people always want to see what someone is saying about something/someone. You will definitely get more hits, but as you get more hits, make sure you have appropriate responses so all those new hits don't see a negative comment from you back.
Remember at ALL times: You are representing YOUR company or YOUR client. Be responsible!
So, how or if you chose to respond to negative comments is your choice, your company's choice, the social media team's choice, etc.
Important things to remember:
- Don't delete the comment unless it is directly threatening or extremely inappropriate
- Respond or wait to see if others come to your defense
- Be responsible and tactful in your response
- There is a positive side to negative comments!
All opinions in this blog are my own from my own experiences.