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When Dealing With Negative Comments Online, Be Kind, Compassionate and Diplomatic

For brands, receiving comments over social media can be a double-edged sword. In one way, it's a fast and useful way to get feedback about what you're doing well and constructive criticism about what you can be doing better. On the other hand, it can be an outlet for people to bash your brand -- sometimes without provocation.

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"When you get negative comments over your social-media channels, marketing consultant John Jantsch recommends business owners "be kind, compassionate and diplomatic," when dealing with "haters."

"I have a one-and-done policy," said Jantsch, founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. "Every now and then I get something from left field and I'll always respond, but only one time."

We chatted with Jantsch and digital marketing expert Jason Falls in the fifth installment of our Google Hangout Series, "The Best Marketing Advice You're Not Following." Falls is founder of Louisville, Ky.-based digital marketing consulting service Social Media Explorer and vice president of digital strategy at e-retailer CafePress.

When you get a negative comment you should avoid any initial reaction to simply delete it. "Should negative comments be removed? Not without responding to the customer's concern," Falls said. "Then you can remove it later."

If your problem is that you aren't getting enough comments over social media -- either positive or negative -- Falls recommends slowing down on the marketing messages, show your brand's personality and have an opinion on topics. Just know your limits with your followers.

"The best way to get people to engage more is to stir shit up," he said. "Take a stand and let people react to it."

 

Jason Fell is the managing editor of Entrepreneur.com.

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